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Stubbly_Dooright

Forgiveness

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As I have said in another thread, I think in Sheri's 'Christianity without God' thread, I have been lately contemplating starting a thread on forgiveness and the religious and secular way of looking at it, and if there are good and bad examples of it working or not with both.

Forgiveness: from this site: http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Forgiveness

Forgiveness is the mental, emotional, and spiritual process of letting go of resentment, indignation, or anger against another person for a perceived offense, difference, or mistake. It can also mean ceasing to demand punishment or restitution for transgressions, real or imagined. Although forgiveness may be granted without any expectation of compensation, and without any response on the part of the offender, it is sometimes necessary for the offender to offer some form of acknowledgment, apology, or restitution; this can often open the way for the person who perceives to be wronged to feel empowered to forgive.

I am mystified at the various ways of the emotional act of forgiveness, and some, who somehow 'demand' it from others, and then assure that it's the best thing to do for you even though in the end it may play out that it's not.

I have found this site: https://nexusnovel.wordpress.com/2007/01/03/forgiveness-in-different-religions/

which seems to break down various particular religions and their way at looking at forgiveness.

And this site, to me, seems to have instructions of one just going through the act of forgiving, but not saying why it is suppose to help you forgive.

And the thing I disagree with this site, is that it tells you to work at these emotional feelings, when in reality, these feelings you force yourself to feel is contrary to your true feelings. Too much work, and not healthy when it's contradictory.

http://www.christianmediation.org/pg13.cfm

When I have found a more secular or shall I say, an Atheist way of looking at it, it seems kind of logical to me of how it's looked at. I look at this bit from this website: http://www.asktheatheists.com/questions/861-forgiveness/

My personal opinion is that forgiveness is overrated.

I do think that it may be important in many cases to be able to accept that something has happened and get over any anger to be able to move on and decide what to do rationally.

Some may label that as forgiveness, but it doesn’t really change how I feel about what was done or the people that did it.

And looking further on that site, I see various secular outlooks that seem to mirror how I feel about forgiveness.

I think the main point I started this thread, is examining 'forgiveness' by the varying point of views, from secular ( Atheist's, Humanist's ) and religious ( Christians, Muslims, Wiccan's ....... me :D;):w00t: ) and see the differences. ( my belief feels that there's no excuse to harm no matter what happen to you. If working out your pain and anger, through various imaginary ways in the mind, or put all the energy of your pain into positive things like, for me my anger helps me drive better, and I end up cleaning up with out realizing it, because the energy from my frustrations was use to do it )

Well, anyways.........

So my question is, how do each outlook and suggestions for it work, ( how does each belief of outlook work through forgiveness and how does it healthy way of actually getting you forgive and actually be happier? )

As I have stated before in other threads, I see a lot of 'encouraged' suggestions to 'forgive' so you can be happier about it. When I research and read other's perspectives on that, it doesn't say 'why' it makes you happier. It just says, 'to just do it'. I have not found any sole examples of either those who have been happy because of it, or it didn't work. ( well maybe on here, and I'm taking it in, reflecting, and such :yes: )

I have come to see that instant forgiveness, more so on the 'belief' stance, is not what it's cracked out to be from my own experience. Those who wronged me, I don't have anything to do with them, and I feel that is a good thing for me. ( no, they were not any close people to me ) In my close world, those that have, some have actually felt bad and compensated, ( and yet I feel a bit hesitant to deal with them, because of the lack of trust I feel of them repeating their behavior. So, I may have forgiven them, but I feel that end result was a break off of them.

Some places, that I feel were wrong, I don't want any revenge, I do feel a lack of respect. Forgive them? Well, if I feel a lack of respect for them, then I do not think I forgave them. I don't feel unhappy at this. I actually feel at peace, because I know my honest feelings are there, and there is no war in my soul. I feel independent of them, and that is a good thing with me.

I think, what is wrong, is looking for revenge, and wanting so badly to hurt them to the point it does make you the bad person in the situation. I don't think there is any excuse to hurt or kill someone, no matter what. ( also part of my belief again. )

I can understand wanting to get away from these feelings. But if you feel you cant allow someone to 'get a get out of jail free card' than that is a true emotional feeling, and you should be realistic about it.

I think that some point of views, ( Yes, some Christian views, sorry ) suggest very strongly ( from my observation ) to just 'forgive' like that at a drop of the hat. I notice, that there really isn't any instructions as to how and how it really does make someone happy.

I think it's a bad band aid over a festering cut, and the true feelings will come back.

Like an example I had notice on a http://goasksuzie.com site, one woman, whose husband cheated on her, had still honest feelings of a lack of trust and hurt feelings from her husband's infidelity, and he keeps telling her she needs to let it go.

