I think this is a very useful clarification about forgiveness. While forgiveness can feel very freeing and often is a sign of healing, I believe however that it is not a prerequisite for healing. Sometimes I see people pressuring themselves to forgive at the expense of suppressing and exiling parts of their minds and souls into the unconscious without healing the original wound.
I have been asked many times over the years if forgiveness is necessary for emotional healing. My quick answer is: self-forgivness is necessary, forgiving others is not.
Forgiveness helps when you no longer need the anger to keep you safe…
Anger is a very useful emotion. It fuels our actions to keep us safe, and to push destructive people away. Forgiveness is counter-productive, in my opinion, when the person continues the harmful behavior.
I find that once someone is safe, and well away from danger that forgiveness can be helpful, although is not necessary for healing. I have forgiven some people who have caused me trauma in the past. Usually, after they change their behavior. Some others I have forgiven because I realized that they were doing the best they could.
However, expressing anger also helps change freeze responses in our bodies. Anger can help us change self-negating patterns into…
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