Haven't we all been wronged by someone in our lives at some point. The forgiveness is for you not for the other person. By forgiving it allows you to bring in the positive energy rather than dwell on the negative, anger, and resentment. All that bad energy is of the enemy and will eat you alive and not allow you to be free to be the person God has intended for you to be.
It's a process though and it can take some time or for some it can be immediate. It is something you choose to do. Try to find peace with your situation and forgive. It truly is the better way to live.
As far as pressing charges that is for the consequences of someone's actions not about you not forgiving.
Good luck with your situation. Life is never easy!
Let go and keep it moving... I bet the person who has hurt has done just that, so...so should you! Live...live...live
Fitness Minutes: (1,660)
57 4/30/13 7:43 P
I too have been hurt and wronged but it was by family members that were as close to your heart as possible but the hurt was caused by decisions of things in a will,not what I didn't get but my children.I didn't want to have anything but what my mom wanted to leave me(I am the only surviving child of five kids), but when she gave everything to all grandchildren but mine (her 2 oldest living granddaughter's,whom never asked for anything from her),it hurt me and the reason was because I was still living.How do you deal with knowing your children were left out because your not dead!!!! Hmmm well I did suffer from depression,and thinking I didn't matter and knowing that's not really the intent it hurt my children(strange thing is my girls wanted to use their inheritance to buy a headstone for my older sister,while all the others blew the money,on booze,drugs etc..).But April is right I just decided on 4/22 after 2 yrs. of the anniversary date,it's time to move on,forgiveness not so sure I ever can but will not let it rule my life any longer....Hang in there and do what is legally right so know one else has to have a repeat performance of what has happened to you!!
Fitness Minutes: (0)
9,015 4/28/13 11:37 P
Forgiveness does not mean forgetting nor does it mean whitwashing what has happened Forgiveness means letting go, moving on and favoring the positive Forgiveness is givin up the hope that the past could have been any different One day at a time
Some people confuse restoring a relationship with forgiveness. Many times it is not wise or safe to restore a harmful relationship. For me, forgiveness is giving up the desire to get even. For some of us it means giving up the anger and resentment to God.
I like this definition of forgiveness:
"When you release the wrongdoer from the wrong, you cut a malignant tumor out of your inner life. You set a prisoner free, but you discover that the real prisoner yourself."
Lewis B. Smedes, Forgive and Forget,
If you decide to forgive someone and find that you are still angry, often it is because our emotions are slow to catch up with our brains. We may have forgiven someone but we still feel angry. In this case it is good to remind yourself, "Oh yeah, I've forgiven them for this action."
This link is to FRED LUSKIN, from Stanford, who was featured on PBS "This Emotional Life," a *great* program of 3 episodes. 4 minutes of luskin, on accepting life's "no" as well as the sea of vulnerabiliby -- will change the way you think and help you accept being human a little easier. awesome stuff... if link doesn't work, search for "fred luskin wanting yes and getting no"...
Fitness Minutes: (2,976)
349 4/5/13 7:13 P
Forgiveness is always a choice even though it may be a difficult one. What you have to remember is that forgiveness is not about the other person that did something wrong, but it is about you being able to move on and move past it and not let the memory continue to hurt you and bring you down. There are times when This is more for your own spiritual well being than for the one that did wrong.
You are not hurting that other person by holding a grudge, but you are hurting yourself. Anxiety, depression, vomiting, and migraines as well as high blood pressure are all things you can get from a long term resentment. I promise. I know. Ive been there and still struggle with it sometimes.
Again, thank you very much to all that replied. I'm pondering what was written.
