The comment went something like this, “I like the majority of what you say, but I just cannot agree with you on forgiveness. Can you honestly expect someone to forgive their abuser? That is just not o.k.

Understanding what forgiveness is and what it isn't will help us to see why we would choose to forgive someone who has hurt us.

First of all, let's understand what forgiveness is not.

It is NOT saying that what was done is o.k.

Abuse should not be tolerated or condoned. It is not o.k. The abuser should be held responsible for their actions.

Steps need to be taken to get the abused party in a safe place. One where they will not be abused and can hopefully begin to build relationships where trust is a valued principle.

This doesn't happen instantaneously. It is a journey, it takes time.

Just because the abuse has stopped doesn't mean the effects are over.

They may even need to be processed at different points in our lives.

To help the healing, at some point. the abused needs to decide what they are going to do with the fact of what happened to them.

Are they going to see themselves as a victim for their entire lives or are they going to see themselves as a survivor?

Someone who is triumphing over the abuse.

This happens when they are in a safe place long enough and have built trusting relationships again that they feel empowered to write their own story. And they choose to write their story as a hero story, with them playing the leading role.

Once this happens, they can free themselves to write THEIR story without the abuser dictating their choices.

This is a process, a journey. If you can't forgive right now, hold the possibility open for another day, another year.

Have the desire to want to move on so you can begin to create the seeds of forgiveness. They can grow to fruition. And you can begin writing the story you want to live and tell others.