The Difference Between Forgiveness vs. Acceptance

The difference between forgiveness vs. acceptance.

Should you forgive or accept people who have hurt you?

When someone hurts you, it’s not unusual for you to feel hurt, angry, perhaps betrayed and even bitter toward that person. 

Do you have a hard time forgiving people who have wronged you? Does giving mercy seem too easy and not at all satisfying? If you said “yes” to either of those questions, this blog post is for you.

When someone does you wrong, there are two things you can do: You can absolve them and let them go, or you can hold on to the pain and bitterness which in turn only hurts your mental health indefinitely.

Which option do you choose?

There are many different ways you can approach vindication. If you’re not sure how to move forward, don’t worry. We’ll help you move past the pain and onto the path of peace.

Do you struggle with forgiving someone who has hurt you? Or do you accept them for what they have done and move on? When you get right down to it, how does one really give mercy to someone?

In this post, we will explore the difference between the compassion of absolution and acceptance and what you can do to heal from the pain.

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Forgiveness vs Acceptance – Is One Better Than the Other?

Forgiveness and acceptance… Is one better than the other?

First of all, let’s make this perfectly clear… You are allowed to feel whatever emotions you feel. And especially in the case of betrayal, you do not have to apologize whatsoever how you feel. That said, however, you must be willing to accept the reality of the situation.  

In simple terms, the difference between acceptance and forgiveness is that forgiveness means letting go of the past. It allows you to move forward. Acceptance means you’re not going to let the past define who you are now.

Let’s start with the basics. What is forgiveness and what is acceptance?

A person can give you mercy for the sake of moving on. If you have forgiven someone, they should be able to move on with their life. They can no longer hold onto the pain and bitterness that has built up inside them.

But is that really what they want?

They may want to forget about what they did, but the fact is that you are still holding onto the hurt. You are still letting them affect you.

You might think that you need to forgive them to get closure and move on. But forgiveness isn’t necessary to get closure. You can get closure and move on without forgiveness.

The best way to heal from the pain is to realize that it’s gone. There is nothing you can do about the past. There is nothing you can do to change what happened. It is what it is. Learn to empower yourself with the healing powers of reconciliation towards the person who wronged you.

Acceptance is the best way to heal from pain. You can let go of the past and move on with your life. You can be happy again and stop dwelling on the pain. You can cultivate a new self-awareness of self-love and happiness.

Acceptance is a more positive term than forgiveness. But does that mean it’s the better choice?

People can be very hurtful. When you choose to accept a person’s past actions, you can let go of a painful and negative experience. If you choose to forgive someone, you have to let go of anger and bitterness. You learn to take responsibility and move forward with your life.

While forgiveness feels like a natural response to betrayal, it often leads to a feeling of resentment and negative emotions. The person has committed the betrayal again, only you are less forgiving.

It’s a lot of work and it does take time to forgive and forget. But it can be worth it if you want to move forward.  You can turn this into positive emotions that leave us with more joy and happiness in our life.

How to Heal the Pain From Past Incidents

How to heal the pain from past incidents that others may have inflicted you with.

The process of acquittal is not easy, but it is important. If you are hurting, then you must show charity to the other person.

One of the most difficult aspects of the healing process is knowing whether or not the person is truly sorry for what they have done. Quite often, if the person doesn’t apologize, then it may be better to move on.

However, if the person does apologize, then it is time to start the healing process and remove these toxic emotions once and for all.

There are a number of ways you can show reconciliation. It may be as simple as a simple “thank you”, or as complicated as a formal letter.

Be prepared to talk about the hurt that the past experiences have caused and how it has affected your life.

After that, you need to decide if you are willing to forgive. It is not necessary to forget everything that happened. However, you should let go of the past and focus on the future and live in the present moment.

Per the blog entitled: ‘The Power of Forgiveness Can Be a Lifechanger,’, it states:

“Forgiveness is a ‘choice’ to let go of hanging on to grudges or bitterness and in the process, dealing with the ‘hurt’  in a positive way. We can never truly forgive unless we learn to forgive ourselves and use the power of ‘love’ when forgiving.

Forgiveness is for our own happiness and personal growth. It eliminates human suffering.  

The importance of the act of forgiving means you value yourself and your well-being first and foremost. Read this next quote and you will see the power that forgiveness has for you!”

How to Forgive Yourself and Ask for Forgiveness for Your Own Past Grievances

A major part of being human is learning how to forgive ourselves for our own mistakes, shortcomings, and injustices. We all make mistakes, but instead of beating ourselves up about them, we should embrace the fact that we’re human. This is called acceptance.

The reality is simply this… Sometimes our emotions get in the way of our rationality and judgment. Perhaps we may have been on the other side of the equation. Have ‘you’ ever said or done something that you regretted? Or knowing you caused pain to someone else? 

If you’re stuck in the past, it’s time to take action. It’s time to do the right thing. We mustn’t let our ego get in our way.

You also need to learn the power of forgiveness, not to just forgive yourself but to do the right thing to those you have hurt. Just as there is power in forgiveness, there is also power in apologizing. 

It takes courage to admit when one is wrong.

While it won’t take away what happened, it shows humility and regret. Not only can you apologize but you can also sincerely and authentically ask for ‘their’ absolution.

How can you apologize sincerely and ask to be forgiven? You can initiate by simply picking up the phone and calling by saying: “I’m so sorry to have caused you pain… You have every right to be upset with me… etc.”