Frankly, he is in no position to lecture her. He obviously has not worked to earn her trust and help her heal. ( I think she may need to tell him she can't live with him anymore and that what he did was worse than what he thinks it is and that he deserves the negative attitude toward him.) Well, that is me. Like I said, anyone who does the wrong, has no business telling 'you' how to deal with it.

I am a strong carrier of the thought you cannot 'choose' how to feel. Feelings are reactions and are earned. Force yourself to feel something you honestly don't feel, and it contradicts and the true feeling works itself up later, and things end up worse. I have found that out by experience.

Like I said, I don't think this is an excuse to allow your feelings to act ( like revenge and such ) but be honest and acknowledge that they are there and work through them be it psychological help or knowing what the actions of those feelings can do if you act out. Some people say, let go of the baggage is best. I don't, because if you 'let go' of the bad, don't you think you'll end up 'letting go' of the good too. It's almost like a lie.

I think, if you have to work at something, that is the reaction to someone else's misdeeds, than they should be brought attention to that, and the reason why they don't hold a favorable outlook to you.

Now the main reason for this thread, is how is it forgiveness either did make others who have been wronged, find personal happiness and if it stayed that way?

And those who 'just forgave just like that' and in the end, the true feelings still came up and made things worse?

I would like to see the many examples. Be it your's or what one has come by from the web, observations and the like.

Thanks to all in advance. :tu:

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Hi MustardLady. I have never been able to understand the concept of forgiveness. I can put things to one side and move on with the person or I can cut the person out of my life, but what's done is done and that can't be altered! The other person's actions and intentions at the time can't be altered retrospectively. All that's left is how I incorporate the altered relationship into my life .... or end it.

Oh, and just to be clear, I don't expect forgiveness from others!

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Hi MustardLady. I have never been able to understand the concept of forgiveness. I can put things to one side and move on with the person or I can cut the person out of my life, but what's done is done and that can't be altered! The other person's actions and intentions at the time can't be altered retrospectively. All that's left is how I incorporate the altered relationship into my life .... or end it.

Oh, and just to be clear, I don't expect forgiveness from others!

Hey there ouija! Nice to hear from you. :st:)

I feel, that what you said is similar to what I think. ( and that I cannot quite understand the concept of forgiveness, mostly in orthodox religions ) and I feel the same way. What is done is done, and it's having to deal with it. ( mostly so, when you didn't plan it )

Yes, what the other person has done cannot be altered retrospectively as well. That has to be acknowledged. I just feel, instant forgiveness, ( which seems to be highly suggested to make you feel good ( I don't think it does ) toward the other, doesn't do the trick.

I wonder, does forgiving the person give them a signal, a sign, a message to think in some sense, they can do it again and expect to be forgiven again?

It makes me wonder, if the lack of forgiving is a preventive measure for future misdeeds from the said person.

Thank you for answering. :yes:

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I can forgive (depending), but I will never forget.

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I can forgive (depending), but I will never forget.

I hope you don't mind me asking, Xeno, but how do you do that?

I always get the sense, there is some form of a secular reasoning you have in that. And what honest feelings to you have to do that?

Does it honestly help you in relationships with those that wronged you?

This is curious to me, for how does the forgiveness in both spiritual and secular actually work with one's honest feelings.

As for the forgetting part, I find this interesting as some feel is an essential part of the forgiveness part. ( or am I getting that wrong? )

I would think the forgetting part would be hard, if the one doing the wrong did it a way that is scarring.

I wouldn't forget, but I think there is more to that.

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Forgiveness is loving yourself more than you want to resent someone else.

It is allowing yourself to be free from the need to generate the constant flow of resentment, bitterness and anger.

The one who is released in forgiveness is the one who forgives. We have so much energy in life.

Why not spend what energy you have on things you love, as opposed to obsessing on what you hate.

In the end, everything you love and everything you hate, come from the same source.

Live life, let go. It's so worth it.

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Posted (edited)

I can forgive someone who is willing to change their ways. If they are making a consistent effort to improve. To me they are deserving of forgiveness. However I will not forget what transpired. To forget is to be open to the same type of mistake again.

Edited by XenoFish
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Posted (edited)

I've forgiven my two ex-girlfriends who cheated on me, but I would -never- be able to forget what they did... ever. Essentially what I am saying is that I can definitely forgive people depending on the situation, but I can and will never forget their wrongdoings.

Another example is my brother stole $20 from me about eight years ago. I forgave him and told him that I accept his apology, but I never lent him a cent ever since... and never will. Lol.

Edited by Nuclear Wessel
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When you understand why a person does something or says something harmful; the underlying cause for their behavior, it almost always reveals itself and that is what enables me to forgive. There's a wealth of truth in: "hurt people, hurt people"

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As I have said in another thread, I think in Sheri's 'Christianity without God' thread, I have been lately contemplating starting a thread on forgiveness and the religious and secular way of looking at it, and if there are good and bad examples of it working or not with both.

