Does Forgiveness Lead to Acceptance?

In the world of forgiveness you will commonly hear “forgiveness leads to acceptance” and “we forgive to accept”. There is so much to be gained by not struggling against reality, but is acceptance the true prize of forgiveness?

What led me to the forgiveness path was a ruptured relationship that ended in deceit. I accepted what was done and gone, however my mind couldn’t accept how things ended. I would relay the story over and over in my head, each time hoping for an understandable end, only to come up against a wall of resentment. After three years of my inner drama I reluctantly embarked on the path of forgiveness. 

Forgiveness required that I get really-real about unconditional love, my emotional truth, and most importantly, how to synchronize unconditional love with my emotional truth. When my forgiveness journey was complete, my mental looping ceased, my resentment was gone, and for the first time in three years…I felt peaceful and free. 

While many assert that forgiveness is the path to acceptance, I think this description sells the power of forgiveness short. In addition to inner peace and freedom, forgiveness brought me:
1. a practical experience of unconditional love
2. a deep respect for my emotions
3. discernment instead of distrust
4. a restored heart

Based on this understanding I would never say we forgive to accept, and I will always say that we forgive to heal.

The Three Keys of Forgiveness

At the core of forgiveness is a straightforward path that rests on three key elements.

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