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3 Key Benefits to Forgiving and Why I Thanked My Imperfect Parents

“Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness.” ~Marianne Williamson

The subject of forgiveness comes up often in conversation, but I find that when it comes to the details of what that truly entails, what that process feels like is not actually talked about.

Over the years, I’ve heard the following statements most often from people when the subject of forgiving someone came up in discussions:

1. “What they’ve done is just wrong! I can never forgive them for that.”

2. “They haven’t earned my forgiveness. There’s no reason for me to forgive them.”

3. “Oh, I already forgave them and let it go. I haven’t told them because we aren’t talking. Why should I be the one to reach out first?”

In 2006, I attended a long weekend workshop with the late Dr. Lee Gibson, where he gifted us one of his brilliant Leeisms: “Forgiveness is erasing a debt you think someone owes you. That’s why forgiveness can feel like it’s costing you something.”

I was blown away.

Yes! I was beginning to understand why it was so hard for me to forgive my parents. I was stuck in the very same mentality of “Why should I?”, “They were clearly wrong!”, and “They haven’t earned it!”

Late one night when I was nineteen, I was by my father, who lost his temper and self-control. I thought I was going to die that night, because it certainly felt like he was trying to kill me. My younger brother eventually pulled him off me and kept him away long enough for us all to calm down.

I was terrified and didn’t sleep for three nights. I also told myself this was the last time I was going to allow this to happen. I started packing that night and

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