Forgiveness

Forgivenessao4 Forgiveness is an interesting issue and readers have commented lots on posts touching on forgiveness (see comments here). It seems that to forgive is very difficult. I know, it has been a difficult issue in my recovery. I never felt compelled to forgive my abusers because it felt I would let them off the hook. It felt they would get away with having hurt me. I wouldn't have any of that! Instead I had phantasies of them regretting their actions and understanding the impact of their actions.

It always puzzled me why forgiveness took on such an importance in Christian teachings. Then I thought, surely, the bible has not been written to give 'trespassers' a free reign. A book that is the basis of present day morals and laws would not support a 'way out' for abusers and criminals. If the bible is a book written to guide people to becoming good, decent, happy, and useful members of their community, then its written word is to help YOU.

_010_Forgivness_ I read the other day that "Unforgiveness is like taking poison in the hope the other guy will die". Anger, hate, resentment, and disappointment will fester in your mind and in your heart, leading to depression, stress, and all sorts of other mental health dilemmas…In you, not in your abuser!

Maybe forgiveness is the ultimate act of self-love. Forgive yourself for hurting, forgive yourself for having been affected by the abuse. Know that you did not deserve the abuse. Know that the responsibility for the abuse lies with your abuser. Know that you are OK.

Forgiveness is not a feeling or an emotion. It's not something that comes to you automatically as some stage in your recovery process. Forgiveness is a conscious behaviour, an act. By forgiving you are saying to yourself: I am not that angry person that bounces off the walls and harbours violent dreams of revenge. I will look after myself by not bringing the issue up again. I will not talk about it anymore. Not to myself, not to the abuser, not to others. I will let it go.

That does not mean you will forget what happend. Not at all. Actually, in order to keep yourself safe from treaspassers and abusers, it's important that you take the vital and important learnings from being abused. But you don't have to continue being victim to the abuse and having your life and your happiness compromised. Let it go! It might not be possible by making the decision once. You might have to put some time and effort into letting go. But you are worth it!

10 thoughts on “Forgiveness

  1. Patricia - Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker says:

    For me, forgiveness is not something that I do once and forget it. Every time that a new layer of anger comes up, I have to allow myself to feel it and then let go of it. Then the forgiveness part comes along. I can’t do the forgiveness when I am still feeling the anger. I have written about my own processing of forgiveness in at least 5 or more of my articles on my blog. Forgiveness doesn’t have anything to do with the other person. It is all for me so that I will stop blaming and punishing myself for the incest which I am not responsible for. Nonforgiveness affects my health, not my abuser’s health. He could care less. You made some very valid points in your article about forgiveness. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. uznco says:

    Hi Jae, the thing is the main perps are my family. Although I have not spoken to my father for 17 years and my mother for 5 and my siblings choose not to believe me. Therefore I am ostracized from them I feel a huge loss as I watch families around me. Yes alot of families have their problems but when it comes to the crunch they are there for each other. I am around people and their families alot and I am saddened. The thing is even my family (Kids and husband) is all fragmented too. There is no unity in any of the close people in my life. I always seem to be finding ways to bring it all together and for it to have more unity but I don’t think it can happen until they can forgive me and I don’t think with my x and one of my son will ever do that. I have forgiven my x and let him go now although there are times where I wish things could be different. Thats when I go through PMS (Poor Me Syndrome). lol!!! So I have chosen to just do the best I can, model a better life for my kids and try and provide a safe place out of the world for them to come and feel safe, secure, loved and then hopefully one day things will be better. My heart continually hurts until then. The thing is my parents gave me life and now I am grateful for that and I believe that I need to honour them for the life they have given me. They can never not be attached to me and I can never just forgive them and pretend they don’t exist. There are parts of me that still crave for their love, acceptance and long to be held and loved by them and no matter what I do or where I look no one can fill that void but I can compensate for it my bringing unity among fellow survivors and one way I am doing that is to set up a group called Army of Angels that will help us to empower and work in unity for a better world. Do what I can to make a difference. Turn the crap that happened to me into good… (the bible is full of stories of broken people, of people who continually stuffed up and from their brokenness good came out it as they learned from it was turned into good and that inspires me and helps me in my journey) I do agree with everything everyone on here says about forgiveness and all I know at the moment is that I cannot it go because they are my parents but I can let go of the pain that they are responsible for. I believe by forgiving them I will be letting that pain go so it will no longer affect my present and future. But first I have to work out a way of not being so angry with them. I have to face the anger first and let go of the anger and hatred that I feel toward them. Well I have written enough for now and I think that I will probably come back and write more. I think this is helping me to get some of it out. Go well Jae and Jessica!!!

