PDA

View Full Version : What's your definition of forgiveness?



Marian Perera
01-17-2014, 05:23 AM
I was just reading a personal story on another forum about someone refusing to attend a wedding because the bride had bullied her for years. Many of the responses (the bride's included) were about how the person should forgive and move on.

The interesting part was how everyone seemed to have a different idea of forgiveness.

Does it mean telling the person who hurt you that you have wiped the slate clean and would like to try having a better relationship with them?

Does it mean thinking good thoughts about that person, wishing them the best even if you don't try to mend matters with them or associate with them?

Or does it just mean the absence of negative thoughts? Personally, I found that when I no longer had to see, hear, speak to or hear about someone who had hurt me badly, I thought less and less about that person, until finally they were little more than an unpleasant memory. I'm not sure if that constitutes forgiving, though, unless the definition of forgiveness is "having a life that doesn't involve the person who wronged you".

Finally, is forgiving someone who harmed you an obligation? As in, if you don't make a conscious effort to do it, are you wallowing in the past?

KellyAssauer
01-17-2014, 05:41 AM
If the person who did the bulling wants forgiveness, that's their problem. I'm not having a relationship with them or attending their wedding, or associating with them at all.

I have no obligation to forgive them.

I've already moved on.

Hanson
01-17-2014, 05:46 AM
I was just reading a personal story on another forum about someone refusing to attend a wedding because the bride had bullied her for years. Many of the responses (the bride's included) were about how the person should forgive and move on.

The interesting part was how everyone seemed to have a different idea of forgiveness.

Does it mean telling the person who hurt you that you have wiped the slate clean and would like to try having a better relationship with them?

Does it mean thinking good thoughts about that person, wishing them the best even if you don't try to mend matters with them or associate with them?

Or does it just mean the absence of negative thoughts? Personally, I found that when I no longer had to see, hear, speak to or hear about someone who had hurt me badly, I thought less and less about that person, until finally they were little more than an unpleasant memory. I'm not sure if that constitutes forgiving, though, unless the definition of forgiveness is "having a life that doesn't involve the person who wronged you".

Finally, is forgiving someone who harmed you an obligation? As in, if you don't make a conscious effort to do it, are you wallowing in the past?
Now this is what I call a office party thread!

(really)


There's a lot of 'shoulds' in the world. Not a fan of them.

I have to admit, I don't understand forgiveness.

Look forward to the answers on this thread.

Wilde_at_heart
01-17-2014, 05:56 AM
If someone decides that someone else is or was a toxic influence in their lives and seeks to extract that person from it, 'forgiveness' is sometimes irrelevant.

Each person is free to make their own choices.

In such a scenario, I probably wouldn't give a toss about that particular person any more but that wouldn't mean I'd want to go to their wedding either. I'd rather not have anything to do with them at all and would rather spend the time either with people I actually want to be around, or doing whatever else I'd sooner be doing.

'Forgiving' someone doesn't mean you're under any sort of obligation to be around them. Especially a wedding where you're expected to spend money on them, buy a gift or try to pretend you're happy for them as opposed to utterly indifferent.

If anything, I'd be wondering about the bride's motives in all that.

Snitchcat
01-17-2014, 05:57 AM
I don't have a definition for "forgiveness". If it means apologising sincerely then moving on, then that's what it is. OTOH, if it means letting go of the hurt, permitting yourself to move on, then perhaps that definition is more apt.

Forgiving someone who has wronged you? Maybe I'm petty this way, but I won't let it go. Especially if it's purposely done.

Forgiveness is quite the concept.

Hanson
01-17-2014, 05:59 AM
From wiki. I think it's a good starting definition.


{Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as revenge, with an increased ability to wish the offender well. Forgiveness is different from condoning (failing to see the action as wrong and in need of forgiveness), excusing (not holding the offender as responsible for the action), pardoning (granted by a representative of society, such as a judge), forgetting (removing awareness of the offence from consciousness), and reconciliation (restoration of a relationship). In certain contexts, forgiveness is a legal term for absolving or giving up all claims on account of debt, loan, obligation or other claims.

As a psychological concept and virtue, the benefits of forgiveness have been explored in religious (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion) thought, the social sciences (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_science) and medicine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicine). Forgiveness may be considered simply in terms of the person who forgives including forgiving themselves, in terms of the person forgiven or in terms of the relationship between the forgiver and the person forgiven. In most contexts, forgiveness is granted without any expectation of restorative justice (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restorative_justice), and without any response on the part of the offender (for example, one may forgive a person who is incommunicado (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/incommunicado) or dead).

and



The need to forgive is widely recognized by the public, but they are often at a loss for ways to accomplish it. For example, in a large representative sampling of American people on various religious topics in 1988, the Gallup Organization (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gallup_Organization) found that 94% said it was important to forgive, but 85% said they needed some outside help to be able to forgive. However, not even regular prayer was found to be effective. Akin to forgiveness is mercy, so even if a person is not able to complete the forgiveness process he or she can still show mercy, especially when so many wrongs are done out of weakness rather than malice. The Gallup poll revealed that the only thing that was effective was meditative prayer}


This part below is probably the crux.

In most contexts, forgiveness is granted without any expectation of restorative justice (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restorative_justice), and without any response on the part of the offender (for example, one may forgive a person who is incommunicado (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/incommunicado) or dead).

Hanson
01-17-2014, 06:27 AM
Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as revenge, with an increased ability to wish the offender well.

the above, from the wiki definition is interesting.

a change in feelings/ attitude towards an offense?


does that mean the offense was not an offense?

or that the victim called it wrong?

or....

that the offense WAS an offense, but the victim...what? Exactly?


the other parts I do understand. "lets go of negative emotions such as revenge, with an increased ability to wish the offender well" - but I dont see that as part of forgiveness. I see that as wisdom.


The heart of the matter might be, what is an offense?

If the perpetrator was say, 'immature' (like the kid who ran down those people while drunk, mentioned a month ago on AW) , or angry, or does that mean their offense is 'less' offensive? does it negate the offense?

I think not.


Yes, the wisdom to understand the immaturity, and the wisdom not too let emotions like revenge consume one is fine.


so why would a victims feelings/attitude change mean anything other than avoiding consumption by revenge or allowing the victim to understand the offense more. that's wisdom. that's self preservation, self development, self love.

so then, what is forgiveness? Self preservation wisdom?

Marian Perera
01-17-2014, 06:51 AM
Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as revenge, with an increased ability to wish the offender well.

Well, I let go of wanting revenge, but that's partly because it would have been completely unfeasible.

Do not wish the offender well. Do not wish anything at all for him, actually - which is an improvement.


Yes, the wisdom to understand the immaturity

What if the cause of the offense was worse than immaturity, though?

Let's take, I dunno, a Nigerian scammer who defrauds someone out of thousands of dollars. Should the victim make an effort to understand greed and malice? I can certainly see someone investigating and researching such scams to make sure he or she is better informed, but I don't think that's forgiveness.

Marian Perera
01-17-2014, 06:58 AM
I have no obligation to forgive them.

I've already moved on.

