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Some Thoughts on Forgiveness

  • Forgiveness is ultimately, and in a non-pejorative sense, a selfish act. You do it for yourself, not the object of your forgiveness. The hate, the resentment, the bitterness you feel- that is a stone on your own heart, that you remove with the forgiveness. As for atonement, as for absolution- you can't give these things, no matter how much you forgive. The only person who can remove the guilt, the shame, the sorrow is you. You may free yourself by forgiving others, but only partly. To be truly free you, and only you, must also forgive yourself.
  • The other party doesn't have to admit they were wrong, or at fault, for you to forgive them. What they feel is irrelevant in this context- this is about your emotional state. Neither do they have to know that you forgive them. You don't need their permission.
  • Forgiving does not mean forgetting. Forgetting does not mean a vendetta. It just means you now have more information on how the world works. Adapt to it. Deal with it. And move forward.

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