Sounds like a bit of an old-fashioned word hey? It’s a word I use a lot in my vocabulary and life, but I’m not sure I’m in the majority on this one. I’m curious what you think of when you hear the word ‘forgiveness’, and what images come into your mind?
For me, I see people living life fast and hard, making mistakes and hurting their loved ones being hurt by them, and yet still maintaining strong, healthy relationships. I see moments of people being painfully raw and honest with someone about what they’ve done, and hoping for them to be kind in response and not jump down their throat even though they’ve been hurt. I see people trying to understand each other and forgetting another’s wrongs.
For me, forgiveness is a huge part of what makes relationships between imperfect people actually work. Forgiveness has a wonderful priceless outcome, but it comes at a tough cost. If you’re the person who did the wrong thing, you have to be willing to admit you’re wrong, and then try and change and do something different next time. If you’re the person who someone did the wrong thing to, then you have to let it go and don’t hold that wrong against that person anymore. It takes thinking and caring about the other person more than yourself to forgive.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean you let people hurt you over and over and over again. If someone is hurting you and they will not admit this and make change, perhaps you need to step away from that person. Forgiveness just means that you don’t hold what that person did to you against them and hate that person for the rest of your life. And what’s most amazing about forgiveness is, even if it’s not a good idea to stay in touch with the person who hurt you, you won’t feel angry and caught up in hating them even when they’re not around.
I’m curious to hear your thoughts, and if you wanna discuss any of these ideas in detail, have a chat with your Reconnect caseworker.
An afterthought… forgiveness has been researched by psychologists and found to be effective in supporting positive mental and emotional health, and in positive relationships. It’s an old-fashioned word, one which your grandparents or great-grandparents might have used, and whilst we don’t throw it around that much anymore, mental health professionals today still seem to think it’s pretty useful.