Agreed. I figure that if you (generic you) have harmed someone, then that person gets to decide the when, where, how and if of forgiveness. You're not owed it and they're not under any obligation to provide you with something that will make you feel better.

Hanson
01-17-2014, 07:08 AM
Well, I let go of wanting revenge, but that's partly because it would have been completely unfeasible.

Do not wish the offender well. Do not wish anything at all for him, actually - which is an improvement.



What if the cause of the offense was worse than immaturity, though?

Let's take, I dunno, a Nigerian scammer who defrauds someone out of thousands of dollars. Should the victim make an effort to understand greed and malice? I can certainly see someone investigating and researching such scams to make sure he or she is better informed, but I don't think that's forgiveness.
Just to mention the definition at the top of my last post is from wiki

but yes the word forgiveness does seem to carry a lot of baggage with it.

for me, the phrase should be 'self-preservation wisdom' - which I think is clearer than the term 'forgiveness'.


the scammer thing is a non-personal illegal action, same as many - dont think it carries the same qualities as a personal affront as such, so s-p wisdom is pretty easy - be careful in online transactions.


the 'grade' of offense is where the s-p wisdom comes into play. s-p wisdom says 'for your self-preservation and happiness, your best response is such and such, for example, understanding the perpetrator mindset etc. s-p wisdom says doing this, will benefit you.


the thing with the word forgiveness is that it isn't clear that you- the victim- are the benefactor - if that is the actual case. (not sure, as I'm not sure of its exact meaning)

Vito
01-17-2014, 07:19 AM
First, forgive. Second, forget. Don't let those negative thoughts and feelings hang around your mind and your soul for too long. They're just a lot of dead weight, and they'll eventually drag you down.

But I think it's important to use good judgment in our future relations with the "bad dudes" and "bad chicks" in our lives. Forgiving and forgetting doesn't require us to fall back into the same unrewarding relationship that engendered the negative experiences in the first place. Sometimes it makes sense to forgive, forget, and simply move on -- quietly and peacefully disengage from the relationship forever. Such a thing is hard to do when it comes to a family member; but it usually turns out to be really easy when it's one of the other 7 billion or so people in the world.

Siri Kirpal
01-17-2014, 07:43 AM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

"Forgiveness is letting go all hope for a better past." Lily Tomlin (I think.)

That's the best definition. Just as a definition.

As a life practice, forgiveness means dumping resentment and anger towards the bullier, the perp, the bad guy. It does NOT mean condoning or forgetting or accepting what they did. And it certainly doesn't mean you need to attend that person's wedding (unless you want to).

You forgive to heal you, to prevent toxic buildup in your psyche. You do not forgive to make the other person okay.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Stlight
01-17-2014, 08:31 AM
Actually sounds a bit as though the bride in the example is taking the opportunity to continue to bully the person 'who should forgive her.'

Brightdreamer
01-17-2014, 09:47 AM
Actually sounds a bit as though the bride in the example is taking the opportunity to continue to bully the person 'who should forgive her.'

+1

Forgiveness cannot be compelled, least not by the one whose actions caused the hurt to begin with.

Silent Rob
01-17-2014, 12:30 PM
I agree with Vito and Siri. Forgiveness, in my book, has much more to do with just letting go and moving on than in formally absolving somebody else of past sins. I'm sure a great many of those people couldn't care less whether they've been forgiven or not.

That said, people do things they later regret for a variety of reasons. I know a few people who I thought were right scrotums in their younger days who have since grown up and becoming perfectly acceptable members of the hoomin race. I'd rather find common ground with them than carry around a load of resentment for something that happened a long time ago.

Who knows. Perhaps there are people out there who feel the same way about me.

Putputt
01-17-2014, 01:20 PM
Who knows. Perhaps there are people out there who feel the same way about me.

Bwuh?

*tries to hide Muppet Hunting Devicetm*

As for forgiveness...whenever I've received sincere apologies, my immediate reaction is to get teary-eyed and be overcome with lurve for that person. But then again, I can't remember a truly horrible thing anyone's done to me, so it's pretty easy to forgive and move on.

I'm kinda confused about the wedding thing though. Why does the bride want this girl who she bullied for years to attend her wedding? The bride sounds kinda over-bearing to me...I mean, if the girl's not ready to forgive her, the bride should give her the space she needs. This is assuming the bride wants forgiveness and has sincerely apologized, of course.

Ken
01-17-2014, 02:02 PM
Turn the other cheek:

27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also.
30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

- Luke 6:27–31

Marian Perera
01-17-2014, 02:45 PM
But then again, I can't remember a truly horrible thing anyone's done to me, so it's pretty easy to forgive and move on.

You're a lucky person, Putputt. :)


I'm kinda confused about the wedding thing though. Why does the bride want this girl who she bullied for years to attend her wedding? The bride is marrying the girl's cousin and they want the whole family to be at the wedding.

The girl declined without giving a reason, so bride and cousin both approached her to ask why she couldn't make it. Then she mentioned the bullying. Bride said she couldn't remember it, and even if it had happened, it was a long time ago (in high school) and people should be able to move on from there.

Many of the responses are about being gracious, being an adult, being the bigger person, considering the family's wishes, etc.

Putputt
01-17-2014, 02:59 PM
You're a lucky person, Putputt. :)

Heh, yah. I haven't come across too many terrible human beings. :D



The bride is marrying the girl's cousin and they want the whole family to be at the wedding.

The girl declined without giving a reason, so bride and cousin both approached her to ask why she couldn't make it. Then she mentioned the bullying. Bride said she couldn't remember it, and even if it had happened, it was a long time ago (in high school) and people should be able to move on from there.

Many of the responses are about being gracious, being an adult, being the bigger person, considering the family's wishes, etc.

Oh, gross. Hur hur. So basically the bride is just putting it all on the girl and being like, "Your experience does not matter. What matters is MY wedding." Screw that noise. She needs to apologize sincerely to this girl who she's bullied instead of expecting her to consider the family's wishes etc, and she needs to own up to the fact that she was an asshole in the past instead of trying to brush it off.

Fruitbat
01-17-2014, 03:10 PM
Forgiveness is easier after revenge. :)

Anninyn
01-17-2014, 03:24 PM
I'll come to forgiveness in my own time, when I am ready for it, and the insistence that those who have been hurt *have* to forgive causes them more harm. Anger is valuable and powerful and restorative, and being angry that someone hurt me is OK.

But the people who've hurt me who I do forgive - I'm not angry with them for what they did any more, and I understand to a certain extent what drove them. If a situation arose where they desperately needed my help I'd probably give it. But I have no interest in any kind of relationship with them any more.

Hanson
01-17-2014, 03:41 PM
Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as revenge, with an increased ability to wish the offender well.

re Revenge.

