So far in this series we have talked about what forgiveness does for you, what you need to do to achieve it, and what state of mind is required to be successful. But no how-to guide on such a difficult topic would be complete without addressing some of the misconceptions that surround the subject.
In this segment we are going to look at what forgiveness is not. If that sounds odd, just bear with us. People often choose not to forgive someone because they misunderstand what forgiveness is, and what it isn’t. So here is a list of things that forgiveness is not, just for your clarification…
Forgiveness does not mean that you are okay with what happened:
Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you are going to lie down and be someone’s doormat, or that you are saying that what happened to you is okay. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that it didn’t hurt, or that you didn’t suffer. It doesn’t mean that you are condoning the behavior. It simply means that you are choosing not to bear a grudge or be burdened by resentment and anger. If someone hurt you, then what they did was wrong, but it doesn’t mean that you have to carry that stone around in your heart for the rest of your life.
Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself, not anyone else:
When you forgive someone, you are doing it for YOU, not for them. So don’t think for a minute that this means that you are doing them a favor, or that you are exhibiting weakness. You don’t even have to tell the person who hurt you that you have forgiven them if seeing them or speaking to them is too painful. Forgiveness is all about releasing emotional poisons and choosing to be free. So don’t feel like forgiving someone will mean that you are handing them a gift on a silver platter, because it doesn’t. This gift is about you, not anyone else!
Forgiveness doesn’t mean that there are no more problems to be addressed:
When your spouse cheats on you, is verbally abusive to you, or tells lies about you, there are significant problems in your relationship. Forgiving doesn’t make them go away. It does allow you to move past the grievance without staying bitter, but it doesn’t fix what’s wrong. Any issues or problems that led to the grievance you are working to forgive will need to be separately addressed. Forgiving simply means that you aren’t holding a grudge, not that everything is hunky-dory.
Hopefully this helped to allay some of your fears and address some of your concerns about forgiveness. In the next piece, which will be our last in this series, we will wrap up the last few facts about forgiveness. Until then, if you or a loved one need help with divorce, custody, visitation or any other family law issue, call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245. We are available 24/7 to help you during your time of crisis.