Inspired by: “The Gift of Forgiveness” by Katherine Schwarzenegger PrattGift of Forgiveness
This article aims to bring out some of the different perspectives surrounding the importance of forgiveness in the book “A Gift of Forgiveness” by Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt. By conducting multiple moving and insightful interviews Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt uncovers some important truths behind what forgiveness is and isn’t.
5 Perspectives on the importance of forgiving others
1. It’s not an easy process – but it needs to be done properly
We can sometimes fall into the trap of thinking that forgiveness is a process that needs to be rushed. However, by forgiving too quickly, we run the risk of concealing important issues that need to be solved.
You can lock yourself into unhealthy patterns which don’t solve anything. You may think that a quick and simple “sorry” deserves the right to be forgiven, however, you should aim to uncover and address the problem.
Forgiving is more than receiving just a “sorry”. It requires the ability to listen and talk about the problem and requires honesty, courage and self-reflection to ensure that you can learn from what has happened.
2. Forgive but remember
I would suggest that you replace the common saying “Forgive and forget” with “Forgive but remember”. If you move on too quickly without remembering what happened, you lose the opportunity to learn from your past and risk facing the same problem again.
This doesn’t mean you should hold onto a grudge, however. It just means that you should be aware of what caused the problems, so you know what to do to prevent it if it happens again in the future.
3. You’re not showing a sign of weakness – you’re moving on
It can be easy to think of forgiving somebody else as a sign of weakness. When you have been hurt you may feel like you shouldn’t have to hurt yourself more by “gifting” the other person with forgiveness. But the reality is that you are gifting yourself when you forgive others.
Holding resentment and grudges can keep you in a negative cycle. The effect of the resentment may affect you for a long-time after you have been wronged. By forgiving you are permitting yourself to move on.
4. It doesn’t require reconciliation
Forgiving others does not mean that you must reconcile with the other person and become friends again. Repairing relationships is not a requirement of forgiving others, it is just a bonus if it is possible. It is important to remember that you can forgive but still not be okay with the other person.
5. It’s an opportunity to make positive change
I have saved the most important point for last and that is even though you have been hurt, forgiving others can allow you to create a positive change in the world.
When you forgive others, you allow them to alter the course of their life. When they know they have hurt someone and have been given the opportunity for forgiveness – they may be more willing to try and get out of the negative cycle of hurting others – rather than staying in it.
Hopefully, these different perspectives were interesting – it is important to remember they are only perspectives and the most important factor in deciding whether to forgive is yourself.
I’ll end on this point and that’s even if you have been hurt, don’t let that define you – forgiveness does not mean praising the other person, it instead involves praising yourself that no matter what you face, you will enable yourself to move on and become a better person.
Make sure to check out the book below and read the moving stories presented by the author.Gift of Forgiveness