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Forgiveness Can Be Tricky But Also Freeing

Updated: Jan 29, 2023

Forgiveness can be both incredibly freeing and incredibly fickle. Despite the concept being quite simple, it can be difficult for us to move past the hurt someone has caused in our lives. Not only that, but often it can be complicated to forgive someone and know how to move forward with the relationship. These tips can help to establish a framework from which to approach forgiveness that can help with navigating all of the emotions and aspects of the process.

A couple sits next to one another with closed-off body language. A therapist in Smyrna, GA can offer support for couples from the comfort of home. Learn more about counseling in Atlanta, GA, and more by contacting an online therapist in Georgia today.

Acknowledge the Hurt

Typically, when we’re approaching the topic of forgiving someone, it’s because they have done something to hurt us. Regardless of how “big” or “small” the hurt may be, it’s essential that we are honest with ourselves about the hurt that someone has caused us. This step can be done with a journal, a trusted confidant, or some intentional self-talk. By acknowledging how something made us feel, we can then move into understanding what we need to do about it.

Address the Relationship

Once we’ve established how we feel about something that affected us, the next step is to address how that hurt will impact the relationship from which it stemmed. This is an internal step, but it can include your support system or trusted confidant. Addressing the relationship means that we create a plan for how we will implement boundaries that will prevent hurt from happening again (as best as possible – all people are flawed, and no relationship will ever be perfect). We need to assess areas in which the relationship needs to change or adapt in order to better protect both us and the other party from hurting one another. This part can be tricky as some relationships are optional (like friends or dating relationships) and others are much less optional (like family or co-workers). In order to forgive well, we have to find ways in which to prevent harm from happening when it should not.

Affirm the Boundaries

A couple sits on opposite sides of a couch facing away from one another. Learn more about counseling in Smyrna, GA by contacting an online therapist in Georgia for support with your relationship.

After addressing how to handle moving forward in the relationship, we must affirm the boundaries of the relationship. This can sometimes look like a simple conversation sharing that someone has said/done something hurtful. However, sometimes the hurt caused can cause a complete shift in the relationship entirely. If a friend has continuously done something to hurt us and we’ve asked said friend to stop this behavior, it may require that we establish new boundaries with this person. Perhaps our frequency of interaction needs to lessen, or maybe we need to share less information with this person in order to protect ourselves. It is important to note that forgiveness does not always mean that we re-engage in the relationship any longer. Forgiveness can involve us realizing that moving forward means letting go of the hurt this person has caused, but it can mean that the relationship needs to terminate altogether. We have to establish boundaries with our relationships that prioritize health in our lives!

(While these tips are helpful, they are by no means exhaustive, and it should also be noted that in situations where deep trauma or abuse has taken place, these tips may not apply.)

Again, forgiveness can be tricky for everyone, but it also can be deeply freeing. The goal is for us to find ways to not only release emotional tension, but also we need to set ourselves (and others) up for success in relationships. Hopefully, these tips will allow us to process forgiveness well in order to move forward in all of our relationships.

A couple holds hands while walking down a street on a sunny day. This could represent the bonds cultivated by working with an online therapist in Georgia. Learn more about counseling in Smyrna, GA, and other services today.

Begin Working With A Therapist in Smyrna, GA

Finding forgiveness can be much easier said than done. Our team of therapists understands the complexities that can feel difficult to overcome and would be honored to offer in-person and online support across the state. You can start your therapy journey with Remain Connected Counseling by following these steps:

  1. Reach out to talk to an Atlanta area therapist.

  2. Have your first appointment at Remain Connected

  3. Start creating healthier boundaries!

Other Services Offered With Remain Connected Counseling

We understand that there are many issues that may impact your mental health. This is why we are happy to offer a variety of services including teen therapy, trauma therapy, PTSD treatment, anxiety treatment, and EMDR therapy. We also offer Pastoral counseling, life transitions therapy, depression counseling, and more all under a Christian counseling lens. With online therapy, these services are available to anyone in Georgia. Learn more about our team of dedicated therapists and contact us for more information.

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