Forgiveness Can Be Tainted

Forgiveness should create a safe distance between you and those that abused you. If you see forgiveness as reconciliation you are blending together two separate things.

Let’s look at these words a little closer.

What Is Forgiveness?
Psychologists generally define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.

greater good magazine – berkeley education

What then is reconciliation? It is defined as: 1) the restoration of friendly relations; 2) the action of making one view or belief compatible with another.

Can you see how drastically different these two are? Forgiveness and reconciliation are two completely different things. They do not belong together and yet so many drive the two together as one.

If you want to reconcile with your abuser, you are free to do so, but don’t call it forgiveness — call it reconciliation. The same is true for forgiveness. If you want to forgive, do so — but don’t call it reconciliation.

Just as important as defining what forgiveness is, though, is understanding what forgiveness is not. Experts who study or teach forgiveness make clear that when you forgive, you do not gloss over or deny the seriousness of an offense against you. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting, nor does it mean condoning or excusing offenses. Though forgiveness can help repair a damaged relationship, it doesn’t obligate you to reconcile with the person who harmed you, or release them from legal accountability.

greater good magazine – berkeley education

Published by Gracedxoxo

I have the courage to tell my story to help others embrace theirs.

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