Verily everything seeks forgiveness for the seeker of knowledge, including the fishes in the sea, the reptiles on the land, and the predators and livestock of the earth.
Prophet Muhammad (S), Amali al-Mufid, p. 29, no. 1
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no matter what cringey, embarassing, or horrible things you've done: forgive yourself. strive to be better, apologize to people you've hurt, grow into someone you can be proud of. but ultimately forgive yourself, because staying stuck won't get you anywhere
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You are not obligated to forgive someone. Even if they apologize and mean it. Even if there’s a genuine explanation for their actions. Even if they’ve genuinely changed.
You can forgive someone if that’s what feels right to you but please don’t ever let someone else tell you that’s what you need to do. If you forgive someone, please do it because that’s what you want and/or need and not because society pushed on you that “forgiveness is how you heal”.
Your healing is about you.
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tweet transcript below
A twitter thread by Iris McAlpin (@irismcalpin) that reads:
"In many healing, religious & spiritual circles there's excessive emphasis on forgiveness. People are shamed if they haven't forgiven their abuser, & told they're 'straying from God' or 'not enlightened.' This means forgiveness is often rushed & important emotions are bypassed.
Rushing to forgive abusers before processing legitimate feelings of grief & anger about what happened, makes it impossible to access a CRITICAL part of the healing process: protest. Protest is the embodied realization 'That wasn't OK. I didn't deserve that.'
When a survivor can access protest, this helps them stop being angry with themselves & start directing their anger where it rightfully belongs: the person who abused them. Skipping this step leads to incomplete healing (if not more harm).
When someone steps over their feelings, it doesn't make them more pious or enlightened. What it does is make them more likely to have mental health challenges later on, & more likely to experience physical ailments from stress & trauma, like GI issues, headaches & insomnia.
If you eventually want to forgive the person who harmed you, beautiful. Just please don't bypass your own emotions or minimize your pain to get there. It might feel good in the short-term, but in the long-term it causes more problems. I'm speaking from experience here.
To any survivors reading this, you didn't deserve to be abused. It's OK to be sad & angry about what happened to you. You don't need to rush past those feelings to be healed or to be a good person. Forgiveness will be there when/if you're ready. I promise."
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Your abuser may not have realized they were abusing you, or it’s possible they did not mean to abuse you.
This does not mean your experiences aren’t valid. Your feelings are still valid. You can still be traumatized.
And you do not have to forgive someone even if they genuinely did not mean to hurt you. You can choose to forgive if you want, but it is up to you.
You don’t owe them anything. No matter what.
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Forgiveness is the only way to heal your emotional wounds. Forgive those who hurt you, no matter what they've done, because you don't want to hurt yourself every time you remember what they did. When you can touch a wound and it doesn't hurt, then you know you have truly forgiven.
— don Miguel Ruiz
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