“Darkness can not drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate can not drive out hate; only love can do that” Martin Luther King.
When it comes to how to forgive yourself, we like to believe that it’s a one-stop shop, we’re supposed to forgive and forget and keep life moving. But it isn’t always that easy, is it? There’s a lot of pain, hurt, and emotional baggage in our hearts and lives that we hold on to. We often think that when we forgive that we forget and we accept what happened and are ok with whatever happened in the past. It’s not, forgiveness is much more than just releasing and saying ok. Forgiveness is a journey, it’s a process and it’s not something that just happens overnight.
Types Of Forgiveness
If you’ve ever had to forgive someone or had to ask for forgiveness, you know there is more than one way to forgive someone or forgive yourself. Below we’ll go through the different types of forgiveness and where it’s most likely used.
Exoneration – This type of forgiveness is the one we think of when we think of forgiveness, you “forgive and forget” and move on like nothing ever happened. This is when you want to clean the slate and start back from the beginning. This type of forgiveness is more common in a misunderstanding or when the other person is sincerely remorseful.
Progressive – This kind of forgiveness is when you forgive them in spite of the incident in order to move past the issue. The person has acknowledged what they have done but is not very remorseful about it and you’d rather just move on from the issue than lose the entire relationship. This is the “Forgive but don’t forget” mentality and is more common in romantic relationships where you care more about your partner than the incident.
Release – Typically the more painful of the 3, this is the one where the apology was given but you can’t look past the incident and would rather lose the relationship than keep it going. More common when someone has hurt someone deeply or no longer sees eye to eye sometimes it’s better to move on and have a healthy breakup.
That’s why when people ask “What is forgiveness?” it’s hard to really answer because forgiveness can look like many things. To put it simply Forgiveness is the act of moving forward from a negative incident. It doesn’t mean you forgive and forget, nor do you have to continue the relationship. It means you acknowledged the problem and choose to move forward the best way you see fit.
How To Forgive Yourself