If and when YOU feel like it, not when others say you should.
Forgiving is healing for those you have been victimized. It’s a gift of peace you give to yourself.
Don’t let judgmental people shame you or force you into believing that if you don’t forgive immediately that you are as “sinful as the perpetrator.”
Forgiveness may naturally happen toward the end of your healing process, but it can’t ever be forced.
“Forgive and Forget” may simply not be possible. For survivors of trauma and violence reaching a point of forgiving may be the hardest thing they ever do.
People who have been traumatized significantly by violence perpetrated on them may develop Post Traumatic Stress which changes their reactions to stress for the rest of their existence. It changes brain chemistry, and the way that they process stimuli that is potentially threatening. Even if they choose to forgive, it’s unlikely they will ever “forget.” It may be dangerous to “forget” what happened.
So let’s be gentle with each other, and especially with trauma survivors and leave the judgment out of the conversations about healing.
You have the right to forgive but not the obligation– It’s still YOUR choice.