In my last blog we looked at the importance genuine sorrow plays in the “sorrow and forgiveness dance” we do as couples to come to reconciliation after something hurtful has been done or said in our relationship. In this blog we will discuss the forgiveness part of the “dance.”
First it is important to understand what forgiveness is not and what forgiveness does not do. Sometimes it is necessary to empty out any misconceptions we may have so that we are able to accept new information.
Forgiveness IS NOT–
- Forgetting. We have memory lobes in our brains that store…memories.
Over time the memory may fade as the hurt is worked through and healing is taking place.
- Condoning what was done. Many times we withhold forgiving because we feel that if we are forgiving we are condoning the bad behavior. That is not true. We can forgive and realize that bad behavior and bad choices are still bad.
Forgiveness DOES NOT–
- Remove our pain.Emotional healing takes time just like physical healing takes time.
- Restore trust. Trust involves being honest, transparent, and consistent over a time span.
- Necessarily lead to reconciliation. Although, in intimate relationships reconciliation is usually the goal.
Now that we have a better understanding of what forgiveness is not and what it does not do, the question is, well,…What is it?
Forgiveness IS –
- A decision to live with the consequences of someone else’s actions or choices that have been hurtful or harmful.
- Giving up the “right” for vengeance, retribution, and negative thoughts of the other person.
- No longer remaining attached to your pain.
- Realizing you cannot change the past. It will never be any better nor will it be any worse. The
- A gift you give yourself!