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The Difference Between Forgiveness and Letting Go

There’s a lot of confusion regarding forgiveness and letting go. I think certain things are unforgivable. For example, molesting a child or continuously betraying someone’s trust are, in my book, unforgivable. Many people will get on their high horses and say, “You have to be open, receptive, compassionate, and let go of past hurts.” No, you don’t! There are times when it’s perfectly healthy to make an appraisal of a person in your life and decide that you’re not going to stay in contact.

Someone only deserves forgiveness if he/she has demonstrated the 4 R’s. This means that he/she:

  1. Takes responsibility for what he/she has done.

  2. Shows true remorse.

  3. Does something to repair it.

  4. Does not repeat it.

If someone fails to follow through on any one of these, you should not forgive that person. Now, just because you don’t forgive someone doesn’t mean you should spend every day frothing about him or her. Instead, you need to let go. Assess the situation, put a label on it, and then drop it. Will you forget everything? No. Will it never bother you again? No. It’s always going to bother you, but when it raises its ugly head, you can put it in its place. Remember, a bird can land on your head, but it’s up to you to not let it build a nest.

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Tags: Abuse, Attitude, Friendships, Personal Responsibility, Relationships, Relatives, Surviving a Shark Attack (on Land), Tips, Values
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