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Author Topic: Forgiveness  (Read 410 times)

Klaw

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Forgiveness
« on: June 25, 2019, 05:55:16 pm »
I saw this today "Only God can forgive, I just try to forget." I have always felt that forgiveness is liberating. Is this part of your beliefs? Would love people's opinions on it.

PerditaPickle

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Re: Forgiveness
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2019, 06:04:47 pm »
I saw this today "Only God can forgive, I just try to forget." I have always felt that forgiveness is liberating. Is this part of your beliefs? Would love people's opinions on it.

I struggle with forgiveness at times - rationally, I'd like to forgive and forget, if only just to be able to move on and get on with my own life free of emotional burdens; but sometimes, just largely forgetting is the best I'm able to manage, and the closest thing to forgiveness that I can get to (depending on the circumstances, & etc).
"If I get on, Susan thought, it'll all start again.  I'll be out of the light and into the world beyond this one.  I'll fall off the tightrope.
But a voice inside her said, You want to, though...don't you...?
Ten seconds later, there was only the snow."
(Terry Pratchett's Hogfather)

Sefiru

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Re: Forgiveness
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2019, 06:29:56 pm »
I saw this today "Only God can forgive, I just try to forget." I have always felt that forgiveness is liberating. Is this part of your beliefs? Would love people's opinions on it.

I have a few different thoughts on this. I do think there is value in forgiveness, but that it has to take second place to self-defense. For example, someone currently in an abusive situation should not (or possibly can not, depending on your definitions) 'forgive' their abuser; someone who has left an abusive situation, or otherwise prevented further harm from occurring, has the option to forgive the person who harmed them.

The only time when I believe forgiveness is *required* is when the person who was wronged is in a position of power over the person who did wrong. (IE revenge is an abuse of power and makes one a bully.)

Which brings me to the idea of forgiveness by society at large, which I think North America could use more of. I've seen this mostly through the lens of media coverage, but often in discussions of criminal trials there's talk of wanting the harshest possible sentences because of 'victims' rights' (which are never expanded on). I find this strange because (1) there are reasons why judges choose the sentences rather than the victims and (2) there's often an implication that nobody ever heals from trauma, which is weird and kind of (not sure if this is the right term) patronising?

Anyway, there have been a few pieces on 60 Minutes recently about reconciliation and prisoner rehab programs, I'll see if I can dig up video links in the next day or two.

Also, will post further on 'what do you even mean by 'forgiveness'' once my thoughts are in order.

EclecticWheel

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Re: Forgiveness
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2019, 06:37:27 pm »
I saw this today "Only God can forgive, I just try to forget." I have always felt that forgiveness is liberating. Is this part of your beliefs? Would love people's opinions on it.

I forgive, but not really by choice.  Having healed emotionally over time, forgiveness was an effortless outgrowth.  My abusers do not deserve it.  They have never made amends, and even if they tried to, they can never repair the damage.

Nevertheless, much damage was repaired by time, and I am better off today living without hatred and resentment which were like plagues on my mind.

In my path I cultivate lovingkindness which can involve forgiveness.  I believe that every thought, effort, action, and desire arises from the interactions within the universe and from its underlying unity.

Cultivating lovingkindness helps me to remember that even abusers are more victims of their circumstances than anything else.  They could not have been otherwise than they are.  I should have the same compassion for myself.

But I will never forget.  I do not consider that a virtue, nor am I reluctant to set healthy boundaries to preserve my safety and wellbeing.  Forgiveness can occur at a distance, and if I hadn't set boundaries, I never could have healed in order to forgive.

I will never forget and don't want to.  Remembering injuries is necessary for me to make wise and informed decisions.

I read an Aesop's fable in childhood only once that I remember, and it stayed with me all my life, The Man and the Serpent.  The story illustrates that one may forgive without forgetting.  I provide a link below to that tale.

https://www.worldoftales.com/fables/Aesop_fables/Aesop_Fables_2.html
My personal moral code:

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Klaw

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Re: Forgiveness
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2019, 08:33:40 pm »
I have a few different thoughts on this. I do think there is value in forgiveness, but that it has to take second place to self-defense. For example, someone currently in an abusive situation should not (or possibly can not, depending on your definitions) 'forgive' their abuser; someone who has left an abusive situation, or otherwise prevented further harm from occurring, has the option to forgive the person who harmed them.

I have issues with the idea of you can't forgive unless you forget. The forgiveness I give is for me, not them. They have no idea. I forgive for my wellbeing and a sense of closure, but forgetting is foolish. Forgetting means that you didn't learn anything and it can happen again. If you forgive someone that doesn't mean you have to have anything else to do with them. You can write them out of your life.

Dynes Hysbys

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Re: Forgiveness
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2019, 06:01:03 am »
I saw this today "Only God can forgive, I just try to forget." I have always felt that forgiveness is liberating. Is this part of your beliefs? Would love people's opinions on it.

I find some things unforgivable and I don't actually have a problem with that as a concept.  Like Eclectic Wheel I find time sorts out most things without me actively having to forgive and for minor events I just forget about them.

Some things though I can never forget nor forgive. They don't haunt me and I don't generally waste any time or energy on them. The perpetrators just aren't worth it. I don't have to be nice to them though or have them in my life.

Sefiru

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Re: Forgiveness
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2019, 07:27:10 pm »
Some things though I can never forget nor forgive. They don't haunt me and I don't generally waste any time or energy on them. The perpetrators just aren't worth it. I don't have to be nice to them though or have them in my life.

If you forgive someone that doesn't mean you have to have anything else to do with them. You can write them out of your life.

This is why I think it's important to define what we each mean by 'forgiveness'.

I'm with Klaw on this one: my concept of 'forgiveness' includes letting go of anger and resentment, but does not necessarily include maintaining any contact with the wrongdoer (especially if it would be unsafe to do so).

Jenett

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Re: Forgiveness
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2019, 06:47:19 pm »
I saw this today "Only God can forgive, I just try to forget." I have always felt that forgiveness is liberating. Is this part of your beliefs?

I dislike having things in my past having life-twisting power over me.

What it takes to resolve that, however, is going to vary a lot. Sometimes it's been forgiving. Sometimes it's been "Oh, gods, what did I do with my life there, I am never doing that again." (my former marriage falls into this category: I learned some stuff, I am so glad I'm done, I don't want to do that particular kind of thing again, thank you.) Sometimes it's been a thing that is over and done and it falls out of my head.

And a few times, it is "I will carry a grudge about that for decades, and actually, that's okay." (In both cases, it's previous employers who treated me badly because of reasonable, legally covered chronic health needs.)

I've made a fair amount of peace with those things, it largely doesn't bug me - but I do not forget, and I do not forgive, either. I mostly funnel that into being really pleased I work somewhere now that is vastly better about it, and supporting people who are dealing with some similar things in figuring out better places for them to be, but ... it's a banked fire sort of thing, and I'm okay with knowing it's still burning.  It's a kind of situation where that's appropriate, and where it's not hurting me to hold onto that, because it reminds me of some important things and values.
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