According to the Mayo Clinic, forgiveness is a decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge. While Karli can happily say that she has forgiven her attackers, it’s taken her much longer to forgive herself. After leaving the burn unit after a 6 ½ week stay, Karli’s spirit was broken. She was angry with the world and that anger manifested itself in her thoughts, feelings, and relationships. It consumed her daily and wreaked havoc on her life. She pushed away her friends, upset her family, and found herself desperately wanting to live in the past. She was angry with the people who attacked her, she was angry with her boyfriend for abandoning her, and she was angry with the world because everyone else got to move forward.

She was stuck . . . trapped in a body that she hated and uncertain about what the future held for her. She lived in a prison . . . not a physical one, but a mental one. Her days had gotten so dark that she couldn’t imagine a future or herself and it scared her. After a sleepless night, she woke up wanting something better. She did not want to live with regret, hatred in her heart and vengeance in her spirt, so she forgave. And in doing so, she set her herself free.

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