Revenge is an attempt by the victim to make the perp feel pain. Not often noticed in this approach, is the belief that if the perp feels a pain equal or greater to that of the victim through an act of revenge, the perp will experience empathy for the victim. This, strangely enough is of benefit to the perp.
If the perp doesn't benefit from empathy, they may benefit from absolution of buried guilt (ie, the victim is just as bad as me)


The other part of revenge is to allow the victim purge the sense of victimization, if one's confidence was shaken by the perp's act. This may benefit the victim, but carries the risk of carrying guilt and a lowering of self esteem (ie I'm no better than the perp, or similar)

Revenge then tends to offer uncertain help to the victim, and possibly benefit to the perp.

the last part of the quote 'with an increased ability to wish the offender well', is nonsensical or at best unclear. What it might mean is that because you have engaged in the s-p wisdom approach (i.e do that which offers you the greatest benefit) your understanding of the perp's actions increases. However, that doesn't mean you will 'wish the offender well' any more than you might wish humanity well.

Cathy C
01-17-2014, 03:46 PM
For myself, forgiveness is accepting that the person is who they are. I can't change that and I can't erase the past. I give up thoughts of retribution and ill thoughts, until it's a pleasant calm inside my head when I think of them, rather than anger. The warm feelings of like or love might have dissolved with the act, but the hot anger and cold hate have too. It's neutral.

But that in no way says I will continue to stay in touch. Because to me, part of acknowledging their right to be who they are, and internally believing that I have no right to impose a change on them, is acknowledging my right to be who I am too.

I know a lot of people might say that you can't truly forgive someone unless you can continue to interact with the person as though the event never existed. But if the act(s) wasn't just a mistake or confusion but an actual reflection of who the person is, and that person hasn't acknowledged the act as something that needs to be changed in themselves, then I think it's unfair to put yourself in a situation where the person is likely to do the same act again . . . with the same result of anger or pain. Because if my reaction of anger or pain isn't based in my own selfishness or faults, but in what I consider to be wrong, such as an ethical difference, then there's really no response other than to know that people are different. I can acknowledge and accept and forgive without actively seeking future contact.

Now, in the given situation, would I go to the wedding? That would depend on other factors. If the groom and I are close then yeah, probably I'd suck it up and go. But if I were just a fringe relative and didn't really know either person, then I guess it would depend on whether there was anyone else going to the wedding I wanted to see. If not, then I'd just do as the OP's friend did and decline. The bride's issues are the bride's issues. Not mine. :Shrug:

Hanson
01-17-2014, 03:56 PM
For myself, forgiveness is accepting that the person is who they are. I can't change that and I can't erase the past. I give up thoughts of retribution and ill thoughts, until it's a pleasant calm inside my head when I think of them, rather than anger. The warm feelings of like or love might have dissolved with the act, but the hot anger and cold hate have too. It's neutral.

But that in no way says I will continue to stay in touch. Because to me, part of acknowledging their right to be who they are, and internally believing that I have no right to impose a change on them, is acknowledging my right to be who I am too.

I know a lot of people might say that you can't truly forgive someone unless you can continue to interact with the person as though the event never existed. But if the act(s) wasn't just a mistake or confusion but an actual reflection of who the person is, and that person hasn't acknowledged the act as something that needs to be changed in themselves, then I think it's unfair to put yourself in a situation where the person is likely to do the same act again . . . with the same result of anger or pain. Because if my reaction of anger or pain isn't based in my own selfishness or faults, but in what I consider to be wrong, such as an ethical difference, then there's really no response other than to know that people are different. I can acknowledge and accept and forgive without actively seeking future contact.


From wiki. I think it's a good starting definition.


{Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as revenge, with an increased ability to wish the offender well.

Forgiveness is different from condoning (failing to see the action as wrong and in need of forgiveness), excusing (not holding the offender as responsible for the action), pardoning (granted by a representative of society, such as a judge), forgetting (removing awareness of the offense from consciousness), and reconciliation (restoration of a relationship).

In most contexts, forgiveness is granted without any expectation of restorative justice (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restorative_justice), and without any response on the part of the offender (for example, one may forgive a person who is incommunicado (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/incommunicado) or dead).


Yes Cathy, I agree with that approach. And it seems that's some of the definition offered by wiki.

Kylabelle
01-17-2014, 04:08 PM
Agree with Hanson, CathyC, you said it well. It's one of the hardest things to do, though, I feel. It took years for me to begin to understand that forgiveness is not the same as exonerating the person who did the damage (whatever it might have been) and then longer to get it that forgiveness basically benefits the one doing the forgiving.

I also respond to apologies by pretty much melting where I stand. If a person really gets it that what they have done is not good, and genuinely expresses regret, I am eager to repair the good feelings. I find it also strengthens the connection, when one apologizes and the other accepts.

Forgiveness doesn't depend on any of that, though. And letting go in the absence of an apology or any kind of remorse is pretty difficult. But worth the effort.

In the case of the wedding, I don't know what the context of this is as an online conversation, but my support goes to the cousin who wishes to stay away from the bride. Self protection is important. Forgiveness is actually part of self protection, not opposed to it.

Katrina S. Forest
01-17-2014, 04:08 PM
I think a lot would depend on the situation. If the girl who bullied me in middle school asked my forgiveness and was genuinely trying to be a friend to me now that we're adults, I would probably attend. But if it was simply an invite in the mail, as if the past had never happened, I probably wouldn't attend. I don't harbor any anger towards her, but she is a stranger to me now, and I generally don't attend strangers' weddings.

As to the definition of forgiveness, we had a guest speaker at our church once who (in my opinion) said it pretty well. The summary of it was that forgiving is admitting that you're angry and hurt (not pretending the hurt never happened), but trying to seek peace anyway. It's renouncing revenge. And depending on the situation, it might also include the recognition that you've needed forgiveness in the past, too.

That last bit hit home for me, because although I was never a bully, I've certainly said my fair share of things that hurt other people. Some because I was angry, some just out of my own stupid ignorance, but if we're making a list of grievances, people could certainly bring plenty against me.

Of course, this is all nearly two decades in the past. Forgiving people who have hurt me recently is way harder. :(

Katrina S. Forest
01-17-2014, 04:11 PM
For myself, forgiveness is accepting that the person is who they are. I can't change that and I can't erase the past. I give up thoughts of retribution and ill thoughts, until it's a pleasant calm inside my head when I think of them, rather than anger. The warm feelings of like or love might have dissolved with the act, but the hot anger and cold hate have too. It's neutral.

I like this a lot. :)

KellyAssauer
01-17-2014, 04:13 PM
Perhaps there are people out there who feel the same way about me.

Naa, I forgave you long ago.

;)

Inky
01-17-2014, 04:15 PM
My daughter is STILL scarred from bullying. If the bride/bully had the audacity to invite my daughter to her wedding, I'd be the one attending.
It wouldn't be pretty.

Forgive?
Seriously?
If a person can't FORGET, why SHOULD they forgive?
No.
You might put it away, but you never truly forget.

For myself, I became friends with my childhood nemesis. In the end, I had to come to terms with the fact that she was an emotional succubus and did I really want this misery in my life?
No.
Life's short.
Who needs to be surrounded by buggers who will bleed you dry of happiness?

Putputt
01-17-2014, 04:23 PM
I think a lot would depend on the situation. If the girl who bullied me in middle school asked my forgiveness and was genuinely trying to be a friend to me now that we're adults, I would probably attend. But if it was simply an invite in the mail, as if the past had never happened, I probably wouldn't attend. I don't harbor any anger towards her, but she is a stranger to me now, and I generally don't attend strangers' weddings.


