Forgiveness has never been an easy topic for me. I’ve never had a solid definition of what it means to me, and there doesn’t seem to be a universal definition either. I believe forgiveness is an individually defined concept and that it can change and adapt throughout time in a person. There are certain things you may count as forgivable, others not. And for myself, I’ve noticed that humans do have a naturally forgiving mood, but it can change based on events that happen to us in life.
I wonder about forgiveness more often than regular because I think many people assume that it is a black and white choice, when really, I find it to be mostly gray. Forgiveness for some people is allowing themselves to literally forget an action against them by another person, whether it was based on intention or accident. Some people forgive on special circumstances or conditions, maybe that if the action happens again the forgiveness will not be re-extended, or that maybe though someone was forgiven it doesn’t mean everything returns to normal in a relationship.
A big difference I do like to clearly define is the between being unforgiving to someone, and just holding a grudge or animosity, because I know it is possible to not forgive someone and not feel jaded or bitter at the same time. Forgiving can be interpreted as allowing yourself to not let someone or something that has wronged you follow you like a dark cloud anymore. I minimally believe that forgiving someone means they understand you have been hurt by them and their actions and have made or will make an active effort to improve or fix the situation.
My point is, there isn’t any one specific way to forgive (or forget), and that is okay. Everyone handles their life differently than others, which would further help me show that there isn’t a certain way to forgive other people, or a certain way to do anything in life really. If it is more beneficial for someone to remember what has been done to them and not forgive it, that’s just fine. And if it is more beneficial for someone to let go of grudges and the ways they feel they’ve been wronged, that’s completely alright as well. The way you choose to react to outside factors in your life is your choice and no one should be able to dictate how to do so, because no one knows you better than you.