I think forgiveness can be a very healing thing. It allows you to let go of hurt feelings and other bad juju weighing you down and move forward. It does not mean forgetting that the bad things happened. Just because you forgave a wrong doesn’t make you a chump.
If someone does you wrong, you can forgive them to let go of the bad feelings and then forget them to make sure they don’t happen again. I had an ex who was manipulative and treated me horribly. Our relationship ended on very bad terms. He reached out to me twice after we broke up, two years after the break up and two years after that. The last time he told me to forgive him. I told him I forgave him, I forgot him, and there was no place for him in my life.
Forgiveness should be something we do to heal ourselves, not to make others feel better about wrongs they’ve done us. You’re guilt is not my problem.
I feel like there’s also a way to let go of the pain someone caused you without forgiving them. If they keep causing you the same anguish, it means they don’t care. I’ve been let down by a lot of people and rather than try to fix the situation, I’d get a half-assed apology and a grace period before it happened again. They don’t regret the action/mistake, they regret the consequences.
At that point, you have to acknowledge that you can’t change the situation. It’s time to change how you react to it. Alter your expectations to fit their actions.
In order for me to completely forgive and forget. two things have to happen:
1) They have to be genuinely contrite
2) I have to know this won’t happen again.
Based on these two things, I’m not a forgiving person and I’m OK with that. I’ve got some very high quality people in my life and I have others who are simply taking up space. I think it’s time to start focusing on the relationships I want to maintain and letting the others fade away.