Heh, I agree with this...

When I was in elementary school, I was bullied by two girls and I remember hating them with all the passion an 8-yr-old could muster. Thankfully, we went to different high schools, so I never saw them in person again. A few years later, one of them added me on Facebook. I added her back, mostly because I was curious, and we started chatting a little. I half-jokingly said, "Remember how you and Sue-Anne used to bully me? I kinda plotted your deaths. :D" She was horrified to learn about that and admitted that she had forgotten about the bullying, but once I brought it up, it all came rushing back and she was very ashamed and apologetic, which made me go, Awww. Okies we be friends now. :D

When I got married, one of my guests is a girl I had written a hate letter to in HS. It was the same thing...I had conveniently forgotten about the letter until she brought it up years later. THEN I remembered, and apologized sincerely to her. Fortunately, she accepted my apology and even accepted my wedding invitation, which I appreciated.

In both cases, there was an apology (a sincere one along the lines of "I'm so sorry I was an asshole. I hope you can forgive me.", not a "I'm sorry you got offended, now please move on."), and then the ball was in the bullied person's court. So ya...I think the bride owes the girl a sincere apology. Then, if I were the girl, especially if I was close to the cousin who's getting married, I'd probably go to the wedding.

ETA: It also depends on the extent of the bullying. I think the bullying I went through was pretty mild. The bullies never physically hurt me. They were more like little drill sergeants. "Hippo! C'mere! Write your name on the blackboard fifty times for no reason whatsoever!" I've heard of more extreme cases of bullying that involved physical harm and public humiliation that caused years of emotional trauma. In those cases, I might be hard-pressed to forgive even after an apology.

Cathy C
01-17-2014, 04:29 PM
Let me add that the past is different than the on-going present. If forgiveness is required for someone like a co-worker, who I'm forced to continue to interact with daily despite them continuing to anger me, like for example, for failings in their own performance or intentional sabotage or causing me more work or stress, and I'm not in a position where I can counsel them, I usually forgive by acknowledging the personality trait that causes the issue. I then adjust my own schedule so I can interact on my own terms. Most people have something good about them so I'll try to interact in a way that the experience is positive and the events that anger or hurt aren't available to come into play. It's not always possible, but all you can do is try. :)

Ona Mission
01-17-2014, 06:33 PM
It depends on the case for me, but I can forgive almost any situation...but I can't forget everything.

It's like dropping a plate in my case. Sometimes the offense will just cause a crack. It may be barely noticeable, but it still weakens the plate. Another offense might cause a chip. Time to bring out the glue gun. Plate's fixed, but it's not the same. A bad offense can crack it in half. Super glue time. The cracks and chips are the offenses. My forgiveness is the glue.

The plate may still be functional..I can eat off of it. It can be stored with the others. In fact, unless someone looks closely, it may look like any other plate. But one more major drop...

Forgiving is NOT the same as forgetting. I don't care what any book or website definition states. Moving on and existing is easy. That's forgiveness. But life has a way of reminding you about those cracks, or adding to them, when you least expect it.

There's no way I'd intentionally hang around someone who continually dropped my plate just to watch it shatter.

Alexandra Little
01-17-2014, 06:39 PM
Actually sounds a bit as though the bride in the example is taking the opportunity to continue to bully the person 'who should forgive her.'

This.

I read this story last night, and it got my hackles up because I was bullied pretty badly during those same years. The bully gave a non-apology, and is now getting others to harass the original poster into ignoring what happened before.

The bully is continuing to bully, and unfortunately others are going along with it.

WriteMinded
01-17-2014, 07:39 PM
I was just reading a personal story on another forum about someone refusing to attend a wedding because the bride had bullied her for years. Many of the responses (the bride's included) were about how the person should forgive and move on.

The interesting part was how everyone seemed to have a different idea of forgiveness.

Does it mean telling the person who hurt you that you have wiped the slate clean and would like to try having a better relationship with them?

Does it mean thinking good thoughts about that person, wishing them the best even if you don't try to mend matters with them or associate with them?

Or does it just mean the absence of negative thoughts? Personally, I found that when I no longer had to see, hear, speak to or hear about someone who had hurt me badly, I thought less and less about that person, until finally they were little more than an unpleasant memory. I'm not sure if that constitutes forgiving, though, unless the definition of forgiveness is "having a life that doesn't involve the person who wronged you".

Finally, is forgiving someone who harmed you an obligation? As in, if you don't make a conscious effort to do it, are you wallowing in the past?
Forgiveness is a mystery I have long pondered. I'm not even close to understanding it and certainly nowhere near knowing how to go about it.

If it means that I should forget about what hurt me and continue on with the relationship as if nothing hurtful ever occurred, well that just isn't going to happen. Betray me, and I will never trust you again, no matter how badly I might want to, no matter how much I may grieve the loss of the relationship. Trust cannot be manufactured. Forgiveness that includes a clean slate just isn't something I can conjure. Maybe I should be a better person. No, I'm sure I should be a better person, but I'm not.

The best I am able to do is distance myself from the person and the pain. Time does NOT heal all wounds, but time + distance + refusing to pick at the wound helps.

Maze Runner
01-17-2014, 08:02 PM
Forgiveness is something we do for ourselves. No one ever forgets anything, let alone a deep hurt. But that doesn't mean this person has to be in my life. In my mind, someone either adds more to my life than they take away or they do not. If not, they are ejected from my life. I'm not cold, just pragmatic, about that anyway.

It is different with family. It takes a lot for me to choose to have nothing to do with someone who has the same blood flowing through their veins. But I've done it, once or twice. Or they've done it, can't remember who made the first move. Life is short, and the world filled with interesting, generous, loving and lovable people; so many, I can't get to 'em all. So why waste time on mismatches? I'm pretty sure there have been people who've decided that I took more than I gave from/to their lives; in fact, this I know for sure. No grudge, in either case. God bless, we move on.

Devil Ledbetter
01-17-2014, 08:24 PM
You can forgive someone without allowing them further access to your life/time/emotions/brainscape.

Demanding forgiveness is very different from sincerely apologizing to the person you've harmed with no expectation that your apology will result in forgiveness. People aggressively demanding forgiveness rarely deserve it and are unlikely to improve their behavior for long once forgiveness is extracted from their victim.

To harm someone, then insist they forgive you and make them out to be the bad guy if they don't is horrible. If you have someone in your life who does this, run.

Alpha Echo
01-17-2014, 08:33 PM
"Forgiveness is letting go all hope for a better past." Lily Tomlin (I think.)

That's the best definition. Just as a definition.

As a life practice, forgiveness means dumping resentment and anger towards the bullier, the perp, the bad guy. It does NOT mean condoning or forgetting or accepting what they did. And it certainly doesn't mean you need to attend that person's wedding (unless you want to).

You forgive to heal you, to prevent toxic buildup in your psyche. You do not forgive to make the other person okay.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

I like this. I really like that quote.

