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Choosing to Forgive

Have you ever had to forgive someone for doing harm to you? When you think about forgiving someone, how do you know you are ready?

While there are many different thought leaders in the field of forgiveness, one of the most liberating concepts in the forgiveness world is that we can choose to forgive even when we don’t feel emotionally ready. 

Consciously choosing to forgive, or release bitterness and desire for vengeance. This is to better serve the person that was originally harmed. During the process of decision-based forgiveness, the offended person is able to fully name the harm done – and speak the truth without glossing over the seriousness of the offense. This process is not necessarily done with the offender – this can be processed in the safety of a therapy room. Furthermore, forgiveness does not mean forgetting the harm nor does it mean that there is a repaired or reconciled relationship. The latter requires a repentant offender. 

Letting go of negative feelings helps the person heal and let go of the pain from holding on to and being defined by an offense. 

In the process of forgiving, once you have chosen to, you can honor the harm done to you and the pain it has caused you. Make a list of the things you need to forgive – explore the ways you are staying loyal to your suffering – and ruthlessly start to set your intentions of forgiving so that you can live in joy, free from the burden of unforgiveness. 

Sarah Dailey

Sarah Dailey, LPC

I help my clients as they walk through life’s valleys. Meeting them in the dark places to acknowledge and support my clients enables them to explore and discover their own worth and value. Just as we are hurt in relationships, I believe that we are also healed in relationship with one another. Together, we will find the tools and insight to process your experience and hopefully you will leave feeling encouraged. In particular, I enjoy marriage and family therapy.


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