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Thread: Forgive... but how?

  1. #11
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    realize that you need to get on with YOUR life, not dwell on the past. And, this dies not mean you have to meet with the person because they have already moved on and it won't mean anything to them. I have co-worker who held a grudge against his ex-wife who had no idea that he was so unforgiving. He spent years judging all women by his marriage with her, meanwhile she had been happily married for years. Just snap out of it.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tenngal View Post
    realize that you need to get on with YOUR life, not dwell on the past. And, this dies not mean you have to meet with the person because they have already moved on and it won't mean anything to them. I have co-worker who held a grudge against his ex-wife who had no idea that he was so unforgiving. He spent years judging all women by his marriage with her, meanwhile she had been happily married for years. Just snap out of it.
    ....she probably had some idea, which is likely why they are divorced......
    author of A Holy Errand

  3. #13
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    kitten--forgiveness is voluntary. And damn hard work. It will not happen on it's own. And people who have been wounded feel what they feel, and have a right to their anger. But sometimes, they are ready to lay it down and have no idea how to do so.

    My .02.
    author of A Holy Errand

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by kitten View Post
    Why deny anger? I've never understood this anger-must-be-denied-at-all-costs thing. I recently stopped working with a feel-good therapist who simply could not deal with my anger. And he really hated it. And he just couldn't get why I was unable to snap out of my rage fog and just forgive people, move on, etc. etc.
    Here's my .02 and touching a bit on the role of anger in forgiveness. I personally think that anger is a huge component of forgiveness and is an important stage to go through so you can reach the point where you can truly forgive. Let's face it, we are human and it's simply unrealistic to expect ourselves and others to simply forgive a wrong all the while pretending that the anger doesn't exist or to simply will it away. It needs to be acknowledged so it can be dealt with. It can be a healthy thing to experience, not something that has to be avoided at all costs.

  5. #15
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    Eva Kor is a Holocaust survivor, and a survivor of Dr. Mengele's experiments, which ultimately killed her sister. She has a Forgiveness Project that will blow your mind. I saw a documentary about her, it is will motivate anyone towards this self-insight of forgiveness, which is for oneself. I corresponded with her awhile ago, and she's pretty remarkable.
    http://theforgivenessproject.com/sto...va-kor-poland/

  6. #16
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    Interesting link, Redfox

    It struck me that Eva mentions that other survivors have said they resent her focus on forgiveness. These people apparently feel that forgiving what happened in the camps constitutes a dismissal of the horrors so many endured. I see their point - keeping anger alive, for them, is a variation on "never forget." For many Jews, that's a political stance, and it seems Eva is trying to steer clear of that imbroglio. She's not saying Jews shouldn't be Nazi hunters, but she's not personally obsessed with finding justice in that way.

    She might be conflating anger with revenge. I think about this a lot. I'm really angry at my parents, but even if they were alive, I don't think I'd be plotting revenge. They'd be old and infirm, and I'd be obsessed with taking care of them, not getting my revenge on them. But I always wished they had understood what they were doing to me, and how damaging their thoughtlessness was. I always craved their understanding.

    I imagine some people do want revenge. But forgiveness and revenge are just two places on the spectrum of possible reactions to betrayal - there's a lot in between!

    Good link!



    Quote Originally Posted by redfox View Post
    Eva Kor is a Holocaust survivor, and a survivor of Dr. Mengele's experiments, which ultimately killed her sister. She has a Forgiveness Project that will blow your mind. I saw a documentary about her, it is will motivate anyone towards this self-insight of forgiveness, which is for oneself. I corresponded with her awhile ago, and she's pretty remarkable.
    http://theforgivenessproject.com/sto...va-kor-poland/

  7. #17
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    Sorry for getting back so late. I had to think about this for a longer time than I had imagined. Forgiveness in itself is just as strong as the fear (or anger) that comes with it. I was bitten by a dog one day. I was riding my bike and the animal appeared from nowhere, bit me in my buttocks. I didn't dare to drive on that road for weeks after. Until I realized that because of what happened I was afraid now. That it would happen again. That made me angry. No dog was going to take away the pleasure I had while riding my bike.
    In my case it was fear that prevented me to move on. And I realized that after reading redfox's post about Eva Kor. Because: is forgiveness not only realizing someone put fear in you? Or anger? By not allowing other to make you afraid you make the next step to moving on. And for me that is forgiveness. So, forgiving someone else doesn't make sense, it is a mirror to your soul, in your personality and facing what makes you angry (what would happen if the dog would show up again? Well, I could taser him. Or buy a water gun so I could defend myself. Or I could go find the owner and make him pay for the thetanus shot) so you prepare yourself how to act. Forgiveness is a learning experience in steps.

    These are the thoughts I had about this. Hopefully someone has a different view on it but I think I've come close. Thanks everybody!

  8. #18
    Senior Member Anne Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kitten View Post

    She might be conflating anger with revenge. I think about this a lot. I'm really angry at my parents, but even if they were alive, I don't think I'd be plotting revenge. They'd be old and infirm, and I'd be obsessed with taking care of them, not getting my revenge on them. But I always wished they had understood what they were doing to me, and how damaging their thoughtlessness was. I always craved their understanding.

    I imagine some people do want revenge. But forgiveness and revenge are just two places on the spectrum of possible reactions to betrayal - there's a lot in between!

    Good link!
    Kitten, just as there is a continuum between revenge and forgiveness, there is also a continuum between forgiveness and reconciliation. You can forgive people without being reconciled to them. Forgiveness is unilateral, reconciliation is not. Since it sounds like your parents are gone, you will never be reconciled with them, but I do believe you can forgive them, if only for your own peace of mind and well being.
    Formerly known as Blithe Morning II

  9. #19
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    when I am ready to forgive; which can take a long time, I really really try to see things from the other person's perspective and realize they did the best they could at the time, given who they are and what was going on in their life.

    Like a relative; a drunk, a rager, etc. What is the point of NOT forgiving him. He was messed up, emotionally broken and such a sad case. He can never affect me again. At some point in his life he was a little kid going through a really hard time and got wrecked himself. So he only knew how to rage and wreck and never evolved past that.

    So I let go of it. That is how it works for me, but everyone is different.

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