You know, it's weird. In my own life, when I think about forgiveness and those who have wronged me, I'm not sure I can say I really forgave anyone. Unless forgiveness is more of a calm peace. I feel as though, if I were to tell the girls who bullied me or my ex-husband who cheated and emotionally beat me up or my mother who I've taken out of my life altogether...if I told them I forgave them, I feel like that is such a heavy word that I'm not sure it's true.

But if I told them I'm no longer angry or resentful. If I told them I'm in a better place now and wouldn't have been had they treated me better. If I told them I'm happy now...does that mean I've forgiven them?

The word forgive is such a heavy, heavy word. I can say I've forgiven my husband for the time he messed up and didn't think about the words he was saying and inadvertently hurt me. I can say that because I know he loves me and really only wants me to be happy. I know he didn't have ill intentions with his words.

But I don't know if I can say I've forgiven the others who hurt me so very deeply. It doesn't mean I feel much toward them in any direction - I neither hate them nor like them. I think I still love my mother because she is my mother, and it wasn't all bad. I am peaceful and happier than I've ever been.

But forgiveness?

Unless all that means forgiveness, I'm not sure I can give it to them.

Does any of that make sense?

RichardGarfinkle
01-17-2014, 08:36 PM
I think there are two aspects to forgiveness: mental and social.

Mental forgiveness is the removal from ones own thinking of concerns for what was done to you. This can be necessary regardless of how bad things were. Sometimes people need to shed things so that they are not burdened by them. This isn't easy especially for really bad experiences, but it can be beneficial, in that one is no longer being controlled by other people's bad actions.

Social forgiveness is the removal of a social stigma or separation brought about by someones bad actions. This can either be informal (in that one takes up or resumes relations with that person), or formal in that one states to the person that one forgives them.

Social forgiveness without mental forgiveness is usually a bad idea. Mental forgiveness without social forgiveness can work, and isn't a bad idea if the person who did the harm is still in the habit of doing so. It removes that person's past influence without giving them present influence.

If the person is still acting like a jerk, then social forgiveness isn't necessarily a good idea since it is often taken as license to continue.

I don't agree with forgetting. Forgetting the past is always a bad idea. Even if the person who did the harm doesn't do it anymore, it's a good idea to remember how the harm was done so one can watch out for it in others. If you forget what was done to you, you can't spot others similarly afflicted and help them deal with it.

Marian Perera
01-17-2014, 08:37 PM
This whole part about letting someone live rent-free in your head...

I doubt there are many victims of abuse, harassment or bullying who do this deliberately. We'd like it to be as if the ill-treatment never happened. We'd like our peace of mind back. But for whatever reason, we remember.

Maybe it's being forced to meet or talk to with the person when you can't, as CathyC put it, "adjust my own schedule so I can interact on my own terms." Maybe it's other things that can act as a trigger.

I know that even after I moved to Canada, away from everything, there was a nearby school with a name that gave me a little start when I first saw it, because it was the name of a person I'd left behind. I had to walk by the school to reach the subway, and I'd always do that without ever turning my head. Now enough time has passed that I'm a lot better. I still occasionally remember that person when I see that particular name, but without the feeling of nausea or anger. It's like any other name I'll never use in my writing. :)

So yeah. Sometimes they're in our headspace because we don't yet know how to get them out and because the wounds are still fresh. Everyone heals at a different pace, I suppose.

Marian Perera
01-17-2014, 08:41 PM
I really like the distinction between mental forgiveness and social forgiveness.


If the person is still acting like a jerk, then social forgiveness isn't necessarily a good idea since it is often taken as license to continue.

I knew someone who'd be selfish and inconsiderate, time and time again, but would apologize after each such incident. Sometimes with a promise to do better.

That meant he had the moral high ground compared to the people he'd wronged, unless they were prepared to swallow their hurt feelings, accept the apology and thank him for his good intentions in trying to be a better person. It was a pretty sweet pattern - for him, anyway.

Fruitbat
01-17-2014, 08:41 PM
I don't consider it forgiveness when I get sick of someone and physically and/or mentally dump them. Not dwelling or not hating them doesn't really mean forgiveness, imo.

To me, forgiveness is deeper, I guess. It means they can stay in my life and heart and have another chance.

Alpha Echo
01-17-2014, 08:44 PM
I don't agree with forgetting. Forgetting the past is always a bad idea. Even if the person who did the harm doesn't do it anymore, it's a good idea to remember how the harm was done so one can watch out for it in others. If you forget what was done to you, you can't spot others similarly afflicted and help them deal with it.

Great post, all of it. But to this point, I do agree.

I don't even know how it's possible to forget. My husband and I both still have baggage leftover from our exes that can pop up in a second. It's rather humorous, in a sick sort of way, that our exes had such a...not a hold, but influence on our behaviors.

And I don't want to forget how it felt because if someone else tries to hurt me in the same way, I want to see it coming!

Even beyond that, my past shaped who I am today, and you know what? I like who I am now. It took a lot of years and time and patience, but I like who I am. All those who hurt me had just as much influence on the way I have evolved so far as those who treated me with love and kindness.

Alpha Echo
01-17-2014, 08:46 PM
I don't consider it forgiveness when I get sick of someone and physically and/or mentally dump them. Not dwelling or not hating them doesn't really mean forgiveness, imo.

To me, forgiveness is deeper, I guess. It means they can stay in my life and heart and have another chance.

Maybe this is why I feel like I maybe haven't forgiven my mother or my ex. I don't dwell on what they did or hate them at all. But they are not in my life or heart and have run out of chances.

But then...how many people keep their exes in their lives and hearts? Not many, I'd imagine.

My mother's another story.

I really wasn't trying to make this thread all about me, but it brought stuff up. More than I realized I had, I guess.

Spruce
01-17-2014, 08:49 PM
To me, forgiveness is offering someone a second and possibly a third chance. This generally only works with friends and family. I rarely forgive strangers.

Marian Perera
01-17-2014, 08:51 PM
And I don't want to forget how it felt because if someone else tries to hurt me in the same way, I want to see it coming!

Heh. In the discussion I originally referenced, one of the comments was that the girl who was bullied seemed to remember so many details about the past, it was like she was obsessed with it.

It was kind of a Catch-22 for her. If she hadn't remembered anything, obviously the bullying couldn't have been so bad. But since she did remember lots of details, she was clearly "carrying it around" and needed to get over it.

robjvargas
01-17-2014, 09:23 PM
I was just reading a personal story on another forum about someone refusing to attend a wedding because the bride had bullied her for years. Many of the responses (the bride's included) were about how the person should forgive and move on.

The interesting part was how everyone seemed to have a different idea of forgiveness.

Does it mean telling the person who hurt you that you have wiped the slate clean and would like to try having a better relationship with them?

Does it mean thinking good thoughts about that person, wishing them the best even if you don't try to mend matters with them or associate with them?

Or does it just mean the absence of negative thoughts? Personally, I found that when I no longer had to see, hear, speak to or hear about someone who had hurt me badly, I thought less and less about that person, until finally they were little more than an unpleasant memory. I'm not sure if that constitutes forgiving, though, unless the definition of forgiveness is "having a life that doesn't involve the person who wronged you".

