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A Discussion on Forgiveness - Lessons Learned

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  • A Discussion on Forgiveness - Lessons Learned

    Last week I made peace with a family member I have hated for some time. I won't trot out drama and details beyond saying I was justified to hate this person. My reasons for forgiving him were unconnected with my grandmother's passing, but rather just gained wisdom and lots of time.

    I've learned a few things along the way, though. First, I've found it's an interesting fact that the aggrieved person has an easier time forgiving than the families of the aggrieved. I have forgiven this person and moved on but my relatives still think he's rank scum. Any time his name is brought up the conversational mood gets dark and brooding - and by my relatives not by me, even though I was the one hurt. While I am the one who now views this person as a sad figure, my relatives think he is evil and manipulative. It seems that the one wronged has an easier time forgiving than those who love the wronged.

    I've also learned that forgiveness has to come in it's own time. When I was struggling with all that was going on with this person the church tried to force me into forgiving him and all it did was nearly destroy my relationship with the church. This is a notice to all Christian counselors - if you try to pressure a hurting soul to forgive the one hurting him when he isn't ready, you're only causing more pain. And if you try to bring the "forgive or God won't forgive you" threat into the equation, especially with a child, you stand a very good chance of permanently up that person's spiritual relationship with his creator. God wants us to forgive, but there is a process and it can't be rushed.

    That being said I have also learned that forgiveness is healthy and should be encouraged (not forced) IN IT'S TIME. When I was ready to let that burden go, a load of stress went with it. It was a healthy experience and one I would wish on any struggling individual. When you're ready, let it go. You'll feel a lot better when you do.

    I have also learned that our enemies aren't cookie cutter villains, but real people as well. Part of my reasons for forgiving came when I understood what this person went through, what he suffered and how it affected his personality. Now I don't excuse what he did and I make no apologies for striking back when I was big enough to stand up to him. I'm no progressive. But now understanding what he had gone through I can feel pity for him. And if he should ever seek reconciliation, I won't turn him away. In fact I would invite it.

    Well that's my philosophical post for the day. Only took me eighteen years of soul searching to work all this out. At the rate I'm going I should have the world figured out by about 2510.
    A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

  • #2
    Originally posted by pirateship1982 View Post
    I've learned a few things along the way, though. First, I've found it's an interesting fact that the aggrieved person has an easier time forgiving than the families of the aggrieved. It seems that the one wronged has an easier time forgiving than those who love the wronged.
    Yeah, If some wronged a family member of mine I have a harder time forgiving them than if they did it to me. I am not sure what causes it but I think that it is a bond between each other.

    It is very important to forgive the one that wronged you in your heart even if they have not asked it. Doing that we help gard against wrong actions and thoughts towards that person.
    In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes
    - Benjamin Franklin, U.S. statesman, author, and scientist

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    • #3
      Here's something that I have to work on in that regards.

      If the person is contrite I am quite forgiving.

      If the person shows no remorse, I can hold a grudge for a long time.

      I had a coworker who was treacherous, deceitful, and manipulative to everyone around her. I made the mistake of mentoring her for a time before she undermined me and manipulated me out of being the chief of a program that she wanted. She has betrayed or offended over 30 other coworkers. She has a gift for snowing management and never misses the opportunity for face time with the brass.

      Since then, her behavior has been nothing but arrogant and self-serving and, to this day, I cannot forgive her.
      TTFN

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Kendoka Girl View Post
        Here's something that I have to work on in that regards.

        If the person is contrite I am quite forgiving.

        If the person shows no remorse, I can hold a grudge for a long time.

        I had a coworker who was treacherous, deceitful, and manipulative to everyone around her. I made the mistake of mentoring her for a time before she undermined me and manipulated me out of being the chief of a program that she wanted. She has betrayed or offended over 30 other coworkers. She has a gift for snowing management and never misses the opportunity for face time with the brass.

        Since then, her behavior has been nothing but arrogant and self-serving and, to this day, I cannot forgive her.
        Then, keep a keen edge on your weapons, be vigilant and keep your powder dry. She is your enemy, make no mistake about it. Never turn your back on her. She has shown her true colors and you cannot make any mistakes about forging any future alliances with her.
        "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Kendoka Girl View Post
          Here's something that I have to work on in that regards.

