What is the price we pay for forgiveness?

Forgiveness is a very tricky thing. We are told that forgiveness is essential to have a happy life. But what about when it’s impossible to forgive? There are many myths about forgiveness—including the idea that you are somehow “required” to forgive someone.

Forgiveness is multilayered.

You don’t just forgive someone, and that’s it. Forgiveness can take years. You may feel yourself letting go of hurt little by little until one day you feel a weight lifted off of you. You may feel like you have forgiven someone, and then the next day, it feels like it never happened. All of this is normal.

Forgiveness is up to the individual.

Anyone who tells you that you “need to” forgive someone or that you need to do it within a certain time frame is just plain wrong. You don’t have to forgive someone. Period. If you do choose to forgive, the time frame is completely up to you. And your personal time frame isn’t anyone’s business but yours.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean you condone behavior.

When you forgive someone, it doesn’t mean that you are saying what they did was okay. It is a common misconception that forgiveness means condoning. Forgiveness is more about giving up the hope that the past could have been any different.