Jill was pissed at Jack. He never seemed to listen to her. And he screwed up. Again. Nothing relationship ending, but he knew better. This almost felt personal to Jill. She didn’t want to view Jack with this bitterness, but she didn’t know what to do. Jill wanted to move forward with their relationship, but to forgive him seemed… impossible. She could never forget Jack’s cutting remarks.
Jill didn’t think she could forgive and forget the hurt caused by Jack. But that isn’t what forgiveness is about.
4 Tips to Forgive
1) Forgiveness Is About The Forgiver
How many times have you waited to forgive someone until they apologized? Only they never did? You were angry with them for a while and they had no idea they even offended you. Or you did confront them and they still didn’t think they did anything wrong.
Waiting for them just holds you hostage. Forgiveness isn’t about them, it is about you letting go of what you need to to move on.
2) Forgiveness Is Letting Go Of Hurt, Pain, And The Need To Be Proven Right
Forgiveness is not about being proven right. That is vindication. Forgiveness isn’t about getting compensated for the loss. That is justice. It isn’t even not having a repeat. That is repentance.
Forgiveness is letting go of the hurt, pain, and need to be proven right caused by someone offending or hurting you. This is a personal process that can happen regardless if the other person asks for forgiveness, or if they never talk to you again.
3) You Can Forgive And Keep Boundaries
Forgiveness does not mean there are no consequences. If someone keeps stealing from you, you can forgive them and stop giving them access to your money. This is especially true when trust is broken. It is normal for it to take time to rebuild trust. It is easier to rebuild trust when there is forgiveness.
4) Forgiveness Is A Choice
Our emotions are powerful. Especially when we are hurt or feel violated in some way. It can be overwhelming to forgive someone. Sometimes, it can feel impossible. And initially is may be. But eventually it is a choice to forgive. How so? Do you want to live with the hurt, pain, or bitterness? If not, then you can choose to start making one small step at a time towards forgiveness.
Back to Jill
Jill was pissed at Jack. He never seemed to listen to her. And he screwed up. Again. Nothing relationship ending, but he knew better. This almost felt personal to Jill. She didn’t want to view Jack with this bitterness. She knew she needed to forgive. As difficult as it was, Jill chose to forgive Jack. So she could move forward and no longer feel hurt by Jack. But she also decided to have a direct conversation with him about how he hurt her and what she needed from him in the future so she could feel secure in their relationship.
The specific process may be different for each person – or situation – but the choice to move forward is still within your control. If you don’t like the feelings with not forgiving someone but struggle with the idea of forgiveness, that is ok! Just take one small step forward each day.
When all else fails, find a trusted friend who is good at forgiveness or a professional to help you work through how to forgive!