You’ve seen the memes; forgiveness isn’t easy, but it frees the forgiver to live better.  This is very much true. However, there are some who think that this act of self love makes them strong enough to walk right back into an unhealthy (i.e., not Grown) situation with someone they’ve forgiven, but who is still treating them badly.

Forgiving someone is a Grown decision. However, allowing another person to treat you badly in the same way or even in other ways is not a Grown decision. Choosing to forgive several times a day, a week, a month or even over the course of years in a relationship when someone continues to disrespect, neglect, abuse and or violate you is not self-loving, and therefore is not Grown.

Forgiveness is:

  • Letting go of anger, bitterness, resentment, hate or the desire to retaliate against a person who has cheated, hurt, violated or otherwise offended you.
  • Cancelling a debt owed to you, or not requiring compensation for damage or suffering as a result of an offense they committed against you.
  • To pardon or excuse an offender for past mistakes, crimes or choices.

Forgiveness is not an invitation for continued disrespect, neglect or bad treatment. Forgiveness is a chance to correct, not permission to repeat. It is not justification for inviting, permitting or rewarding continued violations, offenses or abuse. Moreover, forgiveness does not absolve you of your responsibility to honor, esteem, respect—and protect—yourself.

You can let go of anger, bitterness and resentment, forgive debts and forget losses, and pardon and excuse violations without staying in unhealthy relationships. While it violates the spirit of forgiveness to end a relationship or reject a person in oder to hurt or punish them, it does not violate that spirit to end unhealthy relationships as an act of self-love.

Get away from those people who tell you how much they love you while continually committing unloving acts. It may be true that everyone deserves a second chance. That does not necessarily mean that you should be the one to give it to them.

If you’ve let forgiving someone lead you to accepting a situation that is unhealthy, stop. Doing so is a sign of a chronic self-love deficit. Forgive yourself, raise and enforce your standard of treatment to embrace only those who treat you with honor, esteem and respect (even if that leaves you with only you: self-love, remember?)and get in the Grown Zone.

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