How good is it really to forgive?

Follow
Share

I came upon a nice article and it made me think. Did you notice that elders are sometimes so full of anger? On the caregivers, world, situation, themselves. They can't let it go. Well, maybe they should?

Here is a nice article about how forgiveness can make late life sweeter.

blog.oup/2014/11/forgiveness-gerontology/
scienceclarified/Ga-He/Gerontology.html
abc.au/science/articles/2014/11/13/4127054.htm

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
21

Answers

Show:
1 2 3
"Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors." And we all have a whole lot of both, I imagine, debts and debtors. Forgiveness, to me, is very important, very valuable, and absolutely necessary to obtain peace of mind and heart. I agree with those who point out that forgiveness does not make us a doormat again for others to abuse. Forgiving our debtors results in greater personal power for the one choosing to forgive. Wonderful responses here to this issue!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

50sChild: Your heartfelt statement about forgiving one's sel brought to mind this quotation.

“Acceptance of oneself is . . . the acid test of . . . life. That I feed the beggar, that I forgive an insult, that I love my enemy in the name of Christ— all these are . . . great virtues. What I do unto the least of my brethren, that I do unto Christ.
But what if I should discover that the least amongst them all, the poorest of all beggars, the most impudent of all offenders . . . . that these are within me, and that I myself stand in need of the alms of my own kindness, that I myself am the enemy who must be loved— what then?”
—Carl Jung, Psychological Reflections, 239.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

BTW, it is also easier for a person to forgive if they have not been hurt repeatedly and severely over a lifetime. That would more likely make the person withdraw so they wouldn't be hurt again.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I don't think forgiveness is very complicated. I think about a puppy dog. Dogs are know for their forgiving spirits. They forgive their people so eagerly. Now sometimes the forgiveness does take some atonement. Maybe the person swatted the dog on the rear end. What a hurtful insult. And maybe later the person came back with an apology and a doggy treat to atone. All is well.

I guess the only thing we need to decide if we choose to forgive is whether some atonement is needed. For example, it is easier to forgive someone after they wreck into your car if they admit their guilt and pay for the damage done.

I wonder if we make forgiveness too complicated, would we ever get it done.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Oh geez, I meant "ON my bathroom mirror" not "for my bathroom mirror. Sorry!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Kerfuffle, I have printed your pithy wisdom about foregiveness for my bathroom mirror. How lovely. I have been thinking about Sherpard's question so much since he or she posted. Forgiveness seems to be its own living entity, re-shaped as time goes on. And re-shaped as understanding and awareness deepens. What has been so difficult for me is to recognize being wronged. I have had a tendancy to try to get into someone else's skin and see everything from their point of view. So was never sure if abuse was abuse or if I deserved it. This dynamic plays out with my now-deceased mother as feeling I betrayed her when I separated from her. I forgive her easily, but now am stuck with being unable to forgive myself. Because I could not meet her needs. And I saw how she, in her mind, sacrificed everything for us kids. And I couldn't return to her what she never had the security of knowing in her own childhood (she, too, was abused). I have worked through this for over four years, and still am raw as can be. If I tell myself that I deserved independence and to protect myself and my own family, then I hold her in my memory as a destructive force. Yet, I love my mother as most kids do, even those who were abused. To forgive myself would be putting myself and my own life above hers. And I often feel she had a greater need than I, and I betrayed her. It's a pain in my heart I cannot work out, though I read about this so much. I feel my Mom's death is like the death of my baby. Everyone's answers here have been so thoughtful. I come back to this thread throughout the day. Thank you.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Forgiveness does not mean that the wrong done to you was or is alright. Forgiveness does not mean that such treatment will be tolerated in the future. Forgiveness does not mean that you will forget it ever happened. What forgiveness does mean is that you give up your right to get even, take revenge or pay back.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Many years ago I realized that a lot of my own anger was based on self-pity and that I was enjoying wallowing in it. That took a lot of the fun out of it! Many people think that "forgiveness" means saying that "it's all right." No, that's not it at all. If it was really "all right" it wouldn't need forgiveness! It means that yes, it was not good but you are not going to allow it to destroy you. We also need to remember that we are not responsible for the final judgment on the situation--that's a higher pay grade than ours. There will be consequences if appropriate. Sometimes we have to call a halt to a relationship, sometimes we have to ask for the grace to deal with it. Often we are given a different way of looking at the situation. We usually don't have the power to want what we know is right--that is what philosophers call "moral freedom" and it requires not our own will power but sacrificing our own selfish will.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I try to feel forgiveness, I just can't forget,if I could just forget the things she has done in my life,unfortunately I would have to have some kind of head injury that caused amnesia.With her living in my house I get a daily reminder of the past, I can't get away from it.She doesn't even have to say or do anything it's just the sight of her,the sound of her walker.I know this will sound horrible but at this point I don't think I will mind her developing dementia if it means she will one day look at me and not recognize me, I will be just a stranger that takes care of her,for some reason when I think about that I get a sense of freedom and I don't know why.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I'm the opposite. I tend to hold grudges for a long long time. Hurt me badly, and I have a very very difficult time forgiving you. That was my downfall as a Christian. I didn't think I deserved to be called a Christian because I just cannot forgive.

When I found this site about 2 years ago, I was able to vent, purge the bitterness within. I thought I was ready to learn to forgive. I bought books, read articles online. And just cannot find it in me to complete those books. Like you, Jessie, I read this yesterday - over and over. Typed, erased, typed, erased, typed, erased. In the end, it remained unposted. Yes, forgiveness is for us - not our offenders. But obviously something is stopping me from learning to forgive. Or maybe I just don't know HOW to forgive. Reading books are one thing. I most likely would need therapy to learn the steps of how to forgive myself first, then to forgive those who hurt me.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

1 2 3
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions