How do you forgive someone who has wronged you, and why should you do it at all.
Forgiveness isn’t something you do for the other person.
Whether it’s a spouse who was unfaithful, a parent who let you down as a child, or a friend who shared something told in confidence, we all must face the question of whether and how to forgive.
After you are wronged and the initial wave of emotion has passed, you’re presented with a new challenge: Do you forgive the person? By forgiving, you let go of your grievances and judgments and allow yourself to heal. While this may sound good in theory, in practice forgiveness can sometimes feel impossible.
To learn how to forgive, you must first learn what forgiveness is not. Most of us hold at least some misconceptions about forgiveness. Here are some things that forgiving someone doesn’t mean:
- Forgiveness doesn’t mean you are pardoning or excusing the other person’s actions.
- Forgiveness doesn’t mean you need to tell the person that he or she is forgiven.
- Forgiveness doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have any more feelings about the situation.
- Forgiveness doesn’t mean there is nothing further to work out in the relationship or that everything is okay now.
- Forgiveness doesn’t mean you should forget the incident ever happened.
- Forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to continue to include the person in your life.
- … and forgiveness isn’t something you do for the other person.