Forgiving and REALLY letting go.
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
I read something on the Internet the other day: "Forgive, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace." I also read a quote by Gandhi: "The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong."
There are some people in my life that I want to forgive. I have done all that I can, but hurt still harbors in my heart. I have done everything I can to assist in this: withdrawing, telling the people about their actions and how they affected me, ignoring it...I've tried my best to move on, but I don't know how to REALLY let go and move forward. I see forgiveness as just putting the past behind you and pretending things are ok again...but I can't do that...?? I also read "Just because I'm kind enough to forgive you, doesn't mean I will be dumb enough to trust you again." That is how I feel. I also read, "I don't hold grudges. I remember facts." Maya Angelou said, "A person may not remember what you said or did, but they will always remember how you made them feel." (Granted, that can go both ways). I mention all these quotes to simply say that I don't know how to truly forgive someone...but I want to.
The definition of forgiveness: "Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as revenge, with an increased ability to wish the offender well. Forgiveness is different from condoning (failing to see the action as wrong and in need of forgiveness), excusing (not holding the offender as responsible for the action), pardoning (granted by a representative of society, such as a judge), forgetting (removing awareness of the offence from consciousness), and reconciliation (restoration of a relationship)."
That last part is interesting...the part about how forgiveness is different from reconciliation. As stated above, I have always associated forgiveness with that...reconciliation..."I forgive you, so everything is fine now...let's pretend nothing ever happened." Perhaps it's not the same thing. I think I really want to research true forgiveness. If anyone has anything to share, please do so.