I have been wronged by people close to me in my life. Betrayed by family members. Let down by friends. Taken advantage of for my kindness. These things happen as people constantly test boundaries with you. It is up to us to reinforce the boundaries that we established and sometimes, that means not forgiving someone. But wait! Aren’t we supposed to forgive? If not for them, for our own sake? Doesn’t forgiveness mean we are good and just people? Not always. Not everyone deserves forgiveness and that’s okay. Even if they did deserve it and you’re not ready yet, that does not make you a bad person. You can also forgive them in one way and never forgive them in another.

I’ve had a few exe’s who I left on bad terms and although I may get upset about what transpired in the past, I have learned to forgive them as persons, but never as boyfriends. What does that mean? I recognize them as flawed human beings who were trying to do the best they could, coping with the traumas from their childhoods, and trying to find a love that they didn’t know how to hold on to. I can forgive them these things because they didn’t know better. However, I can never forgive them as boyfriends because if I did, that would mean I would be able to return to them in the same capacity. There is a finality in that decision because that particular relationship is over as I can’t forgive the things done in it, but I can continue a different one based on friendship.

Is it bad to never forgive them in any capacity? Some people preach forgiveness for our souls, but that’s not what forgiveness is. Forgiveness means letting it completely go, but it’s okay to reinforce our boundaries and say we don’t let that ish slide. We need to learn to protect ourselves first before we worry about how we affect others. That doesn’t mean we can’t learn to understand the person and why they made the decisions they did, but just because we have compassion for them doesn’t mean we would let them back into our lives. Forgiveness is a complicated thing, but if we view it as boundaries that serve to protect us, we should then honor our forgiveness and not dole it out frequently.

I understand why the people in my life did the things they did. I have compassion for them as human beings and as a flawed person myself who is constantly learning, I know we are on the same journey, but I also recognize I don’t need to forgive their actions if they have crossed my boundaries and that’s okay. At the end of the day, if you are at peace with the decisions you have made, you have made the right ones. If you question if you have hurt others with your decisions, remind yourself of what your boundaries are. I mourn the loss of the relationships that I cannot forgive, but I hope you the best in your journey where ever you are. I hope you get there some day.

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