For many years I struggled to forgive my bullies. One of the things that stopped me was the belief that in order to forgive them I needed to tell them that they were forgiven. Looking back I wish I had come to the realization that my confession of forgiveness wasn’t required in order for me to forgive and move on with my life.
As I’ve grown older I’ve realized that forgiveness is so much bigger than being about whoever has hurt or betrayed me – it is primarily about releasing the pain, hurt and resentment and starting afresh with an emotionally clean slate.
Is it possible to fully forgive whilst not stating you have done so to your perpetrator? Absolutely!
When I forgave my bullies I had no desire to tell them I had done so but I nevertheless forgave them by understanding that they were the culmination of their upbringing, environment and life experiences. Once I forgave them I genuinely had no feelings of hostility or resentment towards them, I had made peace with that part of my past and it no longer influenced my present. I was able to live more harmoniously and in line with my values because there was no internal conflict due to my harboring hatred. And all this was achieved without the need to announce my forgiveness to them.
These days I am so grateful that I have come to appreciate that I don’t necessarily have to announce my forgiveness. Of course that doesn’t mean to say that there aren’t times when I choose to confess my forgiveness, for instance if a friend apologizes to me, but knowing that it is not required is so liberating and it allows me to forgive those that otherwise I may not have been able to.
Is there anyone from your past who you are still harboring hatred or resentment towards? Who do you know that you could begin forgiving today? Please share your thoughts in the comments below to gain encouragement, insight and support from our community.