“Forgiveness means giving up all hope of a better past.” Lily Tomlin
Forgiving is complex. Among other things, forgiveness means being able to let go of the hurt and pain from a situation that causes us much grief. Some people expect that once they apologize for something they said or did that they are forgiven. It’s not that easy.
There are many layers to forgiveness, including how egregious the act was or the words were, how deeply we feel the pain of that act or those words, the nature of the deed or words that hurt us, who asks for forgiveness and how forgiveness is requested. Sometimes when we seem to be unable to forgive, we may not be ready to let go of particularly hurtful memories and emotions about the other person or the situation. Maybe, too, we haven’t forgiven ourselves for something. These and other reasons preclude our willingness, ability and readiness to forgive. And the question often arises – do I have to forgive?
In a future blog, I’ll talk more about the perspective of the person asking for forgiveness. Today’s questions from the ConflictMastery Quest(ions) are for people who are not forgiving someone for something said or done in an interpersonal dispute. Consider a situation in which this applies to you and see if some or all of these questions are helpful.
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