You are liberating yourself by releasing those that have bound you with pain. If you can visualize a spiritual cord, with you on one end and the person that caused you pain on the other end, view forgiveness as the scissors that cuts that tie. The cord is symbolic to the restitution that you feel you deserve, and by cutting it, you are releasing them from owing you anything. Also, by cutting it, you are releasing your ties to the pain they caused in your life. I've often heard that forgiveness is not about you releasing the other person, as it would seem. It's about you releasing yourself. It's about you liberating you. When we freely give our love, it is supposed to be given with "no strings attached." Somewhere in the course of our relationship though, we begin to expect the other person to reciprocate our love and actions. When or if that doesn't happen, the strings that bind us become bogged down with resentment and bitterness. It is that resentment and bitterness that breeds the unforgiveness. Release all of cords and strings binding you to unforgiveness so you can live a free, liberated life.