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Forgiveness graphicWhen we’re Starting Over Single, many people will tell us that we must learn to forgive. While forgiveness is a necessary part of our healing process, it is definitely a process. We cannot step into forgiveness immediately, nor do we need to reconcile with the “ex” as a byproduct of forgiveness. Even as the grief journey is different for each of us, so forgiveness also looks different.

So…for the next several blog posts, we’ll work through this difficult topic beginning with a few facts about what forgiveness is NOT.

  • Forgiveness does not mean that you approve of what the person did.
  • Forgiveness does not mean that you need to excuse or justify what the person did.
  • Forgiveness does not mean that you need to protect the person from the consequences.
  • Forgiveness does not mean that you are required to hide the truth for the sake of keeping the peace.
  • Forgiveness does not mean that you must try to forget the offense.
  • Forgiveness does not mean that you should minimize the severity of the offense.
  • Forgiveness does not mean that you must relinquish feelings of hurt or anger.
  • Forgiveness does not mean that you must reconcile.
  • Forgiveness does not mean that you have to trust that person again.
  • Forgiveness is not something you can process quickly.

Author of “Shattered Vows,” Debra Laaser, describes how difficult forgiveness is, “One of the most difficult challenges of the journey through the pain of betrayal is getting rid of anger, resentment and bitterness.”

Yes, forgiveness is a challenge, and we don’t want our souls to be tarnished by resentment and bitterness. So as we work through this topic, let’s grab hold of the truth.

Forgiveness is NOT denying our feelings. It means we protect our hearts and set boundaries around our emotional selves. As we choose to forgive, we begin another part of the healing process.

What about you? What do you think forgiveness is NOT?

©2014 Starting Over Single

 

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