This is not what forgiveness means
Many people throw forgiveness around a lot. People are told to forgive those who hurt them. But forgiveness is not easy especially if the offender has refused to own up to their misdeeds.
Forgiveness is good but it doesn’t take away the pain people feel when they have been hurt. It doesn’t mean they have to continue being in contact with the person who caused them pain.
Here are five things forgiveness is not:
1. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you can’t talk about what someone did to you. This is where some people get it wrong. They tell you that once you have forgiven someone, you must not talk about what happened to you. This is not realistic. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you should stomach your pain. You have the right to talk about what happened to you as much as you can until you heal.
2. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to remain in a toxic and unhealthy relationship. This is very important for people who keep telling abused women to forgive and accept their abusive spouses back. The fact that a woman forgave her abuser doesn’t mean she should remain in that toxic relationship or marriage. She has to stay away from whoever is hurting her.
3. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you should tolerate similar behaviour in the future. If you have forgiven someone for hurting you, you don’t have to tolerate similar behaviour from other people in the future. You should learn to protect yourself from future abuse. Learn to protect yourself from being hurt and taken for granted anymore.
4. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you no longer feel hurt or the pain is not there. People who expect victims of pain inflicted on them by others to forget about what happened to them are not being truthful and realistic. It’s just not possible.
5. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you should have amnesia and forget what other people did to you. No, it means you went through bad and hurtful but you have chosen to rise above your pain and move on. You won’t forget but when you see the person who hurt you, you don’t get angry anymore.
So people, don’t allow anyone tell you otherwise, your pain is valid and forgiveness doesn’t mean having amnesia about what happened to you.