Behind The Scenes: "How does one forgive someone who has wronged them?

Instagram message from Anonymous:

“Hi. How do I forgive someone who has wronged me terribly. They have caused me so much pain and stolen pieces of my life that I cannot get back. But I know it’s important to forgive them. How do I do this?”

Forgiveness is over-rated. Too often it’s used as a default action “required” to move or or through something. Nope. If you want to forgive someone, forgive them. if you don’t want to or it feels hard, don’t. It’s healthier to remind ourself what we can control and focus on that: personal boundaries, willingness to listen to gut instinct & honoring our values.

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People who advocate forgiveness are not necessarily our people, the right people, aka our money team. They don’t know us like we do. So imposing their beliefs on us, or trying to, is not respectful, kind or fair.

The idea of forgiveness feels very trendy right now...kind of like “good vibes only”. (If we could change how we feel if we try hard enough.🙄) But the importance of forgiveness is such a dangerous narrative. Especially for survivors whose experience(s) of abuse is minimized and/or marginalized by healthcare professionals, mental health providers and even the most “well-intended” social or human services folx.

Survivors always know what’s best for them. They, like you, Anonymous, are the expert on themselves. Maybe practice start listening to yourself and see what comes up then. And if it feels as if you want to forgive, go for it. But listen to you first, then make decisions. It’s only that path that will steer us toward where we want to go.

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Do you have a question? Share it here and I’ll answer it in a future blog post. Likely sooner rather than later.