Why should I forgive – they’re not sorry!
Oh boy—will this line of reasoning ever get you in trouble.
For one thing, if you wait until someone apologizes before you forgive, you give power to the one who hurt you. They are determining what you will do and when you will do it.
I will not forgive until… puts you on hold; it puts you on someone else’s schedule. You’re giving the power to decide away and you’re giving it away to someone who has hurt you, even if the hurt was unintentional.
There are several dangers to giving your power away.
One danger is that you will become bitter and resentful. You will likely torture yourself by re-living the hurtful event over and over in your mind until you find yourself unable to break free from the momentum you’ve created.
A one-time situation becomes an ongoing event and with each re-creation of the scenario you become more angry and bound.
Another danger is that you will develop a victim mentality.
Again, by waiting for an apology and continually rehearsing the circumstances that caused the pain, you will eventually develop a sense of helplessness, hopelessness, numbness and finally depression.
Whether you become bitter and resentful or develop a victim mentality you will feel trapped and unable to move forward.
I hope that something is welling up inside of you right now; thoughts such as these:
- I refuse to give someone else that power over me…
- I will decide what I must do and then do it…
- I reject domination and control from the pain of my past…
- I deserve better than this.
If you are thinking along these lines, I applaud you and shout in agreement: “YES!!!” And then I say this… to take your power back you must FORGIVE.
You are not caving in or being a weakling if you forgive.
On the contrary, you are demonstrating your strength of character and your determination to be in control of your own attitudes and emotions.
You can be free from the trap of bitterness, resentment and a victim mentality. You walk out of that trap one step at a time.
Don’t wait until you feel strong enough to forgive, or “over it” enough to forgive. Strength and healing come as you forgive—not before. It is sometimes an emotion you feel, but more times than not, it’s a decision you make.
We encourage you right now to invest a few more minutes to learn what forgiveness really means.MORE ON FORGIVENESS