A how-to guide on the science behind learning to forgive

Forgiveness is a loaded word. It’s been tossed around self-help circles for years, but little has been made of what the science behind forgiveness can teach us about our own lives. 

Let’s start with what forgiveness is not. Much of the self-help world has suggested that forgiveness does not mean you become best friends with the person who wronged you. Forgiveness is not saying what happened was ok. Forgiveness is not saying you accept the person who wronged you. Instead, forgiveness is choosing to accept what happened as it happened rather than what could or should have happened. Forgiveness can mean that you let go. Forgiveness can mean you love from a distance. Forgiveness can mean you step into your present rather than anchoring in the past.

Forgiveness is the cornerstone of any relationship, romantic or otherwise. We assume people see life the way we see life. However, there are as many perceptions as there are people in this world. Our lack of understanding of other people’s perceptions can create gaps built on miscommunication, anger, animosity, and emotional disconnection. However, our relationshp with forgiveness can help bridge these gaps. 

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Read the original article and the remainder of the post at Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-addiction-connection/201409/the-psychology-forgiveness