When You Can’t Forgive
June 30, 2020
Claire Miles

There are so many cliches about forgiveness. There is so much advice out there, and so many quotes about it too. But for those who need that justice in their lives, forgiveness is a place they will never visit. Not even for a short period of time, not even for a quick vacation. The mere thought of allowing someone to walk away clean after what they did to us makes us feel absolutely sick and raged in every bone in our body. 

We can’t let them go. We need this game to end fairly, and they’ve got to deal with the consequences of what they’ve done. We’re not going to be the ones to just take and accept what they’ve done to us. Forgiving almost seems like self-betrayal, and giving up on justice.  It’s giving up on what’s right. Anger is burning throughout our entire bodies, our hearts, our breath, every bone in our bodies, and we can’t let it go, as toxic as it may be. We believe that the anger will serve our purpose, believing that the more anger we invoke, the more justice we will achieve. Our anger doesn’t care that what’s done is done. It lives through us despite our inability to change the situation. 

But the justice we seek isn’t always the most realistic, and never giving up is an endless, vicious cycle. Anger is a refusal to heal, forgive, and comes from an intense fear of letting go. Forgiveness seems virtually impossible, and as though it won’t ever actually fix anything. The pain you felt will always be there. But forgiveness can still help you get through the journey a little smoother. It means accepting your past for what it was and giving up on trying to change what you can’t. To forgive is not always to forget. 

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