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Forgiveness...is It Really Possible?

Lets think about this, I have been wrestling with the possibility of forgiveness. Is there anyone who really believe's that we can forgive? There is a couple of factors when it comes to forgiveness, one can you forgive the person who commits the act against you and two can you forgive yourself?

Can you forgive the person who commits the act against you? This can be a tough one for many reasons. Consider the reasonact that was commited against you, can you forgive that act and why? What is the commitment that is involved friendshiplover, does this have an effect of how you decide to forgive? Is there an unforgivable reason/act? Does the intensity of the relationship effect your decision between what is the right thing to do and what you should do? Seems that all these questions can cloud/confuse your judgement to do, what is necessary or right! I sometimes think that it is easier to forgive someone else other than yourself! Which leads into the next question.

Can you forgive yourself? This I think is the hardest decision! The infinite possibilities that arise, when you think of forgiving yourself. What did I do, that caused this to happen to me? What did i not do, that i could have done differently? Did I do something wrong? Why am I so unlovable? why does nobody like me? There are so many questions that come up depending on your situation and the act commited against you. What to do? How to decide? Is there anything, that makes this decision easier? The self pitty, that comes up on something like betral can completely devastate someone! You start to look at everything in your life self assessing everything. What about this about me? Or what's wrong with me? This has got to be the hardest part of forgiveness and the most necessary for moving forward. So what then? Sigh.............

So whats your take? Do you think that it is truely possible to forgive them/you? Or is the forgiveness for most just a falling away into forgetfulness? Is there any questions that I proposed that you found the answer too and how did you get to that point? And do we ever really forgive at all?

P.S. Thanks for the Ear!
inChange inChange 41-45, M 54 Responses Dec 5, 2012

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The thing about forgiveness is, only you can control it. You do it cause you want to. If you did it because someone else told you to, then it's not forgiveness. It'll remain resentment and it's burdensome.

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Yes every people can be forgive to each other

regardless of other worldly concerns in a nut shell yes you can forgive and it healthier for you to learn how to do so esp in terms of oneself...I disagree that it HAS to be long drawn out process but it is for many. forgiveness is a choice and option when ever you decide to adopt the concept.(assuming you have no mental incapacities or chemical imbalances)

Hi
Just read your thoughts about forgiveness; well, you are right- this is very long process; quite often painful, long tedious. But let me tell you something- it's very important for you, your future life to forgive; at least you can see this issue. You see- my mum died 12 years ago, and I still hate her!! for her selfishness, her big "ego", her homophobia, rasism, authocracy but unfortunely the one who hurts the most- is myself. And I'm trying my best to forgive, but the whole past covers too much of bitterness to just forgive and forget once forever. But I keep trying....because I know that hatred only makes my life even more complicated then it is now, so for that reason I really, really would like to forgive ...maybe then my whole life will change for better and be able to move on. But again- you are right- forgiveness is! very hard thing to do.

That old phrase forgive but not forget, I do think everyone is different and it takes a big person to forgive

You might be right

Will I forgive my bipolar wife?. .who had 5 affairs

If your at 5 get out she does not care!

I believe that forgiveness is something that is possible only after you have resolved the emotions surrounding the "unforgivable" situation / act. You are right about self forgiveness; some times resolving self conflict is more difficult and subjective. Hang in, everything has a way of becoming more forgivable with time and understanding.

wow that was deep.
but i think u can not forget a mistake, especially from sm1 u once trusted, but you can forgive. bt i think lying is unforgivable.

yes a lie is always covering something deeper up.

depends , I don\'t think the thruth is always better ....

I think forgiving often gets mistaken for forgetfulness. Time heals wounds as they say and I think it's rather the fact that ... in time you just 'get over' things rather than to have completely forgiven them. especially when it's about selfforgiving
I don't know why and I'd love to find out one day , but people tend to be a lot harder on themselves than they are on others.

Yes i think we are harder on ourselves than others too!

In my life i have forgiven alot of people for things they have done to me or to others i love but to froget is crazy. I can find it in my heart to forgive but never forget or you can be hurt in the same way over and over.

I agree.

Maybe 'forgiveness' is the wrong word for some acts of 'letting go'. Maybe 'understanding' would be better in some cases, as in 'I understand why that happened.' But 'Forgive and Forget' is not good advice. If we 'Forget' what happened, then we don't learn from the experience and run the risk of repeating it.

I don\'t believe in forgetting but forgiving is more about just letting go not that someone should not pay for the actions commited

You know this is the one thing, almost identically to ur post, that I cant grasp. I can forgive a mistake, but a mistake is an isolated accident, not a daily, years long lie. THERES A DIFFERENCE! And what if the person continues to hurt you? I CANT FORGIVE THE PERP FOR FORMER INCIDENTS, while hes planning more?! And forgiving myself!? Yes i do for believing in decency, and No! For listening with my heart instead of my Brain!!!

I think a mistake is a mistake but there are something's in life people call mistakes that I do not i call it a deliberate choice to intentionally hurt someone! And that is where the hard decision comes in to forgive someone of something they do not deserve!

