Is it selfish to forgive? After all, I do it to feel better. I do it for me.
There is a difference between what forgiveness is and why we do it. To forgive, by definition, is to be good to those who are not good to you. This is not a focus on the self, but on the other. If your motivation is to feel better, this is reasonable, especially if you are experiencing inner discomfort because of ongoing resentment. Thus, what forgiveness is and your current motivation can differ. One (the forgiving) is centered on the other. Your motivation is centered on your own healing. Neither of these is selfish. As a final point, not all motivations to forgive are centered on self-healing. For example, a person might be motivated to forgive for the sake of the one who offended.
Categories: Ask Dr. Forgiveness
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