Is Forgiveness Really the Answer?

“Forgive others.” Yikes. That’s asking a whole lot. In fact, I think it’s asking too much.

Forgiveness isn’t the end all be all to happiness. Forgiveness shouldn’t be rushed or even expected.

When it comes to some wrongdoings toward me many years ago, I don’t harbor resentment or anger that only poisons my heart. I recognize that the actions and the words were cruel and inexcusable. But I don’t let it weigh me down or stop me from living my life to the best I know how.

Maybe it’s semantics. Maybe what I described is “forgiveness;” however, I refuse to label certain situations as such. Some people don’t get to be forgiven in my opinion. I think it’s tremendously unfair to tell people to “forgive” their abusers and tormentors. Forgiveness isn’t warranted always. Forgiveness isn’t a given. And I think that’s okay. As long as it isn’t holding us back from living our lives and loving ourselves.

As long as we aren’t being weighed down by hate and loathing and pain—who says we owe anyone our forgiveness? And I’ve heard the whole “forgive others to help yourself, not them.” But what if what someone needs is to be angry in the moment? What if someone needs to focus on healing? Why shove this expectation of forgiveness on them? Why rush someone into something they aren’t ready for?

So forgive or don’t forgive. Just live your life the best you know how.

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