If I forgive someone, does it mean I condone their behavior? Or that I trust that person and want to be friends with him/her, and that our relationship is healed. No, it doesn’t mean any of these things. Forgiveness is a completely separate issue. Sometimes you can repair a relationship, and sometimes you can’t. But you can forgive someone… for your own sake, not anyone else’s. So, let’s be clear on what forgiveness is not:
Forgiveness is Not a Pardon
- It does not mean that the injury is repaired.
- It does not mean that what happened was ok.
- It does not mean that trust which was broken has been restored.
- It does not mean that there won’t be consequences.
- It does not mean that you collude with, condone, or approve of what happened.
- It does not mean you are responsible for someone else’s action.
- It is not your fault that this person did this to you.
- You do not have to fix the mess that someone else made.
- You do not have to carry someone else’s burden just because you were harmed by him/her.
- You do not have to feel guilty for what someone else did.
- You do not have to make it all better.
Forgiveness is letting go of something awful that does not need to be in your life. It is giving yourself a fresh start and choosing what gets to stay in your life and what has to go. Forgiveness does not take away the hurt, but it does start the healing process. Forgiving someone else is loving yourself.