Is it hard to forgive someone who hasn’t said I am sorry?!


A friend and I were talking recently about forgiveness. We talked about how it is SO hard to forgive someone when they have not apologized and probably will never apologize either. (And let’s be honest, I’m sorry YOU feel that way doesn’t count! lol) We both walked away admitting there were things we needed to let go and people we needed to forgive even though they never said those words… “I am sorry.” It reminded me of a message I heard in church a few years ago called starting over! It really hit home with me because our Pastor, Andy Stanley, said something that really struck a nerve. “How far into your future do you intend to carry the angst created in your past?” His advice? “Own it. Rethink it. Release it.”  Hmmmm…well that is an interesting concept isn’t it?!

Far too often, in situations in my own past where things seem to have crumbled, I’ve had a tendency to hang onto it. Mostly because it made me really sad, angry or I just felt hopeless about it and those emotions are hard to let go. Sometimes there are situations in life though, that you have no control over. Situations you have regret about. Situations that were toxic and even situations that broke your heart or brought you pain. Unfortunately, when you just stew over it or pick it apart, it doesn’t bring you any closer to being free from the pain right?  And it definitely doesn’t help you to move on. That message was a good reminder of how to move forward. Andy said to do three things…own it, (how was it your fault, how was it their fault), rethink it, (how could I handle this better next time, how could I respond better next time) and finally, release it. 

I think releasing it is the most difficult part, but it’s great advice. Any angst in my past…I need to own it, rethink it and release it and I am also gonna pray for the help to do so. Because Lord knows I haven’t always made the right choices, said the perfect thing or been the best I can be, but life is too short and as Andy says…”Your past should remind you; it shouldn’t PASTdefine you.”

What in your life do you need to own, rethink and release?

XO Surviving Mommy

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  • Tiffany W says:

    I sooo needed to read this!!! And I know a few others I would like to share it with!! Thank you so much!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Thank for this! Just started going thru a divorce and I needed this today. Thank you!

  • Susan says:

    I had a bad day yesterday and it was all because I keep thinking about something that I need to get over, it eats at me everyday. This page showed up in my email this morning and I just wanted to thank you for posting this. I am going to try and move forward and talk about it and release it. It is time because it is only making me feel bad and I take it out on the people around me.

  • Tami says:

    Oh, wow. Did this ever bring back a memory I wanted to squash. And, I think I’ve done a pretty good job of it so far. My one friend and I had been assisting a mutual friend (I need to keep them anonymous for now). So, my “one friend” will be referred to as Friend #1, and the “mutual friend” as “Friend #2”. Friend #1 and I had been assisting the other for quite some time as she has MULTIPLE chronic health issues, had what had been described to us as a major toxic relationship with her daughter with whom she was living, and was needing to move. We got there on Moving Day one spring day last year only to discover “Mutual Friend” was a Stage Two Hoarder, and had hardly packed a thing! She had had MONTHS to get ready! We helped as much as we could on that day, but all we were really doing was packing. So, we moved on from there. We did subsequently devote as much time and effort into helping her finish moving, packing, sorting, cleaning, hosting a Housewarming Event for her (which was paid for by Friend #1 and another elderly friend of ours). We continued helping, advising her, etc. Then, last summer, as we were returning from a 3-day event in Duluth to go back home to Canton, Mutual Friend’s TRUE colors came out. She acted petulant, like a spoiled child over a complete misunderstanding of communication (mainly because she was busy rudely speaking to others rather than listening to my meet-up instructions on the phone to pick her up). I have never, EVER been so mad in my whole life. She almost….and I really mean ALMOST….got ordered out of my car where she would have been abandoned on Hwy. 141/Peachtree Industrial Drive and had to find her own way home. I stayed silent the entire drive to her home, praying like mad to keep my mouth shut (which is VERY hard for me to do). I had offered to help her with her stuff the previous two days, but she had refused. So, that final evening, I made no offers of help. I stayed in my seat, and said: “You’re home. Have a nice evening.” She thanked me but never apologized. I am a natural problem-solver, so I turned the entire incident in my head over and over again over the next few weeks. I realized that she had become a toxic friend. I didn’t make this conclusion rashly. I PRAYED about it. It hurts to be forced to let a friend go. But, sometimes in life, we have to weigh these sorts of things out. If we’re the one doing all the work in a friendship but receive little to nothing in return — and it doesn’t have to be something of material value — then, you may be banging your head against a wall over a toxic friendship. I haven’t looked back since. And, she hasn’t reached out either. In order to forgive, sometimes, you have to also truly forget.

  • Michele says:

    This really has me thinking. Holding on to those things are only holding me back. I want to be happy and I know the good that I do so yes, I’m going to let it go and begin living my life to the fullest! Thanks for the reminder!

  • Coach karyn says:

    My motto to my daughter because her dad and I divorced,
    Don’t let the past define you but let it e a part of who you become! It’s your story and it could help you or hold you back! At this point it’s a choice!

  • Meliss Wadsworth says:

    This is one of the hardest things for me. The day I persevere through this topic is the day I will be a new person. Thank you for sharing!

  • Rosie says:

    Actually, unusually, I was thinking about this today, because of something in the news about someone who did me wrong, really, really wrong, over a long period of time (note: not sexual or physical abuse). I couldn’t help but feel all these bad feelings well up in me, and was trying to figure out in my mind what to do, as I don’t want to fan those burning embers that I was shocked are as still alive and kicking around in me down there somewhere. I’m trying to compartmentalize and focus on emotionally distancing myself, and trying to let go of those feelings. The wrong done involve hurt to my family, in addition to me, so it makes it harder. He has zero conscience about what he has done, like a person who gleefully runs of a baby squirrel in the road, and looks back to see it flopping around in the road, and thinks who cares about a squirrel. Anyway, I’m asking the Lord to help me truly forgive and move on emotionally, and keep doing that. I hadn’t thought about this person for a while, so when this monster came out today in my feelings, I was surprised at how big and ugly it still is, hanging out in my subconsious, to surface unexpectedly!

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