1. Forgiving Doesn't Absolve. Forgiveness does not mean letting yourself or someone else off the hook. For every action, there are consequences. 

  2. Forgiveness can begin before the pain and/or shame go away. You don't have to wait for the offense to stop hurting or causing feelings of disgrace. 

  3. Forgiveness doesn't require an apology. You don't have to hold on to negative feelings while waiting around for remorse that may never come. 

  4. Forgiveness does not require forgetting. Failure to forget doesn't mean failure to forgive.

  5.  Forgiveness isn't a one stop shop.  Forgiveness is a fluid process that looks different for everyone. Don't compare your process to others. There is no wrong or right path. 

​© 2016 Amber Johnson, Assistant Professor, Communication Department, Saint Louis University. 

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