I forgive and forget because, I know people err; We are not programmed robots, machines that function with automatic perfection. So, I forgive and forget. But the main reason I forgive and forget is for myself. My musings for today: Should we always forgive? And why I think we should.
I am writing on this topic because my husband handed me a newspaper article this morning; “Hard to forgive when hurt continues.” He often times helps me with topics he thinks may pique your fancy and mine, too. I hemmed and hawed over tackling this one because I am not a therapist. Of course darlings, I decided to take a stab at this topic.
SHOULD WE ALWAYS FORGIVE? YES. DOES FORGIVING MEAN FORGETTING? NO.
Carrying anger and hateful feelings towards others takes so much emotional energy and is wasted time. It ruins any chance of positivity as you go through your day. I think we should forgive.
But what about the unfaithful spouse, an angry adult child who lets you down, a boss who fires you without notice, a close friend who betrays, a rude salesperson, etc.
I am not a therapist therefore I cannot delve into the nitty gritty of anger syndromes. My feelings on “should we always forgive” come from my personal experiences and my perspective.
WHAT FORGIVENESS DOES NOT MEAN
- Forgiveness does not mean you continue a relationship.
- Forgiveness does not mean you should forget what happened.
- Forgiveness does not mean you have to tell the person he or she is forgiven.
- Forgiveness does not mean that you are excusing the person’s actions.
- Forgiveness does not validate the person’s action.
WHY IT IS HARD TO FORGIVE
- You are hurt to your core.
- You feel revenge.
- You want retribution.
- You have lost faith.
- You feel the person will not change.
Looking back on my school life, my camp life, my young married life, my life in general I did not have any major confrontations. Just the normal stuff. I never lost a close friend, never dropped a friend, never stopped talking to anyone or harbored long-lasting anger. The mother-daughter relationship was the hardest to deal with. I remember always apologizing to my mother; out of respect and because I emotionally felt better. You noticed I did not say, “because I thought I was wrong.”
Over the past few years I have suffered more disappointments then throughout my entire lifetime. It has been a real learning experience for a woman well over 50. Not pleasant. On the other hand, I have taught myself how to live and handle these upsets.
I know it is very hard for many women to forgive. As I mentioned in my first sentence I forgive and forget easily. Thank goodness I do not harbor ill feelings for long periods of time. I did have one experience a few years ago. So, I know the feeling of anger where you say to yourself, “it was so bad I will never forgive.” You self-identify as the victim. You are filled with retribution. The hurt is too deep or the person was too abusive. They never expressed regret. They never said, “I apologize.”
- Forgiveness means accepting that a person left a mark on you.
- Forgiveness means your peace of mind.
- Forgiveness means a release of negativity. A good sigh.
- Forgiveness means positive thoughts… this is your power.The person who hurt you gave you a precious gift… her negative actions reinforced within you the importance of daily kindness, empathy and love for our family and friends and the ability for us to say, if we are wrong, I am sorry.