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  • Writer's pictureDr. Keisha

The Other Side of Forgiveness…Part 2

First I would request that you read Forgiveness Part I before reading this post in order to have a foundation of the thoughts to follow Have you ever done something to someone?  You apologized, attempted to show that you have changed and asked for forgiveness.  And they still did not forgive you.  They may not have expressed their lack of forgiveness directly – but you get the point.  They may not speak to you, or use sarcasm in dialogue with you, or just avoid you altogether.  Regardless, you get it that they are not ready to forgive.

Well, there could be several reasons for this but I will only take time to address what initially comes to mind.  For some, refusing to forgive can be means of control.  Please do not confuse this with manipulation.  To be wronged by someone inherently validates the loss of some control.  When people are in a position to regain some control; they tend to hold on to it for dear life.  This is usually due to a fear that they could be hurt if this control is lost.

Although this may be intellectually understandable, it is important to remember that emotionally – unresolved anger breeds resentment.  Unresolved resentment impacts individuals other than the intended target of that resentment.  The resentment becomes generalized and more readily accessible. 

Basically, holding on to resentment can become toxic and impact your friends, family and future relationships.  You begin to gauge the behaviors of others through those ‘resentful’ lenses.  This can be problematic.  These emotions can keep one stuck and free from moving beyond the hurt.  It also hinders one’s ability to build future healthy relationships and to grow as an individual. 

To conclude, it is important to understand what hinders one from forgiving in order to address it.  If resentment is at the root, then it is important to honestly address those feelings in order to regain healthy control over the situation.

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