Is forgiving REALLY necessary to moving forward/growing?
Forgive (dictionary definition): pardon, excuse, absolve, exonerate, let off, cancel obligation
New Age (as well as Christian) precepts warn us that it’s only by forgiving those who’ve wronged us that we can move on and grow ourselves or be good people. In response, we pressure ourselves to let go of our anger and upset at those who’ve hurt us, we force ourselves to be okay with whatever it is/was. When we do this, the truth (as I see it) is that we are actually further violating/wounding our already violated/wounded selves.
Currently popular New Age “law of attraction” flap would have us believe that “feeling such [so-called negative] feelings will only draw more of the same to us.” Yet, shutting off these feelings when they arise forces them below the level of our awareness and stows them into our bodies wreaking havoc inside of us.
Allowing ourselves to feel our anger, upset, outrage is actually what’s essential to our healing and growth. Making safe space to fully experience and vent the energy of those feelings – by our selves, not on someone and without judging ourselves for feeling/doing so – is what heals us. It takes as long as it takes, though much less time if we fully embrace rather than judge our right to have these feelings.
The behaviors of those who’ve physically, sexually and/or emotionally abused us, in childhood or as adults are, more often than not, truly unforgiveable and outrageous. When we allow ourselves to feel and know that, we can come to a place of accepting that these misguided victimizers were doing the best they could with the consciousness available to them. We can see them as emotionally crippled beings. We can understand that they were unable to act differently. And, at the same time, we can know that their acts were unacceptable and unforgivable. We do not need to pardon, excuse, absolve or exonerate their acts even as we understand that what they did was all they were capable of doing at the time.