You don't have to wait for an apology to forgive someone who hurt you
Photo by Karim MANJRA on Unsplash

Forgiveness is hard for most of us, but it's harder for some than others. When we've been harmed in some way—physically, emotionally, or both—we tend to carry the pain around with us. Anger and resentment are natural responses to being hurt, of course, and the longer or more severe the wounding, the more likely we are to feel those feelings long-term.

What we usually want—or think we want—is for the person who did the hurting to acknowledge our pain. We want them to fully understand what we feel, to know the impact of their words or actions. And we want an apology as proof that the person not only get, but also regrets, what they've said or done to us.

Some of us will hold onto our anger and resentment indefinitely, waiting for that all-important apology to come before we even consider the idea of forgiveness. But if we value our own well-being, we may want to rethink that order.

You don't have to wait for an apology—or even an acknowledgement—in order to forgive. And in fact, we shouldn't.


To fully understand why that is, we need to understand what forgiveness actually is. And in order to understand what forgiveness is, it's helpful to clarify what it isn't. Forgiving someone is not the same as making up with them. Forgiveness is not reconciliation. Forgiveness doesn't require justice to be done or apologies to be offered.

Forgiveness isn't an external action, but rather an internal state of letting go of anger and resentment. It's saying, "I'm no longer going to allow you and the hurt you've caused me keep me in a state of unhappiness." It's something you do for yourself, not for the person who hurt you.

Think about it. Who is that anger and resentment hurting the most? Who is having their life disrupted by it? Who is having to deal with it day in and day out? You, right? Not the person who hurt you. You.

And there are real physical effects of holding onto those emotions. "There is an enormous physical burden to being hurt and disappointed," says Karen Swartz, M.D., director of the Mood Disorders Adult Consultation Clinic at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Chronic anger impacts your heart rate, blood pressure, and immune system, which increases your risk of chronic disease. Forgiveness has the opposite effect.

And it doesn't mean just saying that you forgive the person. Again, forgiveness is an internal act of releasing anger, frustration, disappointment, and resentment. "It is an active process in which you make a conscious decision to let go of negative feelings whether the person deserves it or not," Swartz says.

That's why an apology isn't necessary in order to practice forgiveness. We have to let go of the idea that forgiveness means telling someone what they did is okay or that they are somehow being let off the hook. It doesn't. It means telling yourself that whatever the person did to you isn't going to keep you in a state of bitterness. It's making the choice to stop allowing your own anger to keep hurting you.

Sometimes forgiveness can lead to empathy and compassion for the person who hurt you, but it doesn't have to. Some kinds of harm are impossible to empathize with, but that doesn't mean they make forgiveness impossible. There are some incredible stories of people forgiving perpetrators of terrible atrocities, like the genocide in Rwanda, not because those things were forgotten or justified but because holding onto resentment and anger only punishes the victim of harm, not the perpetrator.

So if you've been waiting on an apology, try forgiveness first. While it's easier said than done, letting go can be incredibly freeing, and good for both your mental and physical health.

Cats are notoriously weird. Everyone who's had cats knows that they each have their own unique quirks, idiosyncrasies, preferences, habits, and flat-out WTFness.

But even those of us who have experience with bizarre cat behavior are blown away by the antics this "cat dad" is able to get away with.

Kareem and Fifi are the cat parents of Chase, Skye, and Millie—literally the most chill kitties ever. They share their family life on TikTok as @dontstopmeowing, and their videos have been viewed millions of times. When you see them, you'll understand why.

Take Chase's spa days, for example. It may seem unreal at first, but watch what happens when Fifi tries to take away his cucumber slices.

When she puts them back on his eyes? WHAT?! What cat would let you put them on once, much less get mad when you take them off?

This cat. Chase is living his best life.

But apparently, it's not just Chase. Skye and Millie have also joined in "spaw day." How on earth does one couple end up with three hilariously malleable cats?

Oh, and if you think they must have been sedated or something, look at how wide awake they are during bath time. That's right, bath time. Most cats hate water, but apparently, these three couldn't care less. How?

They'll literally do anything. The Don't Stop Meowing channel is filled with videos like this. Cats wearing glasses. Cats wearing hats. Cats driving cars. It's unbelievable yet highly watchable entertainment.

If you're worried that Kareem gets all the love and Fifi constantly gets the shaft, that seems to be a bit for show. Look at Chase and Fifi's conversation about her leaving town for a business trip:

The whole channel is worth checking out. Ever seen a cat being carried in a baby carrier at the grocery store? A cat buckled into a car seat? Three cats sitting through storytime? It's all there. (Just a heads up: A few of the videos have explicit language, so parents might want to do a preview before watching with little ones.) You can follow the couple and their cats on all their social media channels, including Instagram and YouTube if TikTok isn't your thing, here.

If you weren't a cat person before, these videos might change your mind. Fair warning, however: Getting a cat because you want them to do things like this would be a mistake. Cats do what they want to do, and no one can predict what weird traits they will have. Even if you raise them from kittenhood, they're still unpredictable and weird.

And honestly, we wouldn't have them any other way.

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We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

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You know that feeling you get when you walk into a classroom and see someone else's stuff on your desk?

OK, sure, there are no assigned seats, but you've been sitting at the same desk since the first day and everyone knows it.

So why does the guy who sits next to you put his phone, his book, his charger, his lunch, and his laptop in the space that's rightfully yours? It's annoying!

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There have been many iconic dance routines throughout film history, but how many have the honor being called "the greatest" by Fred Astaire himself?

Fayard and Harold Nicholas, known collectively as the Nicholas Brothers, were arguably the best at what they did during their heyday. Their coordinated tap routines are legendary, not only because they were great dancers, but because of their incredible ability to jump into the air and land in the splits. Repeatedly. From impressive heights.

Their most famous routine comes from the movie "Stormy Weather." As Cab Calloway sings "Jumpin' Jive," the Nicholas Brothers make the entire set their dance floor, hopping and tapping from podium to podium amongst the musicians, dancing up and down stairs and across the top of a piano.

But what makes this scene extra impressive is that they performed it without rehearsing it first and it was filmed in one take—no fancy editing room tricks to bring it all together. This fact was confirmed in a conversation with the brothers in a Chicago Tribune article in 1997, when they were both in their 70s:

"Would you believe that was one of the easiest things we ever did?" Harold told the paper.

"Did you know that we never even rehearsed that number?" added Fayard.

"When it came time to do that part, (choreographer) Nick Castle said: 'Just do it. Don`t rehearse it, just do it.' And so we did it—in one little take. And then he said: 'That's it—we can't do it any better than that.'"

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