For me, one of the largest keys to recovery has been forgiving people who ostracized me. Forgiveness doesn't mean that I have to forget what happened. It doesn't mean I have to trust people who hurt me. After all, trust is earned and it would be foolish to blindly trust someone who might hurt you again. A banker may forgive a person from the debt that they owe, except the bank is not likely to loan money within the next month to the same person until the first debt is paid. Also, it is normal and completely okay to still feel hurt even though you fully forgive. For instance, if someone shot me and I was lying in a hospital bed, I can forgive the person who shot me and the fact that I'm lying wounded in a hospital bed does not invalidate my forgiveness. The same is true for emotional wounds. Ostracism can create some of the largest emotional wounds that a person may ever experience. Those wounds are more painful and can last longer than some physical wounds. So, what does it mean to forgive? It means that you don't want revenge on the person who hurt you. It means you let go of them in such a way that thoughts of them no longer cloud your mind as much as they used to. It means you release them from your life so that you can move on with your own life. Forgiveness means that you let go of resentment and bitterness, which are toxic emotions that can eat you up on the inside. Forgiveness has more to do with healing yourself rather than anything to do with the person who hurt you.

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