Forgiveness is complex and growth-fostering. At times, it can be a challenging process, yet it is also extremely freeing and leads to more satisfying and joyful relationships. Though forgiveness is unique to each person and their experiences, there are also many overarching themes and general components that can be applied more universally, which we will be covering in today’s blog.
We know that forgiveness is important and can help us lead better, more fulfilling lives, but what exactly is it? Forgiveness is a willingness to let go of resentment and move to a place of openness and understanding. It is the ability to accept the past for what it was and stay in the present moment instead of responding to or interacting with someone through a lens of past anger or frustration. Most importantly, forgiveness happens internally. Forgiveness happens when we acknowledge that our pain is significant, we have been impacted and/or changed by what happened, and we are willing to move past the pain and suffering we have experienced. When we no longer allow our pain and/or feelings of anger and resentment to consume us, we can experience healing, peace, and freedom.
Now that we have a better understanding of what forgiveness is, it’s also important to talk about what it isn’t. Forgiveness is not forgetting what happened or going back to the way things were before we were hurt. It is not denying our pain or excusing someone’s behaviors/actions. Forgiveness allows us to move forward and can potentially repair relationships; however, it does not require that we reconcile with those who hurt us or re-enter into harmful or toxic relationships.
We hope you have a better understanding of what forgiveness is after reading this, and we encourage you to stay tuned for more helpful information about why forgiveness is important in healthy relationships, how to ask for forgiveness, and how to navigate situations where it is hard to forgive.