unless you continue to remember it.”
Forgiveness isn’t to be taken lightly. Things that don’t matter much don’t need to be forgiven. Our pain is authentic and trespasses can be significant. Those of us holding onto real emotional wounds need to evaluate whether to forgive, which is not the same as forgetting. There are no easy, one-size-fits-all answers. Philosophical questions surround the issue too, such as whether certain offenses are unforgiveable.
In my latest romance, It’s Not a Date, one of my main characters, Kadrienne Davenport, has suffered from guilt made worse by her father’s harsh words and actions. Part of her has never moved on; she’s never forgiven him. And this unresolved issue affects her relationship with Jennifer Spencer, the woman she’s falling for, because it impacts how she sees herself and how she measures her worthiness to be loved.
This weighty topic might not sound particularly romantic, but being able to open one’s heart is a requisite for falling in love.
Children tend to grow up believing that their parents are the ones who should provide guidance and answers, but in reality, many parents lack the emotional tools to meet their children’s needs. So if a parent emotionally hurts a child, the child can be left rudderless and confused.
This is the situation Kade faces. Kade’s father is not a paragon of fatherhood. Instead of waiting for him to be the father she needs him to be, Kade has to finally decide whether or not to forgive him, and she needs to turn inward to make that determination. Her ability to forgive is hers to control, not his. And if she can forgive him, then maybe—just maybe—she can find peace with him and with herself.
Jen helps Kade reevaluate her stance on her relationship with her father. Jen, a kind and tenacious woman, plants the seed for Kade to consider whether there’s a better alternative to her ongoing bitterness toward him that has never yielded fruit—one in which Kade might be able to let go of the pain and move on.
With respect to Hamilton, forgiveness is not about what Alexander deserves; it’s about what Eliza deserves. Forgiveness doesn’t require reconciliation, though Eliza and Alexander ultimately reconcile. Eliza is never going to forget what Alexander did. But she can forgive. And in doing so, she isn’t rewarding Alexander. She is rewarding herself by letting go of her resentment and anger.