Forgiveness: from this site: http://www.newworlde...try/Forgiveness

I am mystified at the various ways of the emotional act of forgiveness, and some, who somehow 'demand' it from others, and then assure that it's the best thing to do for you even though in the end it may play out that it's not.

I have found this site: https://nexusnovel.w...rent-religions/

which seems to break down various particular religions and their way at looking at forgiveness.

And this site, to me, seems to have instructions of one just going through the act of forgiving, but not saying why it is suppose to help you forgive.

And the thing I disagree with this site, is that it tells you to work at these emotional feelings, when in reality, these feelings you force yourself to feel is contrary to your true feelings. Too much work, and not healthy when it's contradictory.

http://www.christian...on.org/pg13.cfm

When I have found a more secular or shall I say, an Atheist way of looking at it, it seems kind of logical to me of how it's looked at. I look at this bit from this website: http://www.asktheath...61-forgiveness/

And looking further on that site, I see various secular outlooks that seem to mirror how I feel about forgiveness.

I think the main point I started this thread, is examining 'forgiveness' by the varying point of views, from secular ( Atheist's, Humanist's ) and religious ( Christians, Muslims, Wiccan's ....... me :D;):w00t: ) and see the differences. ( my belief feels that there's no excuse to harm no matter what happen to you. If working out your pain and anger, through various imaginary ways in the mind, or put all the energy of your pain into positive things like, for me my anger helps me drive better, and I end up cleaning up with out realizing it, because the energy from my frustrations was use to do it )

Well, anyways.........

So my question is, how do each outlook and suggestions for it work, ( how does each belief of outlook work through forgiveness and how does it healthy way of actually getting you forgive and actually be happier? )

As I have stated before in other threads, I see a lot of 'encouraged' suggestions to 'forgive' so you can be happier about it. When I research and read other's perspectives on that, it doesn't say 'why' it makes you happier. It just says, 'to just do it'. I have not found any sole examples of either those who have been happy because of it, or it didn't work. ( well maybe on here, and I'm taking it in, reflecting, and such :yes: )

I have come to see that instant forgiveness, more so on the 'belief' stance, is not what it's cracked out to be from my own experience. Those who wronged me, I don't have anything to do with them, and I feel that is a good thing for me. ( no, they were not any close people to me ) In my close world, those that have, some have actually felt bad and compensated, ( and yet I feel a bit hesitant to deal with them, because of the lack of trust I feel of them repeating their behavior. So, I may have forgiven them, but I feel that end result was a break off of them.

Some places, that I feel were wrong, I don't want any revenge, I do feel a lack of respect. Forgive them? Well, if I feel a lack of respect for them, then I do not think I forgave them. I don't feel unhappy at this. I actually feel at peace, because I know my honest feelings are there, and there is no war in my soul. I feel independent of them, and that is a good thing with me.

I think, what is wrong, is looking for revenge, and wanting so badly to hurt them to the point it does make you the bad person in the situation. I don't think there is any excuse to hurt or kill someone, no matter what. ( also part of my belief again. )

I can understand wanting to get away from these feelings. But if you feel you cant allow someone to 'get a get out of jail free card' than that is a true emotional feeling, and you should be realistic about it.

I think that some point of views, ( Yes, some Christian views, sorry ) suggest very strongly ( from my observation ) to just 'forgive' like that at a drop of the hat. I notice, that there really isn't any instructions as to how and how it really does make someone happy.

I think it's a bad band aid over a festering cut, and the true feelings will come back.

Like an example I had notice on a http://goasksuzie.com site, one woman, whose husband cheated on her, had still honest feelings of a lack of trust and hurt feelings from her husband's infidelity, and he keeps telling her she needs to let it go.

Frankly, he is in no position to lecture her. He obviously has not worked to earn her trust and help her heal. ( I think she may need to tell him she can't live with him anymore and that what he did was worse than what he thinks it is and that he deserves the negative attitude toward him.) Well, that is me. Like I said, anyone who does the wrong, has no business telling 'you' how to deal with it.

I am a strong carrier of the thought you cannot 'choose' how to feel. Feelings are reactions and are earned. Force yourself to feel something you honestly don't feel, and it contradicts and the true feeling works itself up later, and things end up worse. I have found that out by experience.

Like I said, I don't think this is an excuse to allow your feelings to act ( like revenge and such ) but be honest and acknowledge that they are there and work through them be it psychological help or knowing what the actions of those feelings can do if you act out. Some people say, let go of the baggage is best. I don't, because if you 'let go' of the bad, don't you think you'll end up 'letting go' of the good too. It's almost like a lie.

