Forgiveness begins with acknowledging that you have a right to be treated with respect. Forgiveness is not about denying your feelings or pretending you have not been hurt. To forgive, you need to admit that you’ve been hurt and that you have the right to feel restful, angry, or hurt. And you don’t have to forget to forgive. Forgiveness will not produce amnesia. Think of forgiving as an act of mercy toward an offender. Often the individual may not necessarily even deserve the act of mercy. Forgiveness is a gift given to someone who doesn’t deserve it. (Enright, Robert D., PhD. Forgiveness is a Choice. p 23-28. Washington, DC: APA Life Tools, 2001)

According to Margaret Holmgren, a philosopher at Iowa State University, the one who forgives shows self-respect. This is because the forgiver refuses to continue to be controlled by bitterness over the injustice. The forgiver is free from the burden of anger and resentment regardless of whether or not the offender chooses to change. In forgiving, the forgiver can make it clear that what was done was wrong, it should never have happened, and it will not be tolerated in the future. (Enright, Robert D., PhD. Forgiveness is a Choice. p 37-39. Washington, DC: APA Life Tools, 2001)

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