Written by Professional Counseling Expert Ryan Kappel
Forgiveness is generally something that we think of giving someone, like a gift. Most people would consider how they have been ‘wronged,’ and then determine whether or not that person is worthy of their forgiveness depending on if they have done enough to earn forgiveness. Then we typically say something like, “I can forgive, but I can’t forget,” which is really saying, “you’ve earned it but I still don’t trust you.”
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In order to truly forgive someone, you may have to accept that this person has limitations, or has qualities that you may not like. You may decide you don’t want to interact with them anymore. But that doesn’t mean you have to hold on to the anger. What people don’t realize is that when you don’t forgive someone, it continues to eat you inside. By not allowing yourself to forgive someone, you are actually choosing holding onto the
pain that this person has caused you. This does not mean that you should have to accept what has happened. Forgiveness is not about being a doormat.
Forgiveness is more about moving forward with your life and appropriately adjusting to whatever happened to you. Holding onto grudges creates a negative holding pattern in a person’s life. If we think of forgiveness as something that a person must earn, we are setting ourselves up for unfulfilled expectations, and are holding onto pain for an unnecessary amount of time.
This is not to say that forgiveness is easy, or can’t take time. If someone has hurt you it’s understandable that you’d need a certain amount of time to get to the point where you can forgive. However, it’s important to remember that forgiveness is a choice. In many cases the relief comes down to our own decision to put things behind us and move forward with our lives.
If you’re struggling with forgiveness or other emotional issues, chat with a Counseling Expert now!