  3. Jae says:

    Hi unzo, I dont thin it is just making a choice for me as I said in a previous post its just being at peace. and dont mean with them, I mean with me. For me it also wasnt a conscious choice of I am wiling to forgive, I hate the word forgive it means nothing to me , I feel angry around it. What I have found is hat I dont think about those people, I dont care about them owning stuff etc they dont appear in my life, unless I am reminded in something that happens, but it dosnt take over. This just all seem to happen on its own , as I worked through my stuff It disolved without me noticing. I spent so much energy on trying to forgive because people would say youll never move on if you dont, well it crap, You move on when they dont matter anymore and you do and you feel peaceful, and you do what you need to do in a healthy way to be free of it, We deserve it!

  4. Jessica says:

    Lydia and Anna say… F*#+ the bible and god and all christian trash.
    They have obviously not dealt with this yet.It shattered their lives… Having major anger and panic issues with this topic. Help.

  5. Jessica says:

    I think there are a hell of a lot of things to work through in our recovery before ‘forgiveness,’. Frankly I don’t know why we have to consider the abusers at all in our recovery. They were just the wrong sort of people in our lives. We were unfortunately just born into the wrong family, went to the wrong school/church, ended up in the wrong social situations etc. Life is hard, and there comes a time where it can be unbearable. But we are all receiving help,and helping ourselves. Perhaps for the first time in our lives we are concentrating on ourselves. I can’t see why we must give the abuser even a nano-second of thought. The ‘abuser’ is one thing we can ‘cut’ from our lives. If I think of my abusers, its detremental to my recovery, it puts me back. I would like to think of the past in terms of my self and then work back through it in my own way, finding my own strengths without being held back by fear, as I was previously. Some of my smaller selves are now so happy and strong and they never need to think of the abuser again. The smaller ones are safe and well with Us now. They have found their safe place in the present. I think that ‘forgiveness’ is a matter of personal choise. Some msy need to go ther to make them fee ok, others will make it without going down that diversion.
    Jessica

  6. uznco says:

    Hi Jennifer, yeah I like that too. I like the way Gudrun has explained it too. The thing is I am a bit confused about it just being a choice, a decision you make. Words are easily said!!! How do you know you mean them. I want to and could say the words but often its just a bandaid cause often things come up like a haunting… obviously still got stuff to process I think.

  7. Jennifer says:

    Forgiveness is a tough pill to swallow when doing it for the wrong reasons. I am no where near being able to forgive my abusers but I do like the way my husband explains it… “forgiveness isn’t for the offender, it is for yourself. It is permission you give yourself to heal, love, and grow despite their transgressions.”

  8. uznco says:

    Hi JS, I acknowledge how you feel about the bible and for you that is your experience maybe from the past! I can relate to those feelings to lots of things and people that remind me of my experiences in my past but I am learning that they are not the same. The person in my past that hurt me represents a lot of things that really have nothing to do with why that person hurt me (meaning that those things didn’t cause him to hurt me). It was the choice of a very evil man and he will one day be made a accountable for that although I would like to pour hot coals on his head!! But he was the one that hurt me not the things and people that surrounded that although when I am around or see things that remind me of that awful time I want to punish it and stay away from it. For example, when I smell anything that smells like deep heat – like I did just last week it actually makes me panic, go into a sweat and feel physically sick. Last week I had to say to myself it wasn’t the deep heat that hurt me it was … him!!!I can’t rid the world of deep heat or stop someone that needs to put it on a sore limb. Its my problem and not the deep heats. So I have to process that until it no longer bothers me. For me the bible has served as a really good healing tool and has a wealth of information that helps me in my journey. And it aids me in getting closer to my higher power who is also innocent in the choices that my abusers made. My higher power is a gentlemen and will not force you or anyone else to love him etc just has he cannot force an abuser to love him and turn from his evil ways. Its the person that is evil not the bible. Hope that helps a bit!!!
    Hey Gudrun, Thanks for that post. I found it very helpful. Gives me alot to contemplate over and I will post about that later.
    Love to all.

  9. js says:

    the bible is the teaching and the start of all evil hte forgviness is not something taht is, it si something that sah ot go and then I think I can see the clearness

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