I was talking with a client the other day about this very topic. She was incredibly resistant to the idea of forgiveness, convinced that it somehow meant absolution for the person being forgiven. She said “I can consider moving on when situation X is resolved, but never forgiving. I hate that word.” I tried all sorts of ways to get her to see that forgiveness is not about the other person; it’s about the person DOING the forgiving, but she just wouldn’t budge.

A day or two later, a friend shared this Jewish proverb with me: “A (Jewish) wife will forgive and forget, but she’ll never forget what she forgave,” and it got me thinking about my client. Maybe this is why she feels she can’t forgive – because she knows she’ll never forget. But forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting. It just means letting go of the hold that a situation or person has over you. Why give someone else’s actions the power to “run” your life? As the saying goes, “…holding a grudge is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies.”

What do you think? Is there someone in your life you need to forgive, in order to clear some emotional clutter from your life and start running your own life again?