Fitness Minutes: (520)
1 4/5/13 1:26 P
The replys are great, noting not only the benefits of forgiveness, but other feelings surrounding the issues that create the need to forgive. One thing I can add, is How To Do It! Many books are written addressing this topic and the greatest encouragement and examples are revealed in the New Testament of the Bible. Forgiveness is a decision that takes action, it is not a feeling! Who Switched Off My Brain by Dr. Carolyn Leaf is a good book to help you see how stress, anger, unforgiveness, anxiety, etc. causes toxic thinking and can lead to illness and disease. She is a neuro-scientist and relates the changes in the brain between positive and negative thoughts. The good news is YOU can begin to change your thought patterns in just four days and in only 21 days be thinking differently! So, short version...without all the amazing info she shows that happens in the brain..... Your thoughts are like a breeze that floats through your mind.....you know, the taped messages we replay constantly. When a negative thought passes and we consider it, our body and emotions react to it. So, we have to grab hold of the thought and turn it to a positive message. It could happen often throughout the day, but if you determine to change the negative to positive...before you know it, you think less about it! So, an example for forgiveness may be......The thought of the issue at hand comes up and you acknowledge the thought and say to your self...".Even though this makes me angry, hurts my feelings, breaks my heart (whatever your feeling) I choose to forgive." You can even add something like..."I choose to forgive so that I can live in peace". It is just like getting healthier by eating better and/or losing weight for you body....you can't just wish it. This action technique helps your mind and spirit to become healthier! Peace be with you!
Edited by: BOBBELL at: 4/5/2013 (13:34)
Fitness Minutes: (52,445)
446 4/5/13 10:34 A
I think that the word "forgiveness" is the wrong one to use. I don't know what the correct word IS, but forgiveness has too many connotations attached to it, that its something one person does for someone else. And that's not true.
I am also dealing with something in my life (aren't most of us...) and its tough. The way I try to look at it is that by holding on to resentment and anger, I am the only one that gets hurt. If my nasty, revengeful thoughts could go out and smack the other person in the face... well, wouldn't that be nice! But that's not what happens. Instead, I am the one who hurts, my thoughts only hurt me. So that is what I'm trying to get rid of. For me, forgiveness is a state of being where I have moved beyond the hurtful thoughts in my head. I won't forget what happened, but I will move on and not let those actions ruin my life.
"Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured." – Mark Twain
Good luck, you can get through this, and you are definitely on the right path if you're asking about forgiveness.
Like other people here, I think there's 2 parts. The legal aspect is totally separate from the "forgiveness". One has to assume responsibility for their acts, and if that means there's a punishment then they need to face up to that (even a "natural consequence like not going to bed means you're tired the next day). Also, if someone does something, gets caught, and has no punishment where's the incentive to not do it again?
Forgiving someone is for you. When you do not forgive someone you live your life carrying them around with you. Hate, anger, grievance, grudge, etc. is in YOUR brain and makes a negative reality for you. You can't not keep remembering what someone did if you never forgive them and that means they continue to control your thoughts, emotions and life. Why would you want to give someone that kind of power over you?
Fitness Minutes: (8,999)
65 4/4/13 7:03 P
First - sorry. For whatever it is you're going through. I don't know what it is but it's obviously difficult. I believe forgiveness is personal and not "for" the other person. To me it's not about saying what you did was no biggie, but about saying I'm in a place where I can move on and to an extent let go. Sometimes this allows us to repair relationships once trust is reestablished. However, some things I think are unforgivable. Pressing charges, if warranted is your right and in some cases even a social responsibility. I say this bc if this person might act again on another person, you have an obligation to prevent that. Repeat offenders often get away with their crimes when there is no paper trail.
I would echo much of what has already been said here. Forgiveness and holding someone accountable by pressing charges are two separate issues. Forgiveness does NOT mean that what they did is ok, merely that you are choosing to learn from it and leave it in the past. To me, forgiveness is letting go. It is partly a choice, but depending on how wounded we are by what was done, may require quite a long time to achieve. (And may even require some counseling to help process the event before we can get to forgiveness.) And I agree that forgiveness does not always mean that you will let the person back into your life; you can wish healing for them that they will not repeat the behavior with anyone else.
I do believe that some kinds of abuse should involve the law. Maybe certain kinds of things should just be forgiven. If they physically hurt you or a child, than your not doing them a favor by letting it be.
But even if one does continue to have a relationship with them, if we don't forgive them, it hurts us more them ask God to give me the ability and strength to do so. I do think it is a choice, but it can take moments or days, months, or years, to do it completely.
Personally, I find it the most challenging when they still continue with the same attitude or behavior. But sometimes they aren't exactly doing anything, but they are indifferent. We can act like them, by acting like a kid, or be more mature, by forgiving them , if they earned it or not. That's the God thing to me.
