On Forgiveness

It's been a while since I wrote anything about forgiveness. Around the time of my last post on the subject, I was in the midst of processing a relationship from my past. This is a great example of how one might handle forgiveness when the other person refuses to forgive you, for whatever reasons they have. While in the throws of wrestling with a past relationship and all that it entails, I realized that perhaps part of the problem was that the other person had refused to forgive me. So, I sat down and wrote an email explaining what I am doing (exploring forgiveness) and asked if he had forgiven me or if he could. Just the act of writing that letter made me feel much better. I waited for a response for a few days afterward. None came. So what'd I do? I let it go. I realized that it didn't really matter whether this person had forgiven me or not. What matters is if I forgive myself, which I do. I forgive myself. For what? For hurting someone I cared about dearly. For failing to live up to my own expectations. For choosing a path I swore never to chose. For not realizing sooner that the relationship that he and I were in was destructive from both sides. And, I applaud myself for using those experiences and changing. I am a better person.

This is all a process. One down, more to go.



  1. I may have written this to you before (forgive me if I repeat myself!) but one definition of forgiveness that I learned in therapy a few years ago helped me let go of all the anger I was holding on to towards my Mom, anger that was mostly hurting me, but also her.

    "Forgiveness means accepting you cannot change the past."

    It's sometimes easier to forgive someone else than to forgive ourselves. I always bothers me that there are a few people out there that I haven't been able to make peace with because they won't respond. Then I realize that need to make peace is mostly my ego. and that I need to let it go.

    Sounds like you are doing such *good* emotional work, Catherine! and you are such an inspiration.


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