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The Unpleasant Truth about Forgiveness




Marianne Williamson once said, "Unforgiveness is like drinking poison yourself and waiting for the other person to die." In our healing journey, forgiveness is an essential part—not for the other person, but for yourself.


Not forgiving means you avoid dealing with the pain, hurt, and trauma that has happened to you.


Believe me when I say I've had my fair share of trauma and have done a lot of work on forgiving.


A Little Story About Me


Trigger warning: mention of suicide and sexual abuse.


Most of you on this journey with me know that my mom took her own life while I was pregnant with my second child. But I don’t often talk about the other “traumas” I endured growing up.


From things like being a 5-year-old lost on a ski vacation, wandering around for hours feeling cold, lost, and helpless, to bigger things like my mom choosing a partner who would physically express his frustration toward me.

Getting kicked out of my home just after turning 18 followed by emotional, physical, and sexual abuse.


The Unhealthy Unforgiveness


Believe me, there are people in my life I could rightfully say, “I will never forgive you!”


But where would that leave me?


Holding onto grudges would only eat me up from the inside. It wouldn’t be healthy.


It would lead me to lash out at people I love, like my husband and children, because I'd be easily triggered.


It would leave my nervous system unregulated, always on the lookout for similar situations, dealing with anxiety and panic attacks, not being able to build or maintain deep and fulfilling relationships whether with family, friends and others and simply not being happy.


The Unhealthy Forgiving


On one point I had enough, Like many other people, I was sick of living that way. and truly some people get literally  sick, chronically pain, digestive issues and skin conditions where nothing seams to help. So they start looking for change and answers. They learn about their wounds and the journey of forgiving others and themselves—albeit logically.


Some people then tend to fall into the other extreme of forgiving too easily. The unhealthy forgiving.


But what is unhealthy forgiving? Sometimes, people forgive too easily out of fear of conflict or abandonment.


This can lead to a toxic dynamic in relationships, even to the point of 'forgiving' abuse. (Please, if you experience any form of abuse, reach out! There are resources available.)


The Healthy Balance


Like most things in life, it’s about balance.


To be authentic, we must set boundaries. We cannot allow people to walk over us and forgive repeatedly until we build resentment and frustration.


And to build healthy relationships, we must let go of the pain inflicted on us. We have to forgive others, ourselves, and sometimes even in the names of our ancestors to feel free, in harmony, and at peace.


The Healthy Balance

Like most things in life, it’s about balance.

To be authentic, we must set boundaries. We cannot allow people to walk over us and forgive repeatedly until we build resentment and frustration.

And to build healthy relationships, we must let go of the pain inflicted on us. We have to forgive others, ourselves, and sometimes even in the names of our ancestors to feel free, in harmony, and at peace.

How to Do That?


Here are three steps for balanced forgiveness:


  • Open your heart and assess where you're not forgiving and where you're forgiving too much.

  • Ask yourself if you're ready to step closer to your authentic, happier self by addressing why you struggle to forgive or set boundaries.

  • Take one inspired action to forgive or set a boundary.


Whether you're forgiving too easily or not forgiving at all, it starts with a valuable conversation with yourself.


Acknowledge you’re hurt and feel the pain, as scary as it might sound, only if feel it, you can heal it.


And you don’t want to do this alone! You can always reach out!

I’m here for you. Send me an email, DM me on Instagram, or book a free call;

Whatever you feel comfortable with, I’m here to guide you because I've walked this path many times before, and I know how it feels on the other side!

It is truly worthy.


With love and compassion,


Rachel


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