Understanding Forgiveness | Psychology Today


I have seen the idea of “forgive and let go” absolutely harm people who have suffered abuse and trauma. Such a philosophy and practice can make an abused individual return and try over and over with a fake contrite and repent abuser. Result? More abuse and often worse.

I have also seen this same philosophy and practice make sufferers feel guilty and wrong if they can’t “forgive”. Such guilt is not warranted and not healing and not realistic. Also, I have seen this philosophy and practice render an abused or traumatized person passive and helpless and avoidant. Often the abuser or traumatizer actually hopes their victim will become passive, helpless, avoidant so they can get away with cruelty easily. And many do.

This philosophy and practice is also disrespectful to your own internal soul and realm which will feel that the abuser is being granted more love and respect than your own Self.

Yes, freedom does include letting that other person go, releasing that person from your physical and personal world so you can move forward with life. But releasing and being free of a person does not mean forgiveness (which even biblically is not how forgiveness works). I’ve discussed this in one of the videos on this site in much detail. Please go there and contemplate your release which is not the same as you forgiving them. (AbuseTraumaRecovery.com, free access with code Recovery2020 or contact me). Love to hear your reactions and thoughts. drcarolfrancis@gmail.com.

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