Finally, is forgiving someone who harmed you an obligation? As in, if you don't make a conscious effort to do it, are you wallowing in the past?

I'm not going into coulda or shoulda arguments. Here's how I see it:

Forgiveness is releasing of expectations.

Anger is a negative emotion. It festers, rots. Even when the other person has earned it, and you have every right to feel that way towards them, it's a kind of stressor, and any long-term stress like that is bad for you. So, for me, forgiveness is about letting all that negativity go.

If you still expect something. The other person to apologize, or go to jail, or feel bad, then you're still in that bad time, still experiencing it. So it's not really in your past yet. And it's got to be in the past in order to forgive. I don't see how you can leave something in the past and also have future expectations.

I don't believe that forgiveness is something you give. I *do* think that telling someone you forgive them can be a very powerful moment in the releasing of expectations. But forgiveness is the release itself.

When you let go of what that other person may deserve, or what should happen, that's when you finally become able to move past it.

And I think this is compatible with, "Forgive, but don't forget." You can forgive someone for lying to you in the past, but still keep that lie in mind if and when they try to regain your trust later. As long as you're not using it to punish them.

Hanson
01-17-2014, 09:50 PM
From wiki. I think it's a good starting definition.


{Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as revenge, with an increased ability to wish the offender well.

Forgiveness is different from condoning (failing to see the action as wrong and in need of forgiveness), excusing (not holding the offender as responsible for the action), pardoning (granted by a representative of society, such as a judge), forgetting (removing awareness of the offense from consciousness), and reconciliation (restoration of a relationship).

In most contexts, forgiveness is granted without any expectation of restorative justice (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restorative_justice), and without any response on the part of the offender (for example, one may forgive a person who is incommunicado (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/incommunicado) or dead).



Forgiving is NOT the same as forgetting. I don't care what any book or website definition states. Moving on and existing is easy. That's forgiveness. But life has a way of reminding you about those cracks, or adding to them, when you least expect it.

There's no way I'd intentionally hang around someone who continually dropped my plate just to watch it shatter.
You're dishing on wiki?

wiki????

(;))

Some good insights/ posts on this thread, on a word that's generally vague, at best.

elinor
01-17-2014, 09:54 PM
Not sure. I think there's a relationship between forgiveness and forgetting. I won't forget - it keeps you from getting hurt again. But I think part of forgiveness is being able to keep your anger/emotions over something from continuing to bother you. I think I can forgive the narcissist that I used to think was a friend, but I won't forget. I won't allow her to worm her way back into my life, and I won't come crawling to her begging for forgiveness for something that wasn't my fault - I was losing my mind from Major Depression and PTSD and was essentially abandoned by her, and then it became all my fault. No. A friend would have tried to help me, and been there for me. Instead, I was naughty and no longer useful. And I won't forget how I was treated. But I won't let it make me angry anymore, which means part of me forgives, I suppose.

Squids
01-17-2014, 11:47 PM
Heh. In the discussion I originally referenced, one of the comments was that the girl who was bullied seemed to remember so many details about the past, it was like she was obsessed with it.

It was kind of a Catch-22 for her. If she hadn't remembered anything, obviously the bullying couldn't have been so bad. But since she did remember lots of details, she was clearly "carrying it around" and needed to get over it.

I don't think that's necessarily true. Some people just have really good memories. If an encounter or a conversation sticks with me, I will remember every single detail of it, whether it's something I have strong feelings about or not. I remember lots of things with such extreme detail you'd think I have been obsessing over it, but it's just how my memory works.

As for forgiveness, I agree that it's not required. My wife's ex hit her and hurt her pretty bad (lucky for him, this was well before I knew her, and he lives a thousand miles away). I've never even met the guy, and I don't think about him with any regularity, but I will never forgive him for doing that to my wife, because she will never forget it. And he better hope we never meet, because I can hold a grudge for a long time without letting it disturb my happiness. ;)

robjvargas
01-18-2014, 12:57 AM
Heh. In the discussion I originally referenced, one of the comments was that the girl who was bullied seemed to remember so many details about the past, it was like she was obsessed with it.

It was kind of a Catch-22 for her. If she hadn't remembered anything, obviously the bullying couldn't have been so bad. But since she did remember lots of details, she was clearly "carrying it around" and needed to get over it.

I'd say it's to her benefit to get over it, no matter how much she remembered (or didn't). There's no set path to getting over it, though.

At the same time, if she keeps replaying this history over and over, I don't think she's over it.

Putputt
01-18-2014, 01:14 AM
Heh. In the discussion I originally referenced, one of the comments was that the girl who was bullied seemed to remember so many details about the past, it was like she was obsessed with it.

It was kind of a Catch-22 for her. If she hadn't remembered anything, obviously the bullying couldn't have been so bad. But since she did remember lots of details, she was clearly "carrying it around" and needed to get over it.

I think it differs from person to person. Mr. Putt's way of dealing with negative incidents is to forget about them completely. Sometimes, he even forgets before forgiving. :D He has, on more than one occasion, said things like, "I don't like that person...but I can't remember why. What was it they did?" and I'd be like, "They did this." and he'd be all, "Ahhh...yah, they're not nice people."

Years ago, I read an article about bullying in Korea. One girl was held down by her classmates and had her mouth forced open so they could put pins inside. PINS! I mean...GAAHHHH!! That was just an article I read, and until now I still remember that detail. Some things just aren't forgettable, no matter how much the person might want to let go of it. It depends on how much trauma the victim suffered, whether they received adequate support, and probably what sort of punishment the bullies received.

KellyAssauer
01-18-2014, 01:15 AM
If she hadn't remembered anything, obviously the bullying couldn't have been so bad. But since she did remember lots of details, she was clearly "carrying it around" and needed to get over it.

Forgiving and forgetting are two different things.

People often recall the details of a traumatic event with more clarity than that of a happy experience. That's memory. Our behavior is usually a reactionary extension of our accumulated experiences, so of course she's going to carry it around. It happened to her.

That she was able to stand up for herself now and tell the bully no... sounds (to me) like she has gotten over it. She's in charge of her life. She'll do what she wants to do. If she doesn't want to go, she doesn't have to go.

I'm not going to place any empathy on the bully who isn't getting their wants met. In my opinion, that's just plain silly. I'm don't own any sympathy for the bully. The bully did what the bully did. They have to live with what they did. Too bad for them. The victim has her own life. She can do what she wants with it. She's making her own choices without coercion. If what she wants to do is say no, she's allowed. Bully for her! =)

ArachnePhobia
01-18-2014, 01:32 AM
I'm not going to place any empathy on the bully who isn't getting their wants met. In my opinion, that's just plain silly. I'm don't own any sympathy for the bully. The bully did what the bully did. They have to live with what they did. Too bad for them. The victim has her own life. She can do what she wants with it. She's making her own choices without coercion. If what she wants to do is say no, she's allowed. Bully for her! =)

This. I'm not going to get into my feelings on forgiveness, because they're tangled and unhelpful, but I do not think there is any legitimate definition where the wronged party is obligated to "prove" their forgiveness through groveling. It seems like the not-so-ex-bully and company are just trying to emotionally manipulate this woman into doing what they want. She has a right to refuse them... and to not have to justify her refusal. Period.

