“You will always be a victim until you forgive”
Forgiveness means different things to different people. Generally, however, it involves a decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge.
Psychologists generally define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they deserve forgiving.
Immigrants, like everyone else struggle with forgiveness. It is possible that many individuals may still be hurt by incidents that occurred in their home countries many years back.
Forgiveness is therefore that emotional change that occurs within the person who has been wronged. It is important to define and understand what forgiveness is, and what is is not
What forgiveness is:
- Letting go of grudges
- The decision to overcome pain that was inflicted by another person.
- Letting go of anger and resentment
- Treating the offender with compassion, even though they are not entitled to it.
- To forgive is creating an opportunity for the other person to change.
- Forgiving opens channels through which trust and respect can be rebuilt, and love can begin to flow
Forgiveness is not…
- Reconciliation (repairing or returning to a relationship).
- Forgetting the injustice.
- Condoning or excusing the offender’s behavior.
- Granting legal mercy to the offender.
- “Letting go” but wishing for revenge
- Forgiveness is not about letting someone else off the hook – it’s getting yourself off the hook.
- It is not about forgetting but being able to remember wisely
- Forgiving is not a single event but a process
- It is not about being weak but about re-claiming the power to choose.
Forgive and stay powerful
To say “I can’t or won’t forgive” is handing control over our lives to the person who hurt us. Choosing to forgive can create a sense of power.