A few weeks back, we wrote a post about how difficult it is for people to say “I’m sorry” when they wronged their spouse or a person they are in a relationship with. But granting forgiveness can be just as difficult. How can you grant someone forgiveness when you are still soooo angry and hurt, when you want revenge, when you don’t want to be perceived as weak, and when you are afraid it will happen again? But when you hold on to that pain and anger, the only person it’s hurting is you. You can’t move on to healing. I recently heard author and speaker Dr. Scott Haltzman talk about “Apology and Forgiveness,” and he told us several things about forgiveness that could help couples move towards healing in their relationships:
Forgiveness is a choice 1 of 8
You can't force a person to forgive you. Just because you are in a relationship with a person, they don't owe you forgiveness. The choice to forgive is solely up to the person that is granting it.
Once you forgive, then it is a choice that you will have to make daily as you move toward healing. Quote by Martin Luther King Jr.
Forgiveness does not erase the memory. 2 of 8
I have heard the phrase forgive and forget. But please don't fool yourself into thinking that once you grant forgiveness or have been granted forgiveness, that the transgression will be forgotten. Quote by Thomas Stephen Szasz.
Forgiveness will not erase the pain. 3 of 8
Saying the words: "I forgive you" will not magically erase the pain that you are experiencing. The pain will lessen over time. Someone wrote to us recently and told us that her boyfriend of seven years just left her. She wanted to know if she would ever be happy again. I told her yes, but that it would take time. In the article Now I am Free; The Steps I Took to Overcome Loss, author Michelle Cameron says that you must give yourself time to go through process of grieving and accepting the loss (which could be to a lost job, death of a loved one, loss of trust, loss of a relationship.) Quote by C.R. Strahan from his novel The Roan Maverick.
Forgiveness does not rebuild trust. 4 of 8
Forgiveness does not rebuild trust. It opens the door to the possibility of rebuilding trust. In our movie, Still Standing, Speech Thomas (the front man for the Grammy Award-winning group Arrested Development) shares with us that it took time to rebuild trust with his wife after he confessed to infidelity in their marriage. He said rebuilding that trust was like rebuilding a home. He destroyed the foundation and he had to rebuild it brick by brick. Check out what Speech has to say here in the trailer. Quote by Wm. Paul Young.
There is no set timetable forgiveness. 5 of 8
Oftentimes, the person that has hurt you wants to speed-up this process. But you can't force a person to forgive you... it has be freely given. Quote by author Yvonne Wood.
Forgiveness will allow you to free up your emotional energy. 6 of 8
Let go of your anger and take back control of your life. Quote by: Author Stephen Richards
Forgiveness is good for your health. 7 of 8
When you forgive, you will release a lot of stress and anxiety that you have been carrying around. Quote by Nelson Mandela
You also need to be able to grant yourself forgiveness. 8 of 8
This one is big for me. I have done some things and made some choices in my life that I totally regret. And I had to learn to forgive myself and let go of the shame, the hurt, and the pain that I caused. This is also a healing process.