Vito
01-18-2014, 05:49 AM
I agree with Vito and Siri.


My perspective is more similar to Ken's perspective, but I fully understand where Siri is coming from.

So you can say that my definition of forgiveness is a combination of Ken's and Siri's. There's also a lot of Jeff Spicoli in there, too. :Thumbs:

kuwisdelu
01-18-2014, 06:16 AM
The beautiful thing about forgiveness is that no one is ever obligated to forgive. The very point of forgiveness is that it is given when it isn't deserved. No one can ask for forgiveness, or request it be given. I think true forgiveness is one of the most powerful and wonderful things a human being can do.

It's the willingness to see the good in someone who has wronged you, and accept their humanity, including their flaws. It's like pity, but with a dose of love. It's kindness, unadulterated.

Ambrosia
01-18-2014, 06:44 AM
Forgiveness is for the sake of the person who is doing the forgiving. Not for the person being forgiven. It has nothing to do with the person being forgiven. When you don't forgive someone then you have an emotional and psychic tie to that person. It drains you because your energy is being siphoned off by the connection. Forgiveness cuts the tie. It frees you.

It is not forgetting, however. Making choices to keep yourself safe from a person who you know is capable of harming you is self-love. Nothing wrong with that.

I have people in my life who harmed me and who I have forgiven. They were sorry for the harm they caused and willing to correct behavior and work on creating a good relationship with me. And I have people who I have forgiven who will never get near me again. I have moved on. I also have a couple who I have not been able to forgive in over 40 years. I don't know if I will ever be able to forgive my nephew who raped me. Even though I recognize it would be beneficial for my soul.

The woman who had been bullied is under no obligation to go to that wedding and put herself back into a situation where she can be hurt again, even if she chooses to forgive the bride. And shame on her family and friends for perpetuating the bullying. That is not alright. I hope she gets support from someone so she knows it's not alright.

kuwisdelu
01-18-2014, 07:10 AM
Forgiveness is for the sake of the person who is doing the forgiving. Not for the person being forgiven.

I don't think that's always true. I think forgiveness can be quite cathartic for the person being forgiven, too. That certainly isn't always the case, and it's possible (and often just as hard) to forgive someone without ever telling them. But I absolutely think it can be liberating to the forgiven person, too.

Isn't that part of the appeal of Christianity? The forgiveness of sins? Correct me if I'm wrong, since I'm not Christian, but surely god doesn't need to do all that forgiving for his own sake. It's to remove the burden from the shoulders of the forgiven. If it weren't — at least in part — for the sake of the person being forgiven, why would we want to be forgiven so much? Why would anyone ask for forgiveness?

Hurting each other is part of human relationships. You can never open yourself to being loved without opening yourself to be hurt, too. That's why I think being forgiven and being able to forgive is a necessary part of connecting with each other. Love, and hurt, and forgiveness. They're all part of the same web of connections that bind humanity together, and allow us to communicate and understand one another.

Ambrosia
01-18-2014, 08:11 PM
I don't think that's always true. I think forgiveness can be quite cathartic for the person being forgiven, too. That certainly isn't always the case, and it's possible (and often just as hard) to forgive someone without ever telling them. But I absolutely think it can be liberating to the forgiven person, too.
I am sure it could be absolutely liberating to the person who is forgiven, but that is not my job if they have wronged me. Though I have a feeling we are talking about two different types of wrong here. If I am in a relationship with someone, say married or dating, and the person I am involved with does something to hurt me I am of course going to forgive them, and talk with them about it, and work it out. Unless it is abuse. Abuse changes everything in that scenario.


Isn't that part of the appeal of Christianity? The forgiveness of sins? Correct me if I'm wrong, since I'm not Christian, but surely god doesn't need to do all that forgiving for his own sake. It's to remove the burden from the shoulders of the forgiven. If it weren't at least in part for the sake of the person being forgiven, why would we want to be forgiven so much? Why would anyone ask for forgiveness?
I am hesitant to answer this because it delves into religion and there are many religions, not just Christianity. And forgiveness is something that is useful whether you are religious or not.

But, since you have brought it up, I will try to answer to the best of my understanding. I am currently not a Christian, but was for a large part of my life. So this is what I know. God's forgiveness is not man's forgiveness. Totally different things and not to be confused with one another. If I were God I am sure I would have no trouble forgiving my nephew for raping me. But, I'm not. God forgives the murder of his Son. His Son forgave the murder of himself. A human forgives for the sake of their own soul. Only God can absolve a person's sins. I don't have that power or authority.


Hurting each other is part of human relationships. You can never open yourself to being loved without opening yourself to be hurt, too. That's why I think being forgiven and being able to forgive is a necessary part of connecting with each other. Love, and hurt, and forgiveness. They're all part of the same web of connections that bind humanity together, and allow us to communicate and understand one another.Being hurt by another person's thoughtless actions or words is not on the same level as being abused. The woman who was bullied was being abused. It is a different creature than every day hurts. I disagree that hurting each other is a part of human relationships. Loving each other is a part of human relationships. Learning how not to hurt another person, whether you are in a relationship with them or not, is part of being human and growing as a human. Of course people are going to make mistakes. That is why it is important to be aware when you have hurt someone and willing to apologize and make recompense. A person who has hurt another person doesn't need forgiveness from the person they have hurt to make them feel better. They should feel bad. They wronged someone. They need to acknowledge the wrong they have done to the person, sincerely apologize, and then seek forgiveness from God and from themselves for their actions. It is not the responsibility or the duty of the person hurt to relieve the transgressor's sin. That is up to God.

If they don't believe in God, then they need to seek inside themselves and find the answers on how to be a decent human and not go around hurting people. There is a great deal of difference in hurting someone unintentionally and actually going out and causing harm to a person, as the bride in the OP's story did.

kuwisdelu
01-18-2014, 08:58 PM
A human forgives for the sake of their own soul. Only God can absolve a person's sins. I don't have that power or authority.

I happen to think we do have that power. But that's just how I feel about humanity and forgiveness.


It is not the responsibility or the duty of the person hurt to relieve the transgressor's sin.

No, it's not. As I pointed out earlier, that's what makes forgiveness so beautiful and powerful. No one has the responsibility to duty to forgive, and forgiveness can only truly be given when it isn't deserved.


There is a great deal of difference in hurting someone unintentionally and actually going out and causing harm to a person, as the bride in the OP's story did.

That's true. But I don't think that difference has to do with whether you can forgive that person. Only how difficult it is to do so.

Ambrosia
01-18-2014, 09:14 PM
I also don't think it has to do with whether you can forgive the person, Kuwisdelu. But whether you engage them or not in the process. :)


and forgiveness can only truly be given when it isn't deserved.I would also disagree about being able to forgive a person when they deserve to be forgiven. You said forgiveness could only be granted when it's not deserved. I believe a person who comes to the person they have wronged and sincerely apologizes after a change in their heart deserves to be forgiven. I don't think the person has to forgive, though, even if the person, by virtue of a change in heart and mind, deserves forgiveness. It is up to the wronged person to choose either to forgive or not.

