Not Forgiving...

The actual quote, which comes from Alexander Pope's essay/poem,  An Essay on Criticism Part II is : "Ah ne'er so dire a Thirst of Glory boast, Nor in the Critick let the Man be lost! Good-Nature and Good-Sense must ever join; To err is Humane; to Forgive, Divine."

We are all human and imperfect.  We can forgive.  But we are not divine.  And as such, we can't always forgive. As imperfect human beings there are times when we don't want to forgive.  There are times when we just CANNOT forgive.  These things do not make us lesser people; they just make us human.

It is often in our best interest to forgive.  Forgiving others helps us heal ourselves. But it is not always possible.  And if you can't forgive someone, there are some things you CAN do for yourself.

  • Forgive yourself.  Feel no guilt for NOT being able to forgive.  Remember, you are human, not God.
  • Try to understand what you cannot forgive.  As a child, I was bullied by a boy.  40+ years later and I'm still not completely over it (nor have I completely forgiven), but as an adult I can now understand what might have been going on in this person's life and see why his behavior was as it was.
  • Share.  Don't bottle up your emotions and pain.  Find a friend or a counselor that you can trust.  Let it out.  And then...
  • Move on.  Don't dwell on the past or the "sins" that have been done against you.  Focus on your future and not the past.  You may have to physically move on.  More importantly you need to emotionally and spiritually move forward.
  • Help others.  As has been said, by helping others you are actually helping yourself.  Don't let bitterness enfold you. (See above point.)  
There may be a time when you find you are able to forgive.  They say time heals all wounds, but I'm not 100% on that.  Some wounds never completely heal.  But they shouldn't fester either.    If forgiveness is not something you can do for whatever reason, then so be it.  You are human.  That is all you can be and all you should be.


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