Ask Caroline

Caroline Manzo tackles questions on parenting, relationships, and self-esteem.

on May 16, 2011

Andrea from Houston, TX says: How do you forgive someone that has hurt you in the past?

Caroline says: Forgiveness takes a fair amount of courage Andrea. You need to step past the hurt and betrayal and move forward while leaving all the baggage behind. 

I think a key factor in forgiveness is communication. You need to talk about your hurt with the offender and make sure that there's a clear understanding of the hows and the whys of the situation. Hopefully there's a mutual understanding which allows you both to move forward in a healing direction. 

On the flip side, there are times when the offender doesn't recognize what they've done or maybe they don't care to recognize the offense. This is where it gets tricky. This is where you have to be the bigger person and just let it go. Sometimes you have to understand people for who and what they are, their personality DNA. When you recognize that there will be no give and take, but you understand that there needs to be resolution, that's when you have to put your big girl pants on and let it go. Things may be awkward at first, but over time will eventually return to normal or whatever normal is for that relationship. Just know what your dealing with and hopefully you won't have to relive or repeat an uncomfortable situation.

Another reason we hurt is because we care. If we didn't care it wouldn't hurt, right? Therefore, where there is caring and love, there is forgiveness. You can't expect hearts to mend right away, it's a process. Take your time and allow your feelings to adjust. In will happen, promise 

When life gives you heartache, there's usually a lesson in there somewhere. Look for it and learn from it! Remember, we're all human and make mistakes; it's the end game that counts. Good luck!