To Forgive and Walk Away.

A recent conversation with a friend, about walking away from unhealthy relationships, touched on forgiveness. It's often preached that we should practise forgiveness in order to move on and heal, but how far does that need to extend? Forgiving someone to move on with your life is one thing, but if they continue to have unhealthy input in your life, then surely it's okay to decide to no longer have them in your life going forward.

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Photo courtesy of @izzydawn

Forgiveness for someone who clearly has regrets and wants to change, is probably a bit more straight forward. At this point forgiveness can not only help you to heal it can help them to heal, consolidate and begin to move forward in a more positive direction.

What if that other party clearly had no regrets and wishes to continue behaving in a detrimental manner? When it comes to violent and one sided relationships, walking away is certainly the better way to deal with this. Perhaps the forgiveness in this situation needs to be reserved for oneself. Sometimes you need to forgive yourself for allowing yourself to get into a situation like that or staying in a situation like that.

I don't think forgiveness means you have to continue to allow that person to stay in your life and continue hurting you. Its intention is more to allow you to move on from the experience and no longer allow it to rule your life. It takes away the need for vendettas and retaliation.

Forgiveness is me giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me. Anonymous

My daughter recently asked me why I chose to forgive something that many might not have. At the time I didn't have an answer for her, but now I think I chose to forgive in order to be able to move forward myself. It allowed me to set my boundaries for those I include in my life and it allowed me to see that positives can come from even the bad things in life.

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What i feel is, you should just let them go. If they are thoughtful enough to realize their mistakes, then they will come back. If they don't, you have got one less person to worry about.

Sounds like a pretty sensible approach to me! 😆

forgive and forget (the person)

this is my extreme version of forgiveness. Letting people who hurt you repeatedly back into your life is unhealthy. letting go is part of forgiveness. it kinda funny I am saying this because i have issues with letting go. I forget that forgiving someone doesn't change them or does it delete all their acts. it remains still, so you need to get past that. Yes you no longer hold a grudge, but that doesn't mean they have a free pass back into your life, no. if they want to they have to work for it and if you deem it fit to let them back in that's fine. however it is best you don't because you know what? people hardly change.

Very well said. Even when people do change it can take a long time, because change isn't easy, especially in adulthood.

If I am offended past a certain point I simply let such a person go. I forgive but am not all that stupid as to repeat the same mistakes over and over

This is a great topic to discuss. There’s absolutely a distinction between forgiving and using forgiveness as an excuse to stay. Maybe in the latter, it is easier to keep forgiving and stay in repeat situations than to walk away and cut ties. It’s a difficult choice to make, for either.

It’s a difficult choice to make, for either.

It really is a difficult choice. Yet it sounds so simple. Either way is a decision between change, which is scary, and staying in a dangerous or abusive situation, also scary.

What if that unhealthy relationship is your own mother?

With family members it's the hardest. It's something I've had to work through myself. For me it's been a case of setting boundaries and if that can't be adhered to, knowing that my next step would be to cut them out of my life (an incredibly hard step to take). I have had to make that clear to the other party as well. Then it's up to them if they want to stay in my life, knowing what would be overstepping the line for me.