I have been thinking about forgiveness a lot since I mentioned it in my last post. Forgiveness has always been something I struggled with and have been working on. Over time, I’ve noticed many lies told about forgiveness that are part of the reason I have difficulty with it. I thought I would address them in case anyone is in the same spot.
1. Forgiveness lets the person who hurt you off of the hook.
Forgiveness is part of your healing. It doesn’t mean that you are saying that what happened was okay. It is you saying that you will no longer be controlled by it.
2. Refusing to forgive makes you stronger.
When you refuse to forgive, you have to create things around you to protect yourself. You end up building up walls around you, covering yourself in armor, and forging weapons that you carry with you at all times.This is why people think that they are stronger. Unfortunately, what ends up happening is that it all collapses around you, burying you alive. You remain trapped, while the person who hurt you goes free.
3. The person who hurts you needs to ask you for forgiveness.
Ultimately, forgiveness has nothing to do with the person who hurt you. Whether you forgive or not, the person who hurt you goes on with their life. Most of the time they don’t think they did anything wrong and will never ask for your forgiveness. It’s up to you whether you will move on or not.
Forgiveness isn’t about anyone but you. It’s part of your healing and you will never heal without it. I remember reading about a rape support group who’s motto was “never forgive, never forget, never be a victim again!” It broke my heart that vulnerable people are being taught things like that. Those women will never heal as long as they continue to get such advice. However, it is so common. I see such advice every time there is a tragedy. We all need to learn to put these lies behind us because they are hindering our healing.0