Dear Minerva,

I have recently been wronged very deeply. It has involved a horrible rumor that has caused a lot of hurt not only to myself, but to others. I've processed the part of it that has hurt me, I've overcome the fact that it has happened and I feel like I'm in a good place. I've moved on with my life. In the process, the person who caused this whole mess has said that I should be a more tolerant and accepting person of the situation. Before I throw a dictionary at this person so they can learn the definitions of these words, what would you do?


Forgiving but not Forgetting

Dear FF,

Forgiveness, which I think is imperative to one's emotional well being, is not the same as forgetting. Forgiveness doesn't wipe the slate clean. Forgiveness does not suddenly alter the behavior that one is willing to tolerate and/or accept. Rumors are vile things, which cause very real—even life-altering and -ruining—consequences. Forgiveness is the acceptance that something has happened and one cannot change that. It's a conscious choice to not live in the past. Forgiveness is far more about one's own well-being and happiness than about the perpetrator. Some people never "get it" when it comes to forgiveness. Some people never realize that forgiving them of a transgression is not the same as condoning their behavior. Remember that this person showed you who they really are. They have to live with that. You've already won.

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