If this is not possible, consider writing a caring, authentic letter apologizing and asking for their charity and compassion. 

But do know this… Just because you apologize and just because you may have been forgiven, your past actions may dull as time passes, but they won’t ever be completely forgotten. Respect this.

How To Forgive Someone You Love in Expressing Your Feelings of Heartbreak

People go through a lot of pain and heartache when there is a breakup.

When you’re in a situation where you feel you’ve been wronged, it’s easy to hold onto the anger and resentment you feel.

We have all been hurt and disappointed by others in our lives. But it’s important to forgive those who have hurt you because holding on to negative emotions will only cause you to feel depressed.

So, how do you actually forgive someone who has hurt you? How do you express your feelings of heartbreak?

Steps to True Forgiveness

Again, per the previous blog referenced above, ‘The Power of Forgiveness is a Lifechanger,’ please follow these simple steps to true forgiveness. Learn to give kindness to the person who hurt you. Yes, it’s not easy, but it can be done.

  • First and foremost, give yourself the needed time to cool off and reflect on everything that transpired. And there’s no shame in letting it out… cry, scream, vent… whatever you need to do.
  • As hard as it may seem, learn to accept the person’s apology. It takes courage to admit when one is wrong. And by acceptance, you’re closer to forgiveness and ultimately being happy again.
  • Now’s not the time to be timid. Let the person know exactly how you feel.
  • Show compassion. Think of all the good things that this person or friend did for you in the past.
  • Reflect – did you ever wronged that person yourself in the past? Do you need to make amends yourself?
  • Consider the grand scheme of things–is there a lesson to be learned?
  • If this relationship is meaningful to you, try to rebuild trust, or at the minimum, be friends.
  • Decide to accept, forgive and move forward to a more happier, fulfilled life and start having wonderful experiences you deserve to have again.

The Bottom Line… Moving Forward and Practicing Self-Love

If you’ve ever experienced forgiveness, you’ll know it feels good. You’ll feel lighter, timeless, and maybe even freer. But what about acceptance? Is it any different?

Recapping what we’ve learned, I leave you with this:

Acceptance is simply acknowledging that someone has hurt you and that you can’t change what happened. It doesn’t mean you condone what the person did or approve of their behavior that hurt us.

It means you are choosing to love and forgive someone. 

It means you’re nurturing your mental well-being.

It means you’re practicing self-love for yourself in giving you back joy and happiness in your life. 

21 Quotes About the Healing Power of Forgiveness

As reiterated above, absolution is not an easy journey, to get to where you forgive people. But it is such a powerful lifechanging act, because it frees you. Let these 21 quotes both inspire you and give you pause… to think about the amazing healing power of forgiveness!

1) “Forgive… It’s Life-Changing!” —

Beth Elkassih

2) “Forgiving isn’t something you do for someone else. It’s something you do for yourself. It’s saying, ‘You’re not important enough to have a stranglehold on me.’ It’s saying, ‘You don’t get to trap me in the past. I am worthy of a future.

Jodi Picoult

3) “You hold in your hand an invitation: to remember the transforming power of forgiveness and loving-kindness. To remember that no matter where you are and what you face, within your heart peace is possible.

Jack Cornfield

4) “We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.”

Martin Luther King

5) “It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forHumanity is never so beautiful as when praying for forgiveness, or else forgiving another.give. Forgive everybody.”

Maya Angelo

6) “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”


7) “The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world.”

Marianne Williamson

8) “Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”

Mark Twain

9) “It takes one person to forgive, it takes two people to be reunited.”

Lewis B. Smedes

10)”Before we can forgive one another, we have to understand one another”

Emma Goldman

11)”When you forgive, you in no way change the past – but you sure do change the future.”

Bernard Meltzer

12)”One of the secrets of a long and fruitful life is to forgive everybody, everything, every night before you go to bed.”

Bernard Baruch

13)”What power has love but forgiveness?”

William Carlos Williams

14)”Humanity is never so beautiful as when praying for forgiveness, or else forgiving another.”

Jean Paul

15)”Bear with the faults of others as you would have them bear with yours.”

Phillips Brooks

16)”It is very easy to forgive others their mistakes; it takes more grit and gumption to forgive them for having witnessed your own.”

Jesssamyn West

17)”Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future.”

Lews B. Smedes

18)”Life is too short to carry the burden of a heavy heart. It does not serve you or anyone else. Free yourself through the power of forgiveness and compassion.”

David Simon

19)”Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you were.”

Cherie Carter

20)”He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass.”

George Herbert

21)”To forgive is one of the greatest powers of love that one can give.”

Beth Elkassih

About the author

beth elkassih

“Hi! Welcome to the launching and introduction to ‘Made You Smile Back’! I’m so pleased you’re here. Let me share with you a little bit about myself and why I created this platform.”

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2 comments on “The Difference Between Forgiveness vs. Acceptance”

  1. This is an excellent blog. In my profession, it’s the most challenging for our clients. Especially, forgiving themselves. Resentments, Guilt and Shame are so deep and painful. We do our best to encourage them about what ‘Acceptance’ means. Thank You. This ‘blog’ should be very inspiring, thought provoking and powerful!!

    1. Andrea, these are such wonderful positive and supportive comments. Thank you soooo much. I enjoyed writing this blog and actually learned how to be more accepting myself. Thank you for sharing.

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