If the wrong doing is a legal matter let the courts take care of that side, spiritual forgiveness is a very different thing. Let's say some one stole from me I would press charges and let the legal system take care of the ramifications of this person breaking the law, I would pray the person who did this to me would find the help they need to not let this happen again and I then would have to choose if I can forgive them instead of holding on to fear, anger, mistrust, hate for them or not. Also by forgiving them it does not mean that I will let them back into my life and all is back to how it was before because a trust has been broken and that takes time to rebuild and sometimes it can be rebuilt at all. So I may forgive this person and choose to just not associate with them if it was someone I thought to be a friend.
You can forgive or you can let it go. If holding on to it is making you a victim; hurting you over and over again, then letting go can set you free, can let you live your life the way it would have been lived had this event (or events) had not occurred. Acknowledge the fact that it did happen, that it was awful, and that you won't let it dictate the rest of your life. Be free.
Fitness Minutes: (209,125)
20,651 4/3/13 11:19 A
This is a complex question. If you find yourself in a situation where you have to press charges, then forgiving that person for their transgression would be difficult.
Let's say you're in an accident caused by a drunk driver. You require a lot of medical treatment. The driver is placed under arrest for causing the accident and will go to trial. Can you forgive that person for causing your injuries in the accident ? With time, yes. But because you forgive that person does it mean they aren't still RESPONSIBLE for their actions behind the wheel.
Which is the point. You can learn to forgive that drunk driver. The drunk driver can feel regretful for driving drunk and causing the crash. But that drunk driver still has to judged in a court of law.
So, if you are in a situation where someone did something illegal, then yes, they have to pay the price for breaking the law. they must be judged in court. However, with time, you can learn to forgive that person. That's what a good Christian is taught to do. We're taught to forgive those who trespass against us.
Caveat, there are some situations that people never forgive. I can't imagine what the parents of Newtown, CT must be going through. But they would be a good example of your question.
Legal action is intended to change behaviors and/or prevent further harm to self and others. Forgiveness is necessary to the human soul (and for those who believe, according to God's law) while forgetting is not. We can do one and in some cases, reamain cautiously wise not to do the other. I think forgetting is a trust issue more than it is tied to to act of forgiveness....Just my $.02 worth. Once bitten and all that.
Fitness Minutes: (3,503)
53 4/3/13 7:35 A
I don't think pressing charges means you can't forgive. Pressing charges helps to make sure that person has an opportunity to learn from their mistake and helps protect others from being a victim of that person.
As for whether forgiveness is a choice, I'm not sure. Some people seem to think so but that is not true for me. I am trying to consciously make the choice to forgive someone that has wronged me, but it's taken 5 years and I am still not really there. I think it will take decades for that forgiveness to grow if it truly ever does. In the meantime, I am just trying to let go of my anger as best as I can so that it can't wear away at me anymore. Trying to forgive is really something you do for yourself, not for that other person. Thinking of it that way helps me... I am trying to free myself from the weight of the anger so I don't have to walk around feeling like that anymore, not to let him off the hook.
Fitness Minutes: (32,711)
21,515 4/3/13 5:12 A
I believe that we can forgive a person but still take action or bring charges against them if warranted. They are two different issues. I feel that if charges are warranted, that sometimes pressing them is not so much as a punishment but rather than as a learning curve for them. We must all learn to accept that there are consequences to our actions, and if it ends up that there are legal repercussions, then so be it. They chose their actions and must suffer the consequences.
Try not to leat whatever is happening, eat you up. It isn't you who has caused this, so therefore you shouldn't have to be the victim. Try to relax and tell yourself as many times as it takes that altho' it might not be pleasant for you, you are doing the right thing.
Suppose someone has done you wrong / hurt you, he or she did something that by standards in society is wrong. If then you press charges or take other measures, does that mean you have not forgiven? If you've forgiven the person, does it mean you won't take action or press charges?
Also, is forgiveness a choice? Can you choose to forgive (at all times)? Or is it something that takes time and needs to grow? Or maybe, there are things one just cannot / will not forgive?
I am asking because I'm dealing with this type of situation and it is 'eating me up' or rather, I am eating up too much stuff that I should not be eating, over it!
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