Forgiveness

The Nature of Forgiveness

Most psychologists recommend mustering up genuine compassion for those who have wronged us and moving on from the past, instead of allowing bitterness and anger to perturb emotional well-being. It is critical to remember that forgiveness doesn’t automatically mean a reconciliation. We don’t have to return to the same relationship or accept the same harmful behaviors from someone who has hurt us.

Although burying the hatchet usually brings peace to the soul, there may be some exceptions to that advice, such as a case of sexual abuse. Sometimes a victim becomes more empowered when they give themselves permission not to forgive. Equally, and perhaps more important, is learning to acknowledge your missteps and forgive yourself. Self-forgiveness is often the first step toward a more loving and positive relationship with yourself, and therefore with others.

Forgiving Yourself, Forgiving Others

Forgiveness can be challenging, especially when the offending party offers either an insincere apology or nothing at all. However, it’s often the healthiest path forward, allowing us to acknowledge the wound, understand the other party’s perspective, and process our emotions in non-hurtful ways. Forgiving another person is one thing, but what happens when we commit the offense ourselves? It’s important to take responsibility for mistakes, but intense guilt and shame aren’t good for anyone in the long run.   

CONNECTED TOPICS

Self-Esteem

Recent Posts