True Forgiveness and Psychological Healing

“My father did many terrible things to me and my mother. I know I need to forgive him. But I can’t,” shared an OFW during our Skype session.

What is true forgiveness? How does psychological healing work through it?

Before we answer that, let’s quickly make clear what forgiveness is NOT, namely:

• forgiveness is not sanctioning and condoning abusive behavior 

• forgiveness is not forgetting

• forgiveness is not denial

• forgiveness is not conditional 

• forgiveness is not reconciliation 

Now, we go what true forgiveness is as the basis for genuine psychological healing:

• true forgiveness is acknowledging that a person has wounded you by trespassing against you

• true forgiveness is acknowledging a desire or will to punish the offending person 

• true forgiveness asserts the Will to Forgive the trespasser over and above one’s Will to Punish the trespasser 

• true forgiveness is a change of mind - not a change of heart

• true forgiveness heals through God’s Grace