You can forgive and still choose to let them go. You can forgive and still choose to walk away. You can forgive and still choose to not be part of their lives and not let them be part of yours. You can forgive but not forget.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean that everything has to go back exactly the same. Forgiveness is about letting go of all these hateful feelings. It’s about letting go of the idea of getting back to someone or taking revenge or hurting them. It’s about wishing them nothing bad. It’s about genuinely and truly letting go of any negative feelings you hold against someone else. It’s about freeing yourself from these self-destructive thoughts and emotions that you might be still holding. Forgiveness is not just about them, it’s about you.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you have to stay. It doesn’t mean that you have to go back. It doesn’t mean that you have to let them in again. It doesn’t mean that you have to make yourself reconcile all your past feelings, because sometimes this is just impossible. Because sometimes no matter how much you try, things get broken between people, and no matter what you do, you won’t be able to fix it. All you can do is just leave it as it is.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you have to love them back exactly the same way. Sometimes it means having neutral feelings towards them. Forgiveness isn’t a magical thing that will suddenly happen and erase everything that has happened to you and make things miraculously go back to exactly how it used to be.
We need to understand forgiveness before practicing it. You can forgive and still acknowledge what they did to you and not deny it. We need to understand that forgiveness is not a memory eraser. What happened to you and caused you so much damage and took you so much time to get over will always be there. But what forgiveness is truly about is how you feel towards what happened and who did it to you. It’s how you choose to respond towards them. It’s how you think about the things that have happened to you and the ones who have done this to you.