“But what happens when the hurtful actions are repetitive and ongoing? Or, when the person who has acted wrongly is not willing (or able) to make meaningful amends? Or when the wronged person is not ready to forgive?
In these circumstances, argues Dr. Janis Abrahms Spring, author of How Can I Forgive You? The Courage to Forgive, The Freedom Not To, genuine forgiveness can only take place when the onus of responsibility rests on the person who acted wrongly to earn forgiveness, and that, in certain situations, the best option for the person who was mistreated or betrayed is to have the freedom to not forgive, and to instead turn to the healing power of acceptance, one of four approaches to forgiveness.”
I know forgiveness is a difficult topic for many survivors. I’ve never been a big fan of the way most of us understand “forgiveness”, because it’s simply not a viable option for anyone who’s been abused. I choose other ways of understanding forgiveness, which is a little more like acceptance. If you’ve struggled with the definition of forgiveness, take a look at these ideas and see if they can help you get a clearer vision of acceptance as a way to healing.