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This seems to be a topic of discussion this week among many for some reason.  Not sure if it’s the impending holiday season, the start of a new year or the fact that I’ve been reading many blogs about affairs and such.  Regardless of the reason, I find myself thinking about this word, act or whatever you feel it should be called.  It seems to me there is a confusion in what this really means.  I’m seeing/hearing/reading about people who say they aren’t sure if they can or should forgive the person that wronged them because people would think they are weak or stupid.  I, too, have struggled with this.  I’m slow to forgive the person who wronged me because it’s insulting.  Why should I forgive them?  This will only mean that they’ll just wrong me again if I let it be known they are forgiven.

To me, forgiveness is not the reset button.  It’s not something you do and that means the act is undone.  It’s not something you say and the words are no unsaid.  I believe you can forgive and still maintain your “dignity”.  You can forgive your spouse for having an affair, yet not accept them back.  You can forgive your sister for running her mouth and saying unthinkable things and still not have the same relationship with her as before.

On the contrary, I do believe to fully forgive you do need to let it go.  You need to have that weight lifted from your shoulders and your heart.  You need to deal with whatever it is you need to, forgive and you need to move on.  You need to forgive your spouse for their wayward ways and move on with your life.  You need to forgive your sister for her bad choice of words and move on.  Of course it doesn’t all happen over night but it needs to happen.

I’ve forgiven my husband for ruining our wedding night and getting blasted drunk.  I no longer carry that weight around.  I’ve forgiven him and we’ve moved on.  I’ve not forgotten about it and neither has he.  But we don’t let it interfere with our lives.  Now that might seem meaningless because it’s something sort of ridiculous.  But I do apply that same principle for more difficult times.

Forgive, forget what you can but do know it’s possible to forgive and move on without losing your dignity.