"Nothing good comes from hanging onto anger, pain or resentment. You must find a way to let go or you will lose a little more of your soul each day.... We must learn to forgive them, this isthe only way."
Thanks for the reply.
If the above is addressed to me, then you mistake my meaning. My assessment of both psychoguy and X nGF remain harsh because I need to always remember what they are in order not to be sucked in by them. To falter even a little with x nGF is to give her an opening to manipulate me. No way.
My view is emphatic, not filled with anger, resentment or all that other
crap. Anger and rage were part of the process and it returns once in a
while but is largely evanescent. My view is emphatic because I know what I see, I remember the damage, I see the damage in the case of X nGF, on an ongoing basis.
As for forgiveness, well that is a Christian concept and I am Jewish. My
rabbi is my spiritual advisor and we have discussed this. He says that
there are things that only G-d can forgive. Frankly, I don't think about
forgiveness, it isn't necessary to my ongoing healing. If it becomes so, I will look at it. But I feel it as an imposition to tell anyone that they
"must" forgive. Some things are unforgivable and it's better left in G-d's
hands. In fact, many of the Psalms talk about that very thing- to not be vexed by evil men but to trust in G-d to take care of it; I try to live by that.
In our tradition, we are commanded to "remember what Amalek did to us". Amalek was a people that attacked the vulnerable and weak from behind, and so I remember exactly what happened, see it for what it was. We are also commanded to tell the story, so that it will not happen again. (Hence,telling of the Shoah).
I focus on their behaviour when I write because they are dangerous. No matter what it does for us personally, on the public level I feel an obligation not to embellish, so that no one is miguided into believing that they must feel anything towards the perpetrator or that they must forgive. That, I believe, is personal to everyone and anyone unsure of what to do should seek spiritual guidance according their faith.
I won't forget what they did and I tell the story. It doesn't mean I'm
angry. What I find interesting is that surrounding the encounter, one feels angry sometimes, sometimes, compassion, weeping for them sometimes, hating their behaviour sometimes, feelings can be ambivalent. What I have learned is that to contain ambivalent feelings is a mark of my evolution. I do not see conflict in this, but a new kind of integration. Facets or aspects, rather than mutual exclusivity (eg., black vs white, all or nothing) as if that could define us. I hope that explains things a little more.
.......I consider that to forgive psychoguy would be akin to forgiving Hitler. Ain't gonna happen. But there are other ways to heal, as these articles suggest, without what we commonly term "forgiveness". I know that it used to confuse me a lot.
Here is the only answer that ever made sense to me:
Although I am what you call a perennial student who's yet to decide exactly what I want to do when I grow up...and I'm 50 years old...the degree, should I decided to finish my last 2 semesters, will be in Criminal Justice. For that major I was required to take Victimology. One of the things stressed was the ability for victims to forgive to facilitate healing. Your words: " I think that sometimes there is way too much pressure for people to forgive; one can't force forgiveness" ran through my mind over and over until at one class I finally voiced them...not the exact words but with the same meaning. I was told that forgiveness in this instance was not necessarily what we learned about in Sunday School as children. It had to do with not continuing to carry around, or dwell on the pain caused by the perpetrator, because to do so would be allowing the perpetrator to continue to victimize the victim.
I understand that...of course it would facilitate healing...which I think is
akin to what you said, "Sometimes people would just rather forget, put it behind them and just go on with their lives." I still, however, think many believe that forgiveness involves literally forgiving something that hascaused horrific pain...such as a child molestor, a child pornographer, a rapist, etc., and unfortunately, some folks think that if victims do not
forgive (as we were taught in Sunday School) these perpetrators, the victims are somehow "not quite right." (Growing up in the Bible Belt, I've
encountered this more than not.)
I am not talking about the folks commenting in this thread...I think the
majority of them are like you and me...whatever it takes to get ya' through, to give you peace...(please correct me if I've misunderstood), and please know, these are just my opinions and hopefully they make a little bit of sense.
What a thought-provoking post! It kinda fills in the gaps for me.
If forgiveness is letting go of the past, then you've hit the nail right on
the head! Which is very different from the religious/ utilitarian stuff of
consciously directing one's thoughts to an event in order to set everyone free from the constraints of the past/complete the circle, and to move on. (hope that made sense). Woohoo! I like it!
Yesyesyes, it is a very different kind of forgiveness! Thank you!
And in my case, leaving it to G-d's justice, I suppose, is *my* comfort. No, you did not misunderstand!
With regards, and a smile for whatever gets ya thru, "to give you
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