I find forgiveness to be poison. It's quite simple actually, when you forgive, you take all the stress of the person who did you wrong on you. You have then two burdens. Your own because most of the time you forgive because "it's the right thing to do" without taking your feelings into account. Unfortunately, those feelings do not disappear, they just lay low, hidden from you as long as you fool yourself. Then, you also take the burden of the person who did you wrong therefore creating a circle of doomed thoughts and process in that "new" relationship.
As for forgiving oneself, it's not possible either. The reason why most people cannot forgive themselves is guilt. Guilt shows that you are human for taking into account people you did wrong but it is not an answer, it's a trigger. Most people live with their guilt. Others convince themselves that what they have done was not so bad/ not their fault. But what truly allows us to be ourselves and respect ourselves again is to accept what we did and then mourn for it. Then the memory of what you did wrong remains because you mourned for it (for as long as you need). Like when you moarn a dead beloved one, the memory of the pain remains. And if you can't preserve people from meeting death one day, the mourning you did over your deeds repels you from intentionally harming again.

That forgiving of myself in this was that I was letting go of having any responsibility of someone doing me wrong.

It's a tricky one too and I guess what you call forgiving yourself is what I call accepting the truth that you are not in complete commands of your life and surroundings. Glad to hear that you found that truth liberating. After all, we are no messiahs.

Interesting point of view.

Yea it's all in perception

Wow! How amazing... You pinned it! Made me think!

So true it's all about moving on sometimes.

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If you forgive someone and they keep doing the same thing over again do you just keep forgiving?

No you replace them!

NNOOOOOOOPP

I heard something that helps when I am wrestling with this exact subject. I will forgive you for stealing $100 from me but I won't ask you to hold my purse for me.

I find it easy to forgive but hard to forget. I have the most difficulty forgiving myself.

Lots of good responses to this thoughtful post.

Good

Thats pretty good but i think part of that is trust and even if you forgive, trust has to be rebulit and usually the person that breaks trust does not think that they have to earn it back thus creating a bigger problem with their flawed personanlity.

EXACTLY!

Before, it's harder for me to forgive myself than to forgive others. My reason was because I do understand them, why they did such things against me, I always managed to understand them, but when it comes to myself, it's hard for me knowing that I know the right thing to do but I didn't.. But when I finally learn to understand myself more, I learn that forgiveness is what every sinner deserves. It may took months, years to grant your forgiveness depending on the situation. Don't ever force yourself to forgive someone immediately, don't even feel guilty if you can't forgive them.. Understand yourself first before you can fully understand others.

You hate what they did to you that's why you can't forgive them. Hatred is dominating, and as I witness Life, Love is the only thing that could subside/alter hatred. The more a person receive love from the people around him especially from those whom he did wrong yet still loving him everyday will move his heart into forgiveness as well.

Just let yourself receive love FREELY and it will be easier for you to GIVE LOVE FREELY.. :)

I loved thats why forgiveness is so far from reach, but now i have moved on.

I also could forgive someone else easier than I could myself. I slowly am trying to forgive myself, I have to remember that forgiveness does not mean saying what happened was right or justified, it is about letting the power of the anger, and resentment dissipate because it is self-defeating and only hinders my growth as a person.

That is so true! ;)

i bliv a lot of ppl find it easy 2 forgive,,,,,,,,its jux nt that easy 2 frget

well i think it sux more that people are that way that we have to forgive.

You know my familys pic is in websters under dysfunctional-abuse alcolhol, drugs you name it- but when i said i do i did. I mean can u manage not to mess ur pants all day? Then doing what right shouldnt be that hard either

I came from an abusive family who drank. My father used to beat my mother a lot. My mother finally one day told me she had filed for divorce. When my father found out he came to the house drunk and held my mother and me in a chair for 6 hours with a loaded double barrel shotgun pointed at us. I was only 13 at the time. When he started falling asleep I took my chance and was able to wrestle the gun from him. I later told him I would never speak to him again until he quit he drinking. He did finally quit his drinking and I started to talk to him. I still had not forgiven him for what he had done until he had his heart attack and became disabled. He was no longer able to look after himself. I took him in to live with me and during that time I was able to forgive him. I took care of him for 10 years until he passed away. I am still bothered with the fact that all though I did forgive him I could never bring myself to tell him I loved him. I think he new though how much I did, but I wish I could have that time back to tell him in person.

Yes, i can definitely relate to what you went through and its so hard and really takes a tull on you! But it sounds like you really changed the dynamics of the relationship which is great!

That was exactly what I asked myself....and I suppose I don't have the answer... I thought I have put it all behind... But sometimes little triggers it...sigh...

I know exactly what you mean, especially if you can't do anything about it!

I certainly have a person whom I will Never forgive! Never. And sometime I may explain.....no time now. As for myself, I decided a very long time ago that I will live with no regrets. Not easy at first - must really think about some decisions, etc. Habit now and NO REGRETS!

Yes, i can understand what you mean! well if you ever want to chat let me know.

