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The True Meaning of Forgiveness: My Eye-Opening Experience

As someone who has always believed in the power of forgiveness, I clearly understood what it means to forgive someone truly. However, a recent discussion in one of my college courses at Mercy College, Managing Human Conflict, taught by Professor Larina Burris, has completely shattered my perspective. As a result, I now have a newfound appreciation for the complexities of forgiveness. In this blog, I will share my thoughts and reflections on what it means to forgive someone truly, and why it's not always as simple as it seems.

Forgiveness is a topic that has been discussed extensively over the years, with many people offering their interpretations of what it means. For example, some believe forgiveness is about letting go of anger and resentment towards someone who has wronged us, while others think it's about moving on from the past and focusing on the present. However, my recent experience has taught me that true forgiveness is much more complex than that.

One of the most important aspects of forgiveness is accountability. When someone has wronged us, they need to take responsibility for their actions and acknowledge the harm they have caused. Without this acknowledgment, forgiveness becomes more about pardoning someone for their actions rather than genuinely forgiving them.

This is where my perspective on forgiveness was completely shattered. I realized that forgiveness is often given freely and without any accountability on the offender's part. We may forgive someone for our mental and emotional well-being, but it's not true forgiveness without the offender taking responsibility for their actions.

Additionally, many people forgive others for avoiding feeling guilty about holding onto anger or resentment. This, too, is not true forgiveness. Forgiveness is not about making ourselves feel better or relieving our guilt; it's about extending grace and mercy to someone who has wronged us.

This recent discussion has taught me that forgiveness is a complex and nuanced process that can sometimes be more complicated than it seems. True forgiveness involves accountability and a willingness on the part of the offender to take responsibility for their actions. It's not about making ourselves feel better or relieving our guilt but rather about extending grace and mercy to someone who has wronged us. Moving forward, I will approach forgiveness with a newfound appreciation for its complexities and strive to hold myself and others accountable.


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