Can you forgive when the person that hurt you will never say “I’m sorry”?

imsorryYou may be hurting because of what someone did to you and there is no way that person will ever apologize. Maybe that person died. Maybe that person is long gone from your life and for good reasons. Maybe it’s best you never hear from that person again. Maybe a heartfelt conversation is impossible.

What do you do when you they will never say “I’m sorry I hurt you”?

An apology has such power to begin the healing process in your heart and mind. However, when it’s not possible what do you do?

Have you every heard this? or thought this?

“When he/she apologizes I will forgive.”

Does that mean you can never move past this hurt and pain?

No. You can move past this hurt and pain. It is possible.

  1. Why do we need to forgive?

You must first know why it is so important to forgive. Read this Why should you forgive someone that hurt you

Basically, NOT forgiving is like drinking poison and expecting the person to die.

Unforgiveness only hurts you. It has been proven that it can cause physical illness and emotional distress. It binds you to that person emotionally and chains you to those traumatic memories.

Forgiveness releases you from those chains. It begins a healing inside you.

Forgiveness is for you NOT the other person.

2. Do you need an apology?

As much as an apology is nice. And it’s great when it’s possible but sometimes it’s just not possible. Sometimes it causes more pain.

Consider this…

If seeing or hearing from that person will open up more wounds or cause new wounds don’t do it.

If asking or approaching for an apology will put you in danger-  don’t do it.

If asking or approaching for an apology will cause pain to the OTHER person – don’t do it.

 

An apology is not necessary.

3. You may be wondering by now, then HOW do you forgive without an apology.

There are many ways. I’m a believer in doing something with your hands and your heart when the pain is deep and traumatic.

Here’s some ideas…

Write a letter to the other person. Don’t mail it. Burn it or share it with a trusted relative, friend or counselor. If you have never told anyone about what hurt you DO IT!

For visual people or artsy people, Draw how it made you feel. Again, burn it or share it, or both.

Whether you choose one of these ideas or find one on your own the next step is critical.

You must actually forgive. Say it out loud and mean it. Even if it’s hard.

Remember, you are NOT condoning behavior by forgiving. You are releasing yourself from the link between that person and you.

Time is not a healer. As anyone that has every been wounded deeply knows the pain doesn’t go away with time. At best you learn to live with the daily onslaught of negative thoughts, harmful memories and hardened heart towards others. Actually, time only creates an incubator. Unforgiveness left to fester and grow into resentment and bitterness.

Hebrews 12:15 Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.

A root of bitterness is not hard to detect when you know what to look for. It affects relationships, your ability to relate to others in a healthy way, it affects your thoughts and emotions. You will hear it in how you talk. You will feel it in the way you react to others and at your job. Many stress and anxiety disorders come from bitterness left untouched and festering. Like a sore left to heal on it’s own, it becomes infected.

Forgiveness is not dependent on the other person. It is your choice. It literally means ‘to let go’.

Are you ready to let go?

Here’s a simple but powerful prayer…

Heavenly Father, I choose to forgive _____________ (enter name) for ______________________(enter what that person did) that made me feel ___________(enter how it made you feel: lost, abandoned, scared, physically hurt, emotionally hurt, etc. Say it all, get it all out). 

I purpose and choose to forgive ____________(name) of my own free will. I let it go and give it to you. Father, I ask you to heal my heart. Heal all memories of this incident so they will not play over and over and cause me pain. Heal my emotions as related to this incident. Fill me with your love and peace. 

I ask you to show me any false belief systems I created based on this incident or this person. And tell me your truth about this. Amen. 

Now, sit quietly and listen for the voice of the Heavenly Father speak to your heart. You may feel peace. You may feel love. He speaks in so many various ways. Just let him heal your heart. Crying is healing.

If you think of another memory that causes pain. Forgive again. Forgive for each individual memory until all the pain begins to go away and you begin to feel free. I promise it is possible to be free from the pain and only God can heal the wounds. Not time, not hurting the other person. Only God.

 

 

 

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