Well written! I think we should be humble and merciful with us and with others. Do you think we have the power to judge others' actions? no we are not Gods or Goddesses we are human beings and we make the same mistakes of others... so why not to forgive???

Yes it also helps with the healing.

SOME actions are so despicable and constantly repeated you just gotta move on and stay away. And don't have to forgive. Maybe somebody else but doubtful.

You know I can since your pain and can say that I am pretty sure i know the pain you are refering. It is an act that should not be forgiven and that my point was not forgiving for them but more for myself that I have no prison of anger in my life. That may or may not work in your life but it helps in moving forward!

I have always had a different take on why people tell you that you need to forgive someone that has done something unspeakable to you. Most often I hear that the forgiveness is for yourself - to eliminate the bitterness, anger, pain, grief . . . whatever negative emotions you are feeling so that you can move on and have peace. I disagree.

Forgiving someone that does not deserve it makes me more bitter and angry. They should never be given that grace. They don't deserve it. I feel better knowing they are not forgiven. Now that doesn't mean that this person can never be forgiven, if they can show that they have sincerely changed and are sincerely sorry for their actions. I do think this is possible, even though I think that in 60% of the cases, "a leopard doesn't change its spots." So, if you are like me, don't feel like there is something wrong with you because society tells you that you should or have to forgive. You do not.

Thats a pretty good out look and i know exactly what you mean!

AGREE!

The more grudge I keep the more heavy my soul may come to be... Yes it is possible to forgive self and others. How can we forgive others if we don't forgive self? I know it takes time and is hard, so hard that I can often hear my voice scorning me. "Why? How could I be so stupid? " . But there are lucky times when I can find an answer: we all do mistakes maybe I needed to learn something. I am meant to love not to punish.. Here is what helps me sometimes to get rid of my immediate anger: I try to focus on something beautiful the person have. Anything, as simple as a color of the sweater or a smartly tied shoelace. It melts a big part of my anger away. For the big hurt takes more time and effort but it is not impossible. The craddle into the arms of Nature, by sitting on the grass under a tree or watching a river taking my anger far into the horizon is a healing medication. I try to connect , it whispers to me: "I forgive you humans everyday, could you do the otherwise?" Of course I can't forgive everyting all the time but if I am able to do it, I can feel happiness . Thank you for this question it helped me to search into myself.

Thats nice, i think we all ask that question "Why? How could I be so stupid? " But the whole nature thing really helps me too in searching out my soul!

It's an exercise in mindfulness. Feeling the pain of the act. Moving through it, letting it go, but taking the lessons from it. A long, challenging process. If we don't forgive ourselves for our transgressions we will never heal and always be haunted. The part of being human is making sometimes severe mistakes. Growing from them and trying to not do them again. As for someone else's forgiveness I am currently waiting for that one. I can only hope and pray that through time and demonstration one can forgive and build trust again. It's rough, but we are all capable of true compassion even through error. The forgiveness releases us from the negative burden. I hope this person will do this for me. I must hope in time this will all be a dream!

I hope they will too!

I think it is easiest to forgive a parent or your child. Especially your children.
As for forgiving yourself, not sure if its 100% possible. I think we just accept our flawed actions until something re-triggers our guilt. I suppose the same thing can be said for a spouse or friend though. I feel like our encounters mold us and those feelings attached never completely disappear. But some of us are more jaded than others when it come to trust.

I can agree to that!

I believe many people think that, to forgive, you absolve people from their guilt.
I Think that is not necessarily the case. A woman forgiving someone who raped her, does not say: It was OK that you raped me, she says : I choose to no longer hold the grudge and hate against you. There is still the issue of guilt to deal with, and paying the price , for example in the law, is not part of that forgiveness. Forgiveness passes that burdon on to someone else.

Now forgiving yourself, that is harder. Even if you have the forgiveness of the person you have trespassed against, and maybe you have paid for your offence, there is still the issue of "why did you do it, in the first place?" and can you live with yourself.
That is the hard part!

Yes, That is true. Forgiving yourself can be hard especially if your not at fault cause you often have no reason or legitmate reason why something happened to you that can be hard to over come! so you just keep on trying till you get it right.

Well, if there is something that you are not directly responsible for, I would have thought, that should be easier to put behind you. Maybe with a bit of guilt. Say you drove a bit too fast in a village and you hurt a person with your car. There is guilt, but no intent. That will be hard, to forgive yourself, but I guess you can, especially if you get the forgiveness of the person you hurt.
Now in my case, I have offended and hurt pretty much everybody in my circle. My friends, family, accquintences... I know that my addiction drove me there, but that is a feable excuse. Can I repair the damage? Unlikely. Will people forgive me? Some might, many won't. Can I make it up to anyone I have hurt? Unfortunately not. That is cross I will have to bear. Forgiving myself? The way I feel now... that will be a cold day in July.

forgiveness is necessary for healing. But, most of the time forgetting cannot happen and should not happen. So we should forgive but not forgive.

Trying to figure out if my love for this person is clouding my judgment.

That is a YES and I dont know the circumstances but i can tell that is usually the case!