Learning to Move On
How do you forgive someone? First, it is important to know
what forgiving someone means- and what it doesn’t mean. Forgiveness is freeing
yourself from the emotional weight of a transgression. Forgiveness doesn’t mean
that the betrayal you experienced was okay, that life will go on as normal, or
that you must forget.
Whether the transgression was large or small, forgiving someone is important- even when you can’t forget. It is also important to know that you can forgive someone even if they never offer an apology. Being able to forgive is a form of strength and more of a gift to yourself than the other person.
Forgiveness and Reconciliation
While reconciliation can be thought of as restoring or repairing a relationship, it can actually be the start of something completely different. Reconciling with someone after you forgive them is an opportunity for a new chapter with that person. You don’t have to forget what they did, and the relationship you choose to have with them post-transgression may be different than the one you had before forgiving them. Reconciliation is dependent on the ability to regain trust in the person.
Forgiveness and Cutting Your Losses
When forgiving someone who greatly wronged you, it is sometimes important to create and maintain a boundary with that person. There may be no room for reconciliation, and you may choose to cut your losses. Moving on without that person in your life may be the best thing to preserve your mental and emotional health. You are not bound to keep someone around who has harmed you, even if you have forgiven them.
The wound left by the other person may be so deep that you
never want to speak to them again. You may even choose to forgive them in your
own mind without including them in the process. Ultimately, forgiveness is a
journey that can be one-sided if need be.
There may be more than just pain that is wedged between you
and another person. You may have lost contact information, or they may have
even passed on. In this case, you may choose to forgive them in a ceremonial
way or even seek a Medium’s assistance in getting your message across.
Forgiveness in Marriage and Relationships
Forgiveness for a loved one may come easier than forgiving
an offense from someone we are not close to. In relationships, we have a deeper
understanding of the offending person and therefore can extend a further range
We often hear the relationship tip of not going to bed
angry. This is advice that is advocating resolution and forgiveness at the end
of each day. The ability to forgive and to ask for forgiveness is vital to the
health and longevity of a relationship. Marriage is where both people are
committed to making things work for the long term. Not forgiving each other can
lead to resentments that are like a destructive poison to the foundation of a
Forgiveness From a Religious Standpoint
In many religions, forgiveness is key both for oneself and
for others. Forgiveness in religion often is a path towards enlightenment,
spiritual freedom, and peace.
“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”- Lewis B. Smedes, Christian Author
“Forgive others not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace” – Buddha
“If you want to see brave, see those who can forgive.” – Bhagavad Gita, Hindu Scripture
Forgiveness for Physical Health
While forgiving someone can help put your mind at ease, it can also benefit your entire body. It may feel like someone has broken your heart, but that pain can lead to physical problems if not resolved. Harboring anger and resentment can affect your mood, but it can also lead to deeper mental health issues and wreak havoc on your physical health too. Of course, any and all medical concerns should be discussed with a medical professional first.
Acknowledging the Feelings Around Forgiveness
Forgiveness is a positive choice that often surrounds many
negative emotions. It is important to be able to acknowledge and pass through
those feelings in order to be able to forgive. This may look like accepting new
truths, mourning losses, and reframing expectations.
Sometimes you may feel as if you aren’t ready to forgive
someone. It is important to remember that forgiveness is a process, and
processes can take time. It can be helpful to talk to someone on the outside of
the situation about what is happening so that you may move into a more positive
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