Updated: Jun 16
When forgiveness is such a personal process, how is it possible to learn it?
As with everything we do in life, it is in identifying the motivator rather than the methodology which will guide you.
There is a societal expectation to always be positive and suppress or ignore our negative emotions and this is often where forgiveness can feel all murky. And rather than moving us closer towards forgiving and learning, this distracts us from our own perceptions.
Forgiveness is as much about understanding ourselves as it is our feelings towards others.
We're often told forgiveness is about brushing over bad behaviour and moving on, forgetting that it happened and not addressing the real issue, but this is toxic positivity in its truest form. When we are taught a notion of forgiveness that doesn't include ourselves or our needs, we were being taught how to deny our own perception of the world. Toxic positivity is like opening a door, seeing what's there, and then slamming it shut and claiming to everyone there's nothing to see.
When we think forgiveness is excusing bad behaviour, we are less likely to grant it for others or to seek it for ourselves.
It is important to remember that forgiveness is a choice, not an obligation.
Obligation always feels like punishment, and the resistance this causes is the antithesis of being able to let something go.
Forgiveness is self-care. It's not outsourcing your well-being and peace to another person; it is being willing to get curious about what emotions you could choose.
And remembering that your choices are your own.