Tuesday, August 08, 2006

August 8 Part II


I’m having a forgiveness dilemma.

We’re not perfect. I am less perfect than most. I also try to live my path, and part of that is trying not to hold a grudge unless absolutely necessary – I’m not going to suddenly become buddies with The Evil Ones in the Situation, for instance.

When I screw up (and I do, often), and I find out about it/realize it, I apologize and attempt to make amends. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn’t. But the apology is genuine and so is the penance.

This is a smaller-scale dilemma. I believe that I am owed an apology from X, who treated me rudely a few weeks ago. I decided to shrug it off and simply ex-communicate X from my Universe. X was on the fringes anyway, no big deal.

Now, through a third party, I’m presented with a set of excuses for the bad behavior. Still no apology, just excuses.

My intuition tells me that these excuses are a bunch of b.s. If I wasn’t paying attention to the timeline of the communications, I might buy it. I might give the benefit of the doubt. But the timeframe in which these excuses crop up don’t match the timeline of what happened. So, I think it’s b.s., and X simply wants to make sure I’m not permanently alienated in case I might be useful at a future date.

In other words, I feel I’m being played. Set up.

That’s what my gut is telling me, and my intellect has found evidence to back it up.

Yet, if I am truly going to follow my path, aren’t I OBLIGATED to forgive? Does it still count as forgiveness if I shrug it off, and not hold a grudge, but make sure that X remains outside my Universe? Isn’t the definition of forgiveness truly letting go? Is it letting go if the memory remains lodged in my soul and I continue to believe X is devious, and choose not to be set up?

Since these are truly not rhetorical questions, I am interested in other opinions. Ultimately, I think I will have to go with my gut, even if it is not the path of true forgiveness, out of sheer self-preservation. If that’s yet more proof of my flaws, then so be it.

But I am genuinely interested in other opinions on this.

9 Comments:

At 9:48 AM, Blogger Lara said...

I hate to forgive. I absolutely HATE it. But it's necessary to forgive, because then we're taking the high road, as we should.

You can always forgive. But you don't have to FORGET. You can always be wary and on the lookout for repeat offenders.

I say, be the Forgiver, but be wary of the Forgivee, until they truly prove themselves in earnest.

 
At 10:39 AM, Blogger Shirley said...

I think you have to go with your gut. That's what I do. Forgiveness has to be from the heart. If it's not there, you can't fake it. (At least, I can't.) And hey, think how boring we would be without our flaws.

 
At 10:56 AM, Blogger Brenda said...

Some things ought not to be forgiven - various types of abuse, for instance. Forgiveness can then be a kind of compliance with the perpetrator's wishes.

Because of this difficulty with forgiveness - that it can seem to uphold unforgiving behaviour - I have settled on my own particular route when something unforgiveable needs forgiving.

I forgive myself. For being there, for being victim, for being gullible, whatever the main point is.

When I forgive myself for bad judgement, for allowing myself to be a doormat, whatever, I find the anger dissipates somewhat. Forgiving myself emphatically means not allowing myself to be pulled in in the future.

Forgiveness of the other person can easily lead to a repeat of the behaviour that caused the problems in the first place.

Once I've truly forgiven myself, I'm 'out of the loop,' I'm not 'hooked' into the situation any more.

And then I can act more objectively. In situations where I've had to continue to deal with someone who has been abusive, or unfair, or hurtful to me, I can create firm boundaries and not allow the difficulties to continue.

Unless I fully forgive myself for being in that situation in the first place, own up to my mistakes, see my foibles, my desire to be liked, perhaps even my own ambitions, I'm talking about looking at oneself with clear sight, as well as compassion, tons of compassion, and lovingness towards oneself, unless I do that, I haven't really forgiven anyway.

Don't know if any of this makes sense...

 
At 12:07 PM, Blogger Tori Lennox said...

I'm with Lara. I think you can forgive them, but that doesn't mean you have to welcome them with open arms back into your life. *hugs*

 
At 1:18 PM, Blogger Michelle Miles said...

I think in the grand scheme of things, you can forgive a person for an injustice against you (whether it's rude behavior or worse); however, you have to do it in your own time. In other words, don't forgive them because you think it's the right thing to do. Do it because you think it's the right thing to do FOR YOU. And just because you do forgive them, doesn't mean you have to welcome them back into your life on any level.

It's not easy to let something go. Been there. It's also not easy to let go when there are no forthcoming apologies and when you know what your gut is telling you is right. Sometimes it's hard to resolve that. It comes with time and understanding and accepting that person just isn't going to change. Forgiveness and acceptance go hand in hand, in my opinion.

 
At 1:19 PM, Blogger Anita said...

I'm going to have to echo what some others have said. It is possible to forgive someone and not allow them back into your life to do more damage.

You have to do what's best for you and keep yourself safe from being played or used in the future. That doesn't mean you haven't forgiven, it just means you are protecting yourself.

 
At 3:09 PM, Blogger Debra Young said...

Letting it go is a forgiveness; time will heal the "wound" enough for your forgiveness to be heartfelt and easier than now. Don't feel bad for not rushing the progress of emotion. False forgiveness is no forgiveness. Listen to the acuity of your instincts. One can forgive a snake, but there's no need to embrace it again. If you have to encounter this person, politeness is all that you need give. d:

 
At 10:41 PM, Blogger Marty said...

Hopefully your forgiveness (obligated or otherwise) will show your grace in a bad situation and instill some sort of change in X. Don't count on it, but the high road is always better, when given the choice.

 
At 12:24 AM, Blogger Tenille said...

I have a tough time with forgiveness. To me, forgiveness is letting the other person off the hook for having wronged you and leaving the door wide open for them to do it again.

But I'm jaded. I really wouldn't listen to me.

I like your way better, forgiving, ie. letting go, but making sure this person remains outside your universe.

 

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