Ken
01-18-2014, 09:17 PM
One things sure. Petty grievances should be forgiven and forgotten, at least after a certain time. I know some who nurse grievances forever over the most trivial nonsense. Really unbelievable.

Ambrosia
01-18-2014, 09:43 PM
One things sure. Petty grievances should be forgiven and forgotten, at least after a certain time. I know some who nurse grievances forever over the most trivial nonsense. Really unbelievable.
My estranged is like that. He won't go to a certain restaurant because decades ago the manager refused to give him a refill on coffee.

Lavern08
01-19-2014, 12:57 AM
Life is short, and the world filled with interesting, generous, loving and lovable people (Forgive and forget the rest)

... God bless, we move on.

Indeed!

Ken
01-19-2014, 02:37 AM
My estranged is like that. He won't go to a certain restaurant because decades ago the manager refused to give him a refill on coffee.

That "choose your battles" axiom also applies to stuff like this. Also, "everyone has bad days." So if the offense is slight it's often best to shrug it off. I don't know how many restaurants you have by you but stuff like this can also be an inconvenience. Write off this place and that and in a short while you're traveling 50 miles to get a cup of joe, etc. Plus the aggravation of nursing a grudge/grievance. Not to say I don't myself at times. But usually after a short time I let go. One recent exception was at a supermarket. A cashier made a racial remark about Asians. I told her what I thought about that and vowed not to do any further business with the store. Didn't for 2 years.

LearningCurve
02-04-2014, 08:46 PM
I think true forgiveness is letting go of the bitterness you have stored up against the person who hurt you. But it isnt just saying "eh I forgive you" and trying to forget what they did, that just doesnt work. What they did isnt going to just go away; but you have to cope with that and learn to move on. That is forgiveness.

Chase
02-04-2014, 09:10 PM
To me, forgiving allows me to cut my losses and move on.

I don't have to worry about or deal with what may never happen, such as makeup, repayment, recriminations, apologies, excuses, or justification.

Fool me once--shame on me. Fool me twice or thrice, then shame on me again and again, 'cause yesterday's gone and today's a chance to make brand new mistakes.

Maze Runner
02-04-2014, 10:03 PM
Forgiveness is letting go of self-destructive anger. That doesn't mean that you can't eliminate someone from your life. And it doesn't mean that if something needs to be done you shouldn't do it. I'm not talking about vengeance for vengeance's sake or evening the score. Just if there's something to be gained by telling someone, Look, this is what you did. Whether you were mindful of it or not you would have been if you'd have given my interests enough thought. And this is why it has become too costly, aggravating, soul-sucking, and just a general pain in the ass to have you in my life.

Not as simple as all that of course. There is hurt and anger involved and an instinct is to get your licks in. I haven't always been above it. But I try to not let people rob me anymore of the one thing we've all far too little of- time.

Shadow_Ferret
02-04-2014, 10:31 PM
I was bullied in school. After all these years, have I forgiven any of them? No. To me, forgiveness requires a face to face where you tell them you forgive them for giving you a swirly, or a hinder binder, or beating you up every day and taking your lunch money.

But not forgiving is not the same as still living with the anger and shame. I've simply forgotten and released those memories and emotions.

However, if one of them showed up dating my cousin, told me I had to forgive them and attend their wedding... Well, not only would I NOT forgive them, not only would I NOT attend the wedding, but I'd do my damnedest to convince my cousin NOT to marry that pathetic, subhuman son of a bitch.

Inky
02-04-2014, 10:37 PM
My idea of forgiveness?
A shovel.
Daisies.
Patch of soft dirt.
And a really big box.

Maze Runner
02-04-2014, 10:50 PM
I was bullied in school. After all these years, have I forgiven any of them? No. To me, forgiveness requires a face to face where you tell them you forgive them for giving you a swirly, or a hinder binder, or beating you up every day and taking your lunch money.

But not forgiving is not the same as still living with the anger and shame. I've simply forgotten and released those memories and emotions.

However, if one of them showed up dating my cousin, told me I had to forgive them and attend their wedding... Well, not only would I NOT forgive them, not only would I NOT attend the wedding, but I'd do my damnedest to convince my cousin NOT to marry that pathetic, subhuman son of a bitch.

Only a hypothetical, right?

yeah, sometimes nothing beats a crack on the side of the head. I wasn't bullied, but I've definitely got a few hurts that haven't been satisfactorily righted. I had/have a cousin who's about 7 years older than I, someone I really looked up to as a kid, and who when I was 17 years old snaked me pretty good. It hurts worse, I think, when it's someone you like and think likes you. I haven't seen or talked to him in years; not only because there are 1000s of miles between us, but because he is someone who will not contribute more to my life than he will take away. Recently he's put the word out to another relative, saying that he would like to reconnect. I'd be lying to say that just the remembering of this doesn't get my blood a little hot.

RNJ
02-05-2014, 12:31 AM
If a person is sincerely sorry for what s/he has done and has changed her/his attitude and actions, then the person probably deserves forgiveness. Even so, it doesn't necessarily mean that all is forgotten and the relationship can continue as it had before. Maybe it can. Depends on the severity of the offense and the offendee's capacity to forgive and forget.

I can forgive, even if the person never asks for it, but I never forget. Maybe that's a deficiency on my part. It's not that I hold grudges. I can still have a relationship with someone who has wronged me, but the relationship will not be the same.

Also, even if I do choose to forgive, I can also choose to end the relationship, even if the offender is sincerely repentant. It's my choice, right or wrong, not anyone else's.

KellyAssauer
02-05-2014, 01:02 AM
My idea of forgiveness?
A shovel.
Daisies.
Patch of soft dirt.
And a really big box.

You can get lime in big boxes now?
.

lizbeth dylan
02-05-2014, 01:49 AM
However, if one of them showed up dating my cousin, told me I had to forgive them and attend their wedding... Well, not only would I NOT forgive them, not only would I NOT attend the wedding, but I'd do my damnedest to convince my cousin NOT to marry that pathetic, subhuman son of a bitch.


^^^My exact thoughts. She would actually be doing her cousin a favor. Because, if the bride, now that she is aware, won't even acknowledge the fact that some part of her behavior caused this girl to even get the impression of being bullied...and for the sake of family, say "I'm sorry if something I did made you feel that way."...that man is going to have one helluva long row to hoe somewhere down the line. She will be the wife who never admits she is wrong and will nag/bully the hell out of him. He will be wishing that he didn't attend the wedding either. ;)

I was bullied in school from elementary through high school years. Have I forgiven them. Yes, I forgave them for me. So I could move on with my life without all the anger and resentment that I was carrying. So I could enjoy the life I created for myself after I moved away. So I could turn the "experience" of being bullied into something positive, like teaching my children to be more compassionate and to stand up for kids who can't do it alone.

And I forgave myself for not ever standing up for me. That was so much harder.

That doesn't mean I want to spend time with them. I've had several of the people that I went to school with contact me through family still in that area and through facebook, asking me to attend different reunions through the years and I refuse. More politely now than I did in the earlier years. But I have no desire at all to see those people or to be a part of their lives.