When and How to Forgive the Unforgivable

''Forgiveness is untentional and voluntary process which happens when a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as vengefulness, with an increased ability to wish the offender well.'' "American Psychological Association. Forgiveness: A Sampling of Research Results." (PDF). 2006. Retrieved 2009-02-07 

A few days ago I finally brought myself to meet up with an old friend. We hadn't spoken since last summer. We actually hung out and talked about what went wrong. Mainly, she apologized for her wrongdoings.I forgave her and  It was a great day that day.

 Somewhere between my patience wearing short, excuses to mask unruly actions, pointless debates, poor choices, and cheating during her boyfriend's deployment, we fell apart as friends. I felt like a punching bag during her 2 year long down-spiral.  As a friend I wanted to stick by her even if she was making poor decisions. What kind of person would I be to just forget about someone who could be going through stress, loneliness, anxiety, fear or even depression?  I could tell she was growing anxious and weak.  She would start to spend more time with a co-worker who she fancied for a few months and things between them began to escalate.  In between the fling with her co-worker, the ex-boyfriend somehow made his way closer to her (btw. everyone hated this guy, a complete scumbag of a person).

After almost a year, Her boyfriend had finally returned from deployment to Afghanistan,  Back in one piece, we could all breathe again, despite the growing tension in the air from dishonesty.  During my friend's time of guilt and realization of everything she had done and put at stake,  she continued the relationship she'd built with her co-worker. Guilt began to mask her.  She began acting out of character with arrogance, greed and hypocrisy.  This wasn't the girl I knew. Whenever we would talk about her big change she would say the most selfish things like "well, he should't have been away'' or ''You were mad at me so I had to get you back'' and ''I didn't do anything wrong, the wrongs just come from your insecurities'' .

We used to build each other up but that morphed into backhanded compliments like "Your outfits still look great even tho you're styling for the big girls now!" (i gained a lot of  weight) 

Forget it! I couldn't do it anymore. This monster she was fighting clearly won and took over her.  I had stopped talking to her even though she lived right across the hall. When she finally moved, it made no difference to me except the fact that it was easier to avoid her.

Months passed, I at least felt ready to hear an apology.  Though I had gotten past one stage, was she ready to apologize? NO.

We spoke on the phone, her attempt at an apology, and she still hung up without taking account of her actions.

I was growing bored of the idea of her still playing the victim role. We were no longer close and our relationship as friends could possibly never be the same again. I was more than ready to accept that and I was through mourning over what USED TO be.

Time could only tell what our next steps are and so far it has done well.


1. Understand that forgiveness is not: Justifying, understanding, or explaining why the person acted toward you as he or she did. Just forgetting about the offense and trusting time to take care of it.
2. Understand that it is often unwise to forgive face to face. This tends to make the other person feel "put down". Even though they did wrong you still have to stay humble.
3. Select a time and place when you can be alone for a season of time.
4. focus on yourself, continue with life as if things are okay.
5. give the other person a chance without letting them know they have a chance, If they are truly sorry they will do what it takes to apologize at whatever point of time.
6. Choose by an act of your will to forgive that person once and for all time. You may not feel like being forgiving. That's all right. Just do it and the feelings will follow..
7. Release the person from the debt you feel is owed to you for the offense.
8. If the person is still a part of your life, now is a good time to accept the individual without wanting to change aspects of their personality or behavior.


Popular Posts