Forgiveness Is About Releasing, Not Pardoning

by Jordan Cook on February 5, 2011

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”  – Mark Twain

Forgiveness is something you MUST have if you are going to be healthy and happy.  The problem is, most people are confused about what forgiveness is.  Is it forgetting?  Is it saying “I’m okay with what you did”?  Is it something you do when you decide not to think about the bad thing that happened to you?  Does it mean you have to let someone get away with treating you like dirt?  Does it mean you shouldn’t stand up for yourself?

What Forgiveness IS

True forgiveness is a decision you make to let go of the wrong that happened to you.  Releasing what hurt you is healthy for you, and for the person who did the hurtful thing.  Emotionally letting go of the pain is healing.

What Forgiveness is NOT

Forgiveness is not shrugging your shoulders and saying “oh well”.  It isn’t saying “I guess I’ll let this one pass.”  It isn’t saying “That was an accident.  I know you didn’t mean to do that.”  It isn’t letting someone continue in their bad ways.  It doesn’t mean you have to let them off the hook.  Forgiveness simply means you are choosing to not be offended anymore.  It is choosing to stop thinking about how bad you were treated.  It is stopping the pity-party.

Forgive Others

Sometimes, people don’t hurt you on purpose.  It is possible that they act the way they do because they are wounded or afraid.  Whatever the reason, it is important to forgive others because sooner or later, you will be the one needing forgiveness.

Forgive Yourself

If you are the one who hurt someone, forgive yourself.  Forgiving yourself will help you like yourself again.  It will free you from feeling guilty.  Like forgiving others, it is a choice you make to put an end the bad feelings you caused.  Use the memory to make sure you never do anything like that again.

“If forgiveness is real, it will help how you feel.”  – Jordan Cook 

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