“We are oftentimes reluctant to forgive others because we think that, by doing so, we are making the statement that: (1) We’re okay with what they did, (2) We’re letting them off the hook and not expecting them to be accountable for their actions, (3) We’re weak or foolish and not expecting them to be accountable for their actions, (3) We’re weak or foolish, or (4) We’re inviting further abuse and victimization.
None of these are true. They are all fear thoughts. They are fabrications of our ego mind, designed to sabotage our efforts by encouraging us to withhold forgiveness. The truth is that we perceive withholding forgiveness as a way or us to punish people for hurting us, but…what we’re really doing is punishing ourselves in the process. The truth is that forgiveness is strength, not weakness. Forgiveness doesn’t say to people that we are doormats or suckers, or that it’s okay to victimize and abuse us again.
The truth is forgiveness doesn’t mean we condone their actions or are suggesting they not be held accountable. The truth is that forgiveness doesn’t mean that we have to be friends with the person we’re forgiving or that we have to tolerate their presence or behavior. Forgiveness simply means that we’re letting go of our resentments, our judgments, and our need to make others feel guilty for our own peace of mind and for our own ultimate success.”
Walter E. Jacobson, M.D., in “Forgive to Win”
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