Q: Dear Soul Analyse,
I’m finding it difficult to forgive some people for things that have happened in the past and I feel that this is holding me back.
Some of it is quite trivial but I’m also deeply hurt by the actions of some of my family members.
I’m kind of stuck in the mindset that if I forgive them, I am excusing their behaviour, and without even receiving an apology, this is very hard for me to do. But at the same time I know that forgiveness will help me to move on, so it’s a catch-22 situation.
Is there a way to forgive these people, without letting them off the hook?
A: Dear Anon,
Thank you for your question.
Forgiveness is a crucial part of self-growth; it is not possible to move forward if you are always being held back by the past.
There are many misconceptions about forgiveness, some of which are listed below:
- Forgiveness means you forget it ever happened
- Forgiveness excuses the other person’s behaviour
- Forgiveness means you are helping the other person
- Forgiveness means you are no longer allowed feelings about the situation
All of the above statements are false – while many people are reluctant to forgive, the truth is that forgiveness is something you do for yourself and it quite often only involves you.
Accepting what has happened, and allowing yourself to move on, is fundamental to your happiness. The alternative is that you spend the rest of your life torturing yourself over something that has been and gone.
‘How to Remove Negativity from your life in one Easy Step‘, talks about how the ego often stands in the way of forgiveness.
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