I have the honor of working with many people who have been abused physically, emotionally and or sexually. Our culture teaches us to “forgive and forget” and in fact those who don’t are often shamed for not taking the high road. Society says to forgive and forget, let bygones be bygones, and turn the other cheek. For people who have been abused or traumatized, forgiving isn’t necessarily the answer. The truth is you can choose to accept what has happened but you don’t have to forgive whoever has harmed you unless you so choose to. Forgiving is a very personal choice not to be influenced by what you think you “should” do. There is no shame in accepting what has happened without forgiving the perpetrator. The power comes when you can make your reaction to what happened be a choice. That’s the difference between being a victim and being a survivor.