Only now in the convergence of disparate thought do I realise how incapable of true forgiveness I really am. I mean, I can certainly put on the front of finery….but beyond that? Well…it’s one thing to act out the motions of forgiveness – it’s a whole other thing actually having the heart to do so. To actually allow the resentment to fall away – to excrete it from your system – is harder than professing that such has occurred. Sometimes the act of forgiveness can do a disservice to one’s dignity and self-respect, which is why I’ve never been at home with the concept of forgiveness as a virtue. Why forgive if that’s not what’s in your heart, not what comes naturally; or when the situation most empathetically cries out for you to do anything but?
Maybe my particular situation calls not for such harsh treatment; maybe I’m just surrendering to the mood of the moment….
…but does it make my questioning of the subject any less valid?
Forgiveness based on what we are told is right is not forgiveness. To not acknowledge that undermines the good we are trying to do by offering up false forgiveness in the first place.
False Forgiveness Example: (Forced)
“I’ll tell myself I’m not mad at you because everyone says it’s the right thing to do.”
True Forgiveness Example: (Found only with time)
“When I think now of what you did then, I no longer have an emotional response. I don’t like what you did, but I don’t feel hatred over the fact that you did it.”
You can still be wary of someone you’ve forgiven. That’s normal. They have to earn your trust again, after all.
Some situations require that you tolerate the person who wronged you, but I don’t believe you owe them a false forgiveness, nor do I believe that’s in your own best interest.
Why turn the other cheek? Look them straight in the eye and keep your dignity.
What you said made a lotta sense and was good advice – thank you..
Read your first two chunks of Bella – it’s coming along nicely though there probably should be more background framing these characters – are you/ have you redrafted it yet, or are you still working on the other piece?
Actually I’m much the same as you. I find it very hard to forgive a lot of the time, (unless the intentions of the person were originally good – then I class it as a misunderstanding, generally) and it’s definitely hard to forgive on demand. I find the best way to forgive is to give it time. Eventually the wounds do heal, whatever they are, and even though occasionally the trust is damaged beyond repair, some level of forgiveness can usually be found eventually.
I think time and reflection before making a decision either way would make a lot more sense than the blanket “forgive and forget” mentality that’s peddled in our Christian-influenced society……..
I totally agree.
A friend once told me…forgiveness is enlightened self-interest.
Of course, that would totally depend on the context….
forgiveness comes from accepting the apology of the one who wronged you, from accepting that the one who wronged you did not do so intentionally, or from the agreement that it will *never* happen again. Sometimes those are achieved by cutting that person from your life (thus, you reach a null emotional state towards them – they no longer matter at all). Sometimes those are achieved with free and honest communication.
Sometimes they can not be achieved and you simply have to wait until you are calm enough to no longer care.
Often it is important for atonement to happen before forgiveness.
And trust must always be re-earned. Whether you give that person the opportunity to earn that trust is up to you. I believe you saw my tirade about boundaries and keeping them.
“I believe you saw my tirade about boundaries and keeping them.”
Indeed I did 🙂
And thanks for your input….though I still think forgiveness is severely overrated….
How are you bearing up with everything that’s been going on?
I think forgiveness is not so much overrated as under-valued. People assume that they will be forgiven regardless of what transgressions they make. This is simply untrue.
I am still breathing. I am mostly taking everything one moment at a time. The whole stress factor has left me with a semi-functional brain. things are getting better though. I am trying to focus on one thing at a time.