Keynote Speaker: Carol McConkie
May 5, 2022
The Art of Balancing Forgiveness and Boundaries in Relationships
Forgiveness and boundaries are two concepts that can often seem at odds with each other. Forgiveness is often seen as letting go of hurt or resentment, while boundaries are about setting limits and protecting oneself. It can be difficult to find a balance between the two, but it is possible.
Firstly, it's important to understand that forgiveness doesn't mean forgetting or excusing hurtful behavior. It's possible to forgive someone while still recognizing that their behavior was unacceptable and setting boundaries to protect oneself from further harm. In fact, forgiveness can be a powerful tool in establishing boundaries. By forgiving someone, you are acknowledging the harm they caused and taking steps to prevent it from happening again.
Setting boundaries is about being clear about what behavior is and isn't acceptable. This can include communicating your needs and expectations, saying no when necessary, and taking steps to protect yourself from toxic or abusive relationships. Boundaries can be difficult to set, especially if you are used to putting others' needs ahead of your own, but they are essential for maintaining healthy relationships and self-care.
So, can forgiveness and boundaries co-exist? The answer is yes. Forgiveness can be a way of acknowledging harm while setting boundaries is a way of protecting oneself from further harm. Both are essential for healthy relationships and personal growth.
It's also important to note that forgiveness and boundaries are personal choices. Forgiving someone doesn't mean you have to continue the relationship or let them back into your life if you don't feel safe or comfortable doing so. Similarly, setting boundaries doesn't mean you can't forgive someone or that you have to hold onto anger or resentment.
Ultimately, finding the right balance between forgiveness and boundaries is a personal journey. It takes time, self-reflection, and a willingness to prioritize your own needs and well-being. But with practice, forgiveness and boundaries can co-exist and lead to a healthier and more fulfilling life.