Forgiveness is a form of letting go, but they are not the same thing...Somewhere between ignoring the past and wallowing in it there is a place where we can learn from what happened to us, including the inevitable mistakes we have made, and integrate this knowledge into our plans for the future. Inevitably, this process requires some exercises in forgiveness--that is, giving up some grievence to which we are entitled. Gordon Livingston's book, Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart, Thirty True Things You Need to Know Now. I post this here as I want a promising future.
I carry an old old Dear Abby from home to home. It's buried at the moment (moved) but it says something like...if someone hurts you that hurt is like a nail in a wall. You can always remove the nail (forgive) but the nail hole will always be there-a scar if you will, remnants of the act needing forgiveness.
I don't have a problem with anything remotely among "forgive" I'm a runner. If something is too harmful I either run away (travel, move) or I compartmentalize. Take the pain, put it in a box in the corner of my mind and I see the person as "boxed" they cannot hurt me 2ce unless grandkids are involved but I have had to compartmentalize that family as well. Daughter is the bitch from hell... actually I'm more in the "what daughter?" category now.
There is no need to forgive. I think this is pushed upon us because of Christianity and the idea that if you do not forgive you may not get into heaven. Often I read of people who claim openly that they forgive the one that murdered their loved one. My first thoughts are "like hell you do!"
If it is all about a personal love relationship of 2 people the stories can vary and be different in many ways. The bottom line is always that both of you ended up going in different directions.
Coming from a religious background where forgiveness was used as a tool to aid in dominating relationships, I'm wary of the subject. I would love to be able to set aside my hated and anger toward my ex-husband so that I can move forward with my life without carrying all that around. But I'm always quick to caution proponents of forgiveness to make sure you are safe first before forgiving someone. If someone has hurt you, forgiveness does not ask you to continue to put yourself in a vulnerable position with them. I believe that you can't truly forgive someone if you aren't safe with them. Part of forgiveness is either placing boundaries on yourself so hurtful behavior can't be repeated or seeing genuine change in the other person so that there is no further danger from them. If you haven't done that, my understanding is that whatever feel good emotions you might be feeling, it isn't really forgiveness.
There are degrees of forgiveness. The utmost form of forgiveness is to not hold grudges -- not even against people who have hurt you or betrayed your trust -- and to continue the relati9onship without anger or permanent damage to the relationship. The second form is conditional forgiveness -- forgiving the person if they state their regret over hurting or betraying you, and act in such a manner as to show that they mean it. The utmost form is foolishness.
The next level down is continuing the relationship down without attempting to punish the offender, but constantly acting with caution and watchfulness, but not attempting the punish. it is difficult to main such a relationship.
The third downward step is not forgiving, but simply trying to expunge the offending person from ones life and mind, without attempting punishment or revenge. Achieving this avoids obsession with the person and the offense(s), and building new relationships to replace the expunged one.
The worst level is absolute obsession with the offense and offender and seeking to exact revenge in any and every way possible. This destroys a person.
I forgive most offenses and offenders easily. Some, however, leave me with such mistrust that I interact with caution and watchfulness. A few, however, leave me with so many deep wounds deliberately inflicted and never acknowledged , that I simply want nothing to with him or her. My first wife is my primary example. I have simply removed her totally from my life and have gone on to build a new life. I will never forgive her, but I do not wish to punish or hurt her.
Yes I forgive myself for trusting and giving another change to people that caused me emotional wounds. Distance and time helped me to recover my willpower. If I let myself feel hate for the people who did me wrong, it's like giving them control over my feelings.
I think positivity is at the core of your post. I remember not being ready for so many years so stolidly keepin' on truckin' was the order of the day, just to exist. I wish positivity came for everyone eventually but I'm not sure about that. I'm lucky and I guess you are too. Forgiveness, I think, comes from a good place.
There is quite a large bit of difference in the forgiveness I give my decades dead parents who I really must now feel had no intention to harm me, but did the best their own wounds allowed.
I will not allow myself to keep digging out those old scars. Forgiveness is for my own sake.
It is quite anther thing to forgive a person whom you fully believe to be telling a full frontal lie to our face and lie down with that fanged thing again.
There has to be a better word...why should an aggrieved person forgive a perpetrator? They sure didn't give much thought into any words or acts that hurt you or those you love. What are you forgiving them for?
Instead, you should focus on not letting yourself getting eaten up or becoming bitter and angry. I do think this is the letting it go part...it is done, learn, move on.
I see no value to forgiveness. I think it is a construct to permit the same action yet again....let the other person not beg for your forgiveness but instead, promise not to do it again. Put that on them, not on yourself. Giving someone another chance to prove themselves is not forgiveness, it is compassion. You can have that without the other.
Nah, I have no intention to "forgive" some things in my life that were done to me intentionally. What I will do is to forgive myself for having stayed in that situation for far too long. I was not strong enough, was bamboozled with lies, did not know where to turn to, did not have anywhere to go, etc, etc. That is why I was unable to leave sooner.