          If the person is contrite I am quite forgiving.

          If the person shows no remorse, I can hold a grudge for a long time.

          I had a coworker who was treacherous, deceitful, and manipulative to everyone around her. I made the mistake of mentoring her for a time before she undermined me and manipulated me out of being the chief of a program that she wanted. She has betrayed or offended over 30 other coworkers. She has a gift for snowing management and never misses the opportunity for face time with the brass.

          Since then, her behavior has been nothing but arrogant and self-serving and, to this day, I cannot forgive her.
          That's another lesson I've learned on forgiveness. It does not, nor should it entail making yourself vulnerable. The person I was dealing with hasn't hurt me since I was thirteen and big enough to hold my own and I would never let him hurt me or anyone else. My forgiveness doesn't extend to tolerance. So I second John Bryan, whether you're in a forgiving mood or not there is nothing wrong with and plenty of practical value in remaining vigilant and being prepared to strike decisively in your defense.
          A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

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          • #6
            You are a better man than I am, Gunga Din. I don't forgive or forget even minor slights. I know they say it is cathartic but I'm just not built that way.
            Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the cheesemakers

            That's right bitches. I'm blessed!

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            • #7
              I have two examples.

              A long time friend of mine, his dad was THE most miserable and grumpy old bugger I had ever met. I seriously thought there had to be something 'wrong' with him.

              At his funeral, I heard so many people say so many things about him. He was very well respected, very supportive and active in his church. In short, he was so much more than I had ever seen.

              Sometimes the person you see, is not the person they are.

              My dad knew a co worker that was also always such a disagreeable SOB. Then my dad mentioned that after the man died, he learned he had lived with an extremely painful condition, and he had good reason to always be so damned nasty of mood.

              Sometimes what we see in a person, has a reason we simply can't see. We miss the explanation that might make all the difference.

              Sure some people likely have our scorn coming to them. But occasionally we might just not have all the facts. It was an interesting lesson for me. I learned you need to be very careful when judging people.
              Life is change. Built models for decades.
              Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
              I didn't for a long time either.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by johnbryan View Post
                Then, keep a keen edge on your weapons, be vigilant and keep your powder dry. She is your enemy, make no mistake about it. Never turn your back on her. She has shown her true colors and you cannot make any mistakes about forging any future alliances with her.
                You are absolutely right about that. After I found out about her having been the one to set me up, I carefully vetted the information to confirm that it was, indeed, her. Then, I sent a humorous backhanded message to all of my staff that I was stepping down and the project was being taken over by someone with more intelligence, experience, capability and ambition than the entire unit combined.

                Apparently, I had her in tears, but she filed a complaint against me. It was unsustainable, but the brass did make me say sorry and she got a backhanded apology.

                But, manufacturing allegations against people is definitely not beneath her.
                TTFN

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by pirateship1982 View Post
                  That's another lesson I've learned on forgiveness. It does not, nor should it entail making yourself vulnerable. The person I was dealing with hasn't hurt me since I was thirteen and big enough to hold my own and I would never let him hurt me or anyone else. My forgiveness doesn't extend to tolerance. So I second John Bryan, whether you're in a forgiving mood or not there is nothing wrong with and plenty of practical value in remaining vigilant and being prepared to strike decisively in your defense.
                  You've hit the nail on the head. I never let my guard down anywhere near her. Rules, ethics, decency are things she's never heard of.
                  TTFN

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                  • #10
                    I guess I have been lucky that I havn't gotten in a disgareement with any family member or reletive yet but the way my relationship with my sister is it can change very quickly but I guess the bigger issue is probaly from my early school years and I dunno if I can forgive some of the people that have teased me and caused mental scares over the years but I don't think I would run into this people for rest of my life
                    http://g.bf3stats.com/pc/1LP76r6C/melba_101.png

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                    • #11
                      I like the concept of forgive but don't forget.

                      When you are ready for it, forgiving lightens your load.

                      But not forgetting means you don't let your guard down and make yourself vulnerable again.

                      Thanks for sharