Louise Thompson: The importance of foregiveness
The biggest F-word there is. Forgiveness. Easy to say. Hard to do. We tend to not want to do it for the very good reason: “we don’t want to let them off the hook”. I hear this again and again.
When someone has done something we perceive to be so boundary-transgressing that they require our forgiveness, we get all tangled up in the push and pull of “letting them off the hook”. Believing that by forgiving whatever the betrayal, or series of betrayals are (and believe me, in my job I hear it ALL) we are in some way condoning their actions, attitude, choices. Which we absolutely do not want to do: There is no way we support, approve or condone. Forgiving can feel like we are complicit with the original hurt. So we hold on to our betrayal, slight or pain. There is nowhere else for it to go.
The thing is, the transgressors are not on the hook: You are. You become stuck in the pain of the original injury through unforgiveness.
- You can forgive and still choose not to see that person ever again.
- You can forgive and absolutely have the strongest boundaries about any future communication or contact.
- You can forgive and be absolutely clear you will never put yourself in that position again.
- You can forgive even if they are not sorry and that apology will never come.
They are not dangling on the hook of guilt and shame you imagine them to be. The forgiveness is not for them — it’s for you. It gives you peace in your heart: and, let’s face it, your heart is the one that’s important here. Let it go, and let yourself off the hook.
Through her online Happiness programme “Wellbeing Warriors”, life coach Louise Thompson helps people unlock their happiest and healthiest life. Sign up at louisethompson.com and find more from Louise at bite.co.nz/wellbeing