1. You don’t actually have to forgive them for what they put you through if you’re not ready. Some people find peace in forging others because it helps them sleep better at night — but maybe you’re not there yet. Maybe you’re never going to be there. Everyone processes their heartaches differently, so you shouldn’t feel pressured to forgive someone who hurt you. However, you cannot allow yourself to dwell on it either. You need to accept what happened to you and move forward without them in your world.
2. Forgiving them doesn’t mean you’re suddenly going to be buddy-buddy with them again. You might see why this person treated you so poorly. You might understand their thought process. You might even be able to forgive them for causing you so much pain. But you have to keep in mind, the act of forgiveness doesn’t entail anything else. You can forgive this person without allowing them back into your world, without giving them another chance, without acting like everything is okay between the two of you again. Just because you forgive them for their past mistakes doesn’t mean you want to keep them around and wait for them to make those same mistakes again.
3. Forgiving someone doesn’t mean the way they treated you was okay after all. There are way too many people who mess up, earn forgiveness, and then go right back to doing exactly what they were doing because they feel like they can get away with murder without any consequences. That is a dangerous way to think. Just because you’ve been able to find it in your heart to forgive them doesn’t mean you originally overreacted. It doesn’t mean you suddenly realized it was stupid to be angry in the first place. And it certainly doesn’t mean they get to keep repeating the same bad behavior. It means you were kind enough to forgive them and they should be kind enough to do better in the future.
4. Forgiveness isn’t always enough. Before you forgive someone over hurting you and continue trying to make a relationship work with them, you have to ask yourself whether you’re really okay with what they’ve done, whether you can really put it behind you, whether you’re really going to be okay with them moving forward. Sometimes, even though your forgiveness is genuine, it’s not enough. Sometimes, things will never go back to the way they were because the dynamic has changed. Your trust has been broken. This person has shown you a side of themselves you never realized existed.
5. Forgiving yourself is important, too. It’s wonderful if you’re able to forgive those who have hurt you and move on without any hatred or bitterness or resentment. However, you also need to focus on forgiving yourself for your past mistakes. As long as you’ve learned something from where you’ve went wrong, as long as you attempt to do better in the future, you should be easier on yourself. You should offer yourself the same forgiveness you’ve given everyone else.