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By Shelly Pinter

There is a significant difference between forgiving someone for a transgression and forgetting the incident. In the perfect environment no one would ever be the source of your pain; yet all people make mistakes. While it is important to beware of the situation generating a painful event it is just as important to prevent yourself from persistently reminding that individual of those errors from the past. Oftentimes, serious trust offenses require the help of a professional therapist and both parties must participate in this dialogue in order to remedy their relationship.

Forgiveness is a gift it is not a requirement you must provide to another person. You have the right to determine who will be the recipient of your forgiveness.

When to forgive?

It is essential to recognize that often times both parties could have some part in the situation, be aware of any part you could have played in the “movie”. It is imperative to imagine the other side of the situation and can even make it easier to forgive sometimes. Realize that “fair” isn’t always your biggest win.

Pick your Battles: How important is this relationship to you? If this person is a fundamental component in your life consider both addressing the issue and moving on or being open to forgiveness. This does not require you to become a door mat but depending on circumstances and offense, maybe in the “big picture” being right isn’t the most important win in the battle of Life.

Look at Intent: Recognize at what point this person is at in their life. Perhaps their journey has not provided enough awareness to surrounding events and they truly didn’t mean to hurt you with their words or actions.

How to forgive?

Accept the fact that all people make mistakes. Take the time that you need to facilitate a healing but recognize the benefits achieved from allowing forgiveness. Remind yourself that a sincere apology takes courage and humility.

Health benefits: carrying pain and anger has an effect on your mental and physical well-being. By releasing the anger to the creator you can free up organs carrying this weight to function freely again without that particular interference.

Ability to move forward: Anger and resentment can cause you to spin your wheels and not see or pursue other paths in your life.  Concentrating on what has gone wrong in your life prevents you from seeing opportunities that may push you forward and you may be missing out on something substantial in your future.

A final thought, the most significant forgiveness you can give is to yourself.  As mentioned before everyone makes mistakes and that is how we learn lessons through this life, this is all part of our each individual journey.  Don’t forget the lessons learned but forgive yourself for any lapses in judgement that generated a particular learning event so that you may continue to advance forward.