Forgiveness can be a powerful part of healing, but it is not, and cannot be a requirement of healing. That is because the importance of forgiveness is bound up in questions of morality and spirituality or religion.
I find part of toxic positivity on social media is to focus on forgiveness, to the exclusion of all else. It is this notion that facing, acknowledging and feeling the bad, messy, angry parts of healing is somehow wrong.
In my work, there is often a strong desire in folks to skip to the end part of this healing journey to the forgiveness stage. But if they do not face the rage, depression and grief that are part of the journey, then what is this forgiveness really worth?
I also find that so many of my trauma clients already hold a large amount of compassion and understanding for the people who hurt them. What they need is help is getting in touch and validating their anger and hurt.
Forgiveness can be part of healing, but it is not mandatory and cannot be the whole picture.
Please stop telling others that they have to forgive those who have hurt them.