I think, if you have to work at something, that is the reaction to someone else's misdeeds, than they should be brought attention to that, and the reason why they don't hold a favorable outlook to you.

Now the main reason for this thread, is how is it forgiveness either did make others who have been wronged, find personal happiness and if it stayed that way?

And those who 'just forgave just like that' and in the end, the true feelings still came up and made things worse?

I would like to see the many examples. Be it your's or what one has come by from the web, observations and the like.

Thanks to all in advance. :tu:

The point of forgiveness is to heal yourself. It has nothing to do with altruism/ benefiting the person you are forgiving.

You don't even have to tell them they are forgiven, although that would also help them. Hence there is no such thing as "forcing yourself" into a false forgiveness. You either forgive or you do not Forgive means letting go of the hurt, harm, anger, hate or other negative feelings and being able to satrt life anew. (it is not forgetting but deliberately putting aside your negative perceptions of an event or person)

If a human being does this scientists KNOW their mental and physical health will be better

Basically we chose and construct our feelings and emotions we chose whether to forgive or not to forgive and EVERY humanbeing has the cognitive abilty to forgive any wrong or harm done to them (and also the abilty to refuse to do this)

Again it is not about letting the other person off, it is about healing yourself.

You can still legitimately expect punishment and compensation for harm done to you, (although if you wish you can also chose to forgo those things)

In my home town a young father recently became very depressed. He shot his two young sons and himself, then drove off a wharf .There was a lot of hate and vitriol on the web directed at him, but his wife and partner explained that she still loved him, forgave him and knew this was the result of a mental illness/depression which had developed quite quickly and which he could not control. She forgave him and carried on with a memory of a loving, caring, husband and father.

if she had not it might have destroyed her life. On the other hand two of my friends had their eldest son murdered very brutally They have never gotten over it, and it completely destroyed their life for a decade. They simply could not forgive the actions of another young man. That person will be punished and live with the consequences of his actions all his life but the parents COULD have chosen forgiveness not for his benefit but for their own.

You certainly have a choice. ie working through pain and anger OR simply letting go of it.

Both can work, but one is far more effective, simpler, and quicker, with more immediate positive outcomes.

For some reason people tend to think that hurt, anger, hate and vengeance are "natural " emotions, required for healing, or for grief to be effective, but that love, peace of mind, and forgiveness are not. They are ALL how we have learned to respond to life, and we can learn different and better ways to respond, no matter how old or young we are.

As always, the you here is general, not applying to you specifically.

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Posted (edited)

Forgiveness is loving yourself more than you want to resent someone else.

It is allowing yourself to be free from the need to generate the constant flow of resentment, bitterness and anger.

Where is this coming from?

I'm not being snarky, or something like that. I am really interested how you came to seeing that. I see forgiveness in something that is being toward someone else. I think it's interesting that with your thoughts, it brings in the person wronged, in the sense of self-contentedness.

Me, or point of view, or my belief what have you, has already done that. Feelings of being content of who I am. I think there are various individuals, who feel the same way in their own belief or point of view. Like I see some here content by their belief, I see various

Atheists here feel content with themselves.

With that thinking, how is that tied to the act of forgiving someone else, or as I look at it, letting that person 'off the hook'.

( and I bet that's an interesting way of looking at it, letting the person off the hook. Does anyone think of it that way?

The one who is released in forgiveness is the one who forgives.
And that's why I have the million dollar question here. How?!?! How is it releasing the person in forgiveness. Like make sense in quenching thirst, how does it cause the release in forgiving?
We have so much energy in life.

Why not spend what energy you have on things you love, as opposed to obsessing on what you hate.

I agree with that. Priorities and all in the energy you have, yes. :yes:

But, does the lack of simple forgiving require energy or that much energy?

My belief feels it's less energy in knowing you don't forgive and go from there, than it is to work so hard to feel the 'forgiving' that you don't feel and then have to work harder trying to.

I wonder, do secular thinking in this feel more energy in forgiving or knowing they won't?

Does various religious feel that?

I know, I'm at peace in stating to myself, and to the person when necessary, that I cannot forgive, because it's not what I feel. I'm not wasting energy working at a thinking or feeling contrary to what I really feel. Letting go, would be the false sense of forgiving.

Again, I do not feel the intense hate or revenge, because I have something inside me that knows and can do better to work at myself and to view the other as what is really it is, and then the energy is worked to help me.

In fact, that should be something to consider. Using the energy for yourself, and not wasting it on the person who does wrong. Because I would think they would be a waste of my energy working at feeling something for them that is not what I feel for them.

In the end, everything you love and everything you hate, come from the same source.

Live life, let go. It's so worth it.

I do, I let go of considering the other person as worthy of my respect, my time, and of consideration as a better person than want to be.

In fact, accepting what is real and then going on life in how you know helps you, is very reflective and satisfying.

Again, there is some things here that just says A = C but the B is left out.

Sorry, I appreciate your post, and I find it interesting seeing this in your point of view. But, have you noticed how what you said, hasn't worked for those, believers and non-believers?

If you have examples of success, in both groups. Because I'm interested in that.

Thank you Quicksilver. :tu::D

I can forgive someone who is willing to change their ways. If they are making a consistent effort to improve. To me they are deserving of forgiveness. However I will not forget what transpired. To forget is to be open to the same type of mistake again.

I see what you are saying here. In one sense, yes, to forget kind of one not paying attention to what cause the wrong in the first place. And, I guess, this is like a 'free get out jail card'.

Ahhh, nice point to make, Xeno. Thank you. :tu:

And yes, if someone is making a really strong effort, than yes, second chances. The bond that was there before, is not the same, probably wont be if anything. I would think that the one who did the wrong, understands that.

I like this example of how one is explaining it, in a secular sense.

Thank you Xeno. :)

I've forgiven my two ex-girlfriends who cheated on me, but I would -never- be able to forget what they did... ever. Essentially what I am saying is that I can definitely forgive people depending on the situation, but I can and will never forget their wrongdoings.

Another example is my brother stole $20 from me about eight years ago. I forgave him and told him that I accept his apology, but I never lent him a cent ever since... and never will. Lol.

I thought, this is what forgiveness was about, one who doesn't change their behavior with those they forgive.

I think what you put, is great, NW. :yes:

I always feel, that the inner feeling of a lack of trust from the person who has done wrong, is always there. I wonder, would someone who has done the wrong, and sees a different behavior toward them, because of their wrong doing, accepts the responsibility of being treated in such a way?

Kind of like the example of the cheating husband telling his wife to let it go. That shows me that he doesn't accept the responsibility for his behavior.

My ex-boyfriend cheated on me. I don't think of him anymore. I don't forgive him, because there's no excuse for what he did. I'm glad, he's gone from my life. Other than I think very low of him, which I feel he deserves, he caused his life to be the way it is. I leave him to it.

But, I feel you have a handle of this, and I love your examples. :yes:

Thanks NW :)

When you understand why a person does something or says something harmful; the underlying cause for their behavior, it almost always reveals itself and that is what enables me to forgive. There's a wealth of truth in: "hurt people, hurt people"

I think this is a good example in how it's explained very well.

Yes, a lot of the ties, when the reason behind the behavior is found out, half the time one probably doesn't blame them for it, or understand the why of it. I have found very much in forgiving some individuals for that. That's because it's not a blind forgiveness. I consider that a reasonable forgiveness. It explains a lot.

I like this, thanks barbco!! :tu::D

Edited by TheMustardLady
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I've forgiven my two ex-girlfriends who cheated on me, but I would -never- be able to forget what they did... ever. Essentially what I am saying is that I can definitely forgive people depending on the situation, but I can and will never forget their wrongdoings.

Another example is my brother stole $20 from me about eight years ago. I forgave him and told him that I accept his apology, but I never lent him a cent ever since... and never will. Lol.

That is an interesting example. It illustrates our choices in more serious matters. You COULD of course have neither forgiven nor forgotten, yet still lent him more money, for a variety of reasons.

You could forgive and NOT lend money as you did, but I am not sure that your choice not to lend money is a matter of forgiveness but of caution and financial management . While you refusing to lend him money does of course have a consequence on him for his behaviour have you considered the consequences to you of adopting such a cautionary mindset ? Are they ALL positive or are their some negatives in being so cautious. If oyu lent him money once agin would it improve yourrelationship withhim? Wha tis more important to you, 20 dollars, or your relationship with your brother.?

I must admit you would see me as a soft touch. I have been burned a few times by family members )all on my wife's side) i just write off the money ( wouldn't have given it if i couldn't afford it) and start afresh

Thus i have good relationships with my wife's family lasting half a century, which in turn strengthen my bond with her. Eventually one bro in law inherited sevreal hundred thousand dollars, , and because we had a good relationship from when he was a heavy gambler, he repaid all his debts and has been very generous to my wife and I.

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In life we are the sum of our choices. Forgiveness is just another option.

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You could forgive and NOT lend money as you did, but I am not sure that your choice not to lend money is a matter of forgiveness but of caution and financial management .

It is definitely out of caution because of not only that particular incident, but also of subsequent incidents. He has and continues to steal things from family members/other people. He takes advantage of people, apologizes, then takes advantage of them again. He is just that type of person. I could never trust him with money... ever. I would never lend him a dime.

While you refusing to lend him money does of course have a consequence on him for his behaviour have you considered the consequences to you of adopting such a cautionary mindset ? Are they ALL positive or are their some negatives in being so cautious. If oyu lent him money once agin would it improve yourrelationship withhim? Wha tis more important to you, 20 dollars, or your relationship with your brother.?

I just don't know, and to be completely honest with you I have no interest in "improving" my relationship with the brother in question. I don't hate him, I don't dislike him in any way... but I just don't... care to involve myself with him if I have such a choice. We get on quite well at family gatherings and such but I am honestly glad to not have any kind of regular contact with him. He has done so much damage that any hope of a "good" relationship in the future is pretty much shot. It is also not so much as what he has done to me, personally, but also how he treats others.

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I learned more about the need and efficacy of forgiving others in AA. I was told that resentment for past wrongs done to me were the most likely stumbling block to staying sober. Since staying sober = staying alive in my case, I listened. I was told to begin praying every day for the individual who wronged me. It didn't matter at all if I even meant it. I was to pray for that person's health, prosperity, well being and peace - everything I'd want for myself. I was told that if I did this EVERY DAY for 30 days I'd begin to actually mean it and forgiveness would come. I tried it and I can say it actually works but it does require perseverance. Forgiving others when they wrong you is not for their benefit...it's for your own. If you withold it then you harm only yourself long term.

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Posted (edited)

I've forgiven my two ex-girlfriends who cheated on me, but I would -never- be able to forget what they did... ever. Essentially what I am saying is that I can definitely forgive people depending on the situation, but I can and will never forget their wrongdoings.

Another example is my brother stole $20 from me about eight years ago. I forgave him and told him that I accept his apology, but I never lent him a cent ever since... and never will. Lol.

NW, having boundaries is the sign of a healthy functional person, good for you.

I would not give a second chance to a cheater; I would forgive them their stupidity for throwing away a great person, but that would never include a second chance with me. :)

And, All bets are off with a thief, my sister has been a thief ( she stole over 70 thousand dollars from my grandmother/she stole my moms pay check which led to my mom losing her job) and she will never be invited into my home and the whole family strategizes in protection of ourselves. Although I do forgive her, it doesn't change that her choice has led to the caution, and measures we now apply when it comes to her.

We would be darn idiots not to protect her from herself and us.

There are some things people choose to do that compromise trust and losing trust is difficult if not impossible to earn back.

But it doesn't mean I don't love her or forgive her, but she shows me who she is and I listen.

I call this intelligent.

Great post!

Edited by Sherapy
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In life we are the sum of our choices. Forgiveness is just another option.

Yes, we are, and choices to what happens after our reactions to things. ( Well, my thinking at least. ;) ) You probably know by now, I don't think forgiveness is a choice, but a reactionary result to something that has been to heal the wronged, be it by the one who was wronged, or the wrong doer who helped work at it.

So, in essence, is it a choice to act the act of forgiveness, as I see in various religious beliefs, or is it a resulting outcome from an act that appeases the wronged, like I see sometimes in varying secular thought processes.

What I have noticed here in this thread, that I sometimes see thoughts of forgiveness, that seems to have a secular base, from some I have come to know as believers, and I have noticed some spiritual way of looking at it, kind of an instant act one needs to do, and this coming from those I always thought to be skeptics at least.

Which is an interesting turn in my point of view here, and even more has me thinking how complex and how individual the forgiveness is to different people. I feel, one of an outcome of this thread, is telling me there is no easy answer to this.

Fascinating to be sure. :D:tu:

It is definitely out of caution because of not only that particular incident, but also of subsequent incidents. He has and continues to steal things from family members/other people. He takes advantage of people, apologizes, then takes advantage of them again. He is just that type of person. I could never trust him with money... ever. I would never lend him a dime.

This is one of those tough situations, where one cannot be in the situation to know what to lecture about relationships, mostly so from the outside. I feel, is there a message being sent that because of past behaviors, some benefits have been revoked. I think that is understandable. I do feel, there is still a relationship, and even when someone realizes they did wrong and have to take responsibility for their actions and be on a probational period ( if you will ) and still continue to love you just as much, I think a relationship is still there. I think all relationships have various challenges and I think it won't be a disaster, if both parties work at it and if the wrong doer works harder and the wronged is helped in the healing.

I totally understand where you are coming from, NW. :yes:

I just don't know, and to be completely honest with you I have no interest in "improving" my relationship with the brother in question. I don't hate him, I don't dislike him in any way... but I just don't... care to involve myself with him if I have such a choice. We get on quite well at family gatherings and such but I am honestly glad to not have any kind of regular contact with him. He has done so much damage that any hope of a "good" relationship in the future is pretty much shot. It is also not so much as what he has done to me, personally, but also how he treats others.

I often feel that way in certain situations, but in the end, keeping one's self 'centered' and healing them self, I feel there is always a chance of accepting what ever is going on now. Sometimes, the result is the honest result.

I am thinking of you NW. (((hugs)))

I learned more about the need and efficacy of forgiving others in AA. I was told that resentment for past wrongs done to me were the most likely stumbling block to staying sober. Since staying sober = staying alive in my case, I listened. I was told to begin praying every day for the individual who wronged me. It didn't matter at all if I even meant it. I was to pray for that person's health, prosperity, well being and peace - everything I'd want for myself. I was told that if I did this EVERY DAY for 30 days I'd begin to actually mean it and forgiveness would come. I tried it and I can say it actually works but it does require perseverance. Forgiving others when they wrong you is not for their benefit...it's for your own. If you withold it then you harm only yourself long term.

Thank you 'and then' for your post. :tu: Most appreciated.

I feel your post is the pinnacle of this thread. In a sense, I feel your situation of an example of how forgiveness and religious forgiveness is showing as a result. It's not something I would do. As you know, I'm not Christian, so praying is not something I would do. And if I'm going to see how I fill a void or something, I would find things like reading, working out my resentments and such in my head. Then I do other things, that I feel helps me heal in certain situations.

But your post is telling me, it worked for you. You are saying in your post, ( and I believe you ) that you are better for it.

*write on chalkboard: religion and just forgive the other for you own good = it has worked and gave peace for one person.*

Ok, I do thank you for your contribution. :yes:

This praying for the person for thirty days. I think that is very interesting. Praying for their good fortune every day, even if you don't mean it, is it because it's a way of talking you into it?

Did you learn something of the wrong doer(s), when you did pray for them for thirty days? I am curious how it changed your mind about them?

For me, if they committed the wrong and are indeed, the wrong doer, than they are the wrong doer. I think that is not going to change that about them.

But yes, I do agree, being concerned and working up the resentment of what has been done to you, yes, one shouldn't do that.

As I see your belief has helped you to stop that, mine has me helping myself and putting those who have done wrong in a place in me where it's like the dog house.

Maybe, it's my way to see them as lower than me. I wonder, is that wrong, or is that a better way of seeing myself as self-confident and feeling better about myself?

I do feel, that this thread has shown, in the many posts, that energy wasted on hatred and anger toward the wrong doer, is a waste and damaging. :yes:

NW, having boundaries is the sign of a healthy functional person, good for you.

I would not give a second chance to a cheater; I would forgive them their stupidity for throwing away a great person, but that would never include a second chance with me. :)

And, All bets are off with a thief, my sister has been a thief ( she stole over 70 thousand dollars from my grandmother/she stole my moms pay heck which led to my mom losing her job) and she will never be invited into my home and the whole family strategizes in protection of ourselves. Although I do forgive her, it doesn't change that her choice has led to the caution, measures we now apply when it comes to her.

We would be darn idiots not to protect her from herself.

There are some things people choose to do that compromise trust and losing trust is difficult if not impossible to earn back.

But it doesn't mean I don't love her or forgive her, but she shows me who she is and I listen.

I call this intelligent.

Great post!

Exactly, I agree as well. :yes:
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Posted (edited)

Hi MustardLady. I have never been able to understand the concept of forgiveness. I can put things to one side and move on with the person or I can cut the person out of my life, but what's done is done and that can't be altered! The other person's actions and intentions at the time can't be altered retrospectively. All that's left is how I incorporate the altered relationship into my life .... or end it.

Oh, and just to be clear, I don't expect forgiveness from others!

I think the moving on part is appropriate in some cases and is the best way to be at peace.

I will not dishonour my truth or feelings about a matter; I find in the honoring of them is what leads to peace; regardless, of how I choose to resolve the situation.

I personally would not commit to a second chance with another, unless I sincerely could let go and do my part, which is let bygones be bygones. If I need time, I need time and I respect this in myself.

I put myself first, and I don't wallow in resentment over anything. I look for ways to move on that bring peace for me.

Then there are relationships that forgiveness knows no bounds, for me and this is reserved for my kids, yet they have not tested it or abused it.

I also do not wallow in resentment, or allow my displeasure for things to go unaddressed. I find a way to say what I need to say, and move on.

Edited by Sherapy
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I can forgive (depending), but I will never forget.

I think the "not forgetting" part is so important as it defines our boundaries and teaches others how to treat us; in otherwords, what we will allow and what we won't.

I personally choose to be respected and will insist on it, if I don't then who will?

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I think the moving on part is appropriate in some cases and is the best way to be at peace.

I will not dishonour my truth or feelings about a matter; I find in the honoring of them is what leads to peace;regardless, of how I choose to resolve the situation.

I personally would not commit to a second chance with another, unless I sincerely could let go and do my part, which is let bygones be bygones. If I need time, I need time and I respect this in myself.

I put myself first, and I don't wallow in resentment over anything. I look for ways to move on that bring peace for me.

Then there are relationships that forgiveness knows no bounds, for me and this is reserved for my kids, yet they have not tested it or abused it.

I also do not wallow in resentment, or allow my displeasure for things to go unaddressed. I find a way to say what I need to say, and move on.

Bingo!!!

* write on chalk board: an example on how forgiveness is looked upon in the secular sense, and how that is an example that it works as well*

Love it! Sheri. :tu:

What you said, I do, and hope I have been expressing that here. It feels honest. Honest to your feelings, and honest to what really is going on.

I kind of think, if someone says a joke, and you don't find it funny, your innate instinct is to 'not laugh'. Should you fake laughing to appease the joke teller. It would be the 'nice' thing to do. And is that letting go any feelings of how bad the joke was?

Maybe a really bad way of using an example, but you can't fake honest laughter, so can you fake honest feelings that shows you really don't forgive a person?

Now, if it was a really really bad joke, and the purpose to show the quality of the bad joke......................... that's a different matter all together. ;)

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I think the "not forgetting" part is so important as it defines our boundaries and teaches others how to treat us; in otherwords, what we will allow and what we won't.

I personally choose to be respected and will insist on it, if I don't then who will?

I think this goes to the heart of the matter. If you forgive, just to forgive because you are 'suppose to', are you respecting yourself? Do you really respect the person you are forgiving?

I really do not think you can 'let go' of things as easily said that some think it can be done. Even 'and then's' example has him praying forcefully for thirty days? Not instantly.

This is something to reflect as well. :yes:

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I think when people lash out or do something hurtful to you - in many cases - it's coming from a place of pain within themselves.

Of course much of it depends on what the 'wrong done' was / or is to cause the lack of forgiveness.

I feel that most of us have a story to tell when it comes to somebody who hurt us - especially from someone we trusted.

Speaking for myself - I have learnt that time does mellow the anger and pain where forgiveness is concerned.

However - fully trusting them again - is forever gone.

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For some forgiveness comes easy, but that forgiveness comes with a price. Although they may forgive they will never forget the pain and put the forgiven on notice that they have not forgotten. It says to the ones they forgive that for the pain I endured because of you, you must now bear an equal measure of guilt and remorse. Sheri is an alpha female, one who holds things together when they would otherwise fall apart. If she ever gives up on someone, they're in a world of hurt. She's like a rock that others cling to, until the storm passes by.

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I think when people lash out or do something hurtful to you - in many cases - it's coming from a place of pain within themselves.

Of course much of it depends on what the 'wrong done' was / or is to cause the lack of forgiveness.

I feel that most of us have a story to tell when it comes to somebody who hurt us - especially from someone we trusted.

Speaking for myself - I have learnt that time does mellow the anger and pain where forgiveness is concerned.

However - fully trusting them again - is forever gone.

Wow, I think that was wonderfully said, Astra. :yes: Thank you. :tu:

Good point. I think barbco hit upon this as well in her post. In a lot of situations, the wrong doer has done it in some form of reasoning. But, yes, that doesn't excuse them.

I don't think I have ever advocated that one has the right to get revenge, to hurt to make themselves feel better. I hope, I have been making sure that there is no excuse to hurt, kill, what ever, be it's from the urge for revenge.

And thank you for your thoughts on the individuality of the wrongs that has been done. It's not easy black or white thing.

And I also agree, that time passing does lessened the pain. In act, I do feel, that forgiveness given after time has passed, seems more plausible. ( Something I think is great to reflect on too)

And the trust issue, good point. The lack of trust, is a big thing that plays out here in this situation. Does forgiveness, be it secular or religious, does that mean trust is gained back?

I wonder, if there are examples of this.

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Posted (edited)

Forgiveness is loving yourself more than you want to resent someone else.

It is allowing yourself to be free from the need to generate the constant flow of resentment, bitterness and anger.

The one who is released in forgiveness is the one who forgives. We have so much energy in life.

Why not spend what energy you have on things you love, as opposed to obsessing on what you hate.

In the end, everything you love and everything you hate, come from the same source.

Live life, let go. It's so worth it.

For me, resentment would be an issue for me if I tried to invalidate my self or my feelings on the matter.

Self love is viable In the sense I will have boundaries for myself and respect myself to ask for the things I want and say no to the things I don't and give voice to the things that can be better and have the wisdom to know when to move on in peace, and finally, to learn from my mistakes and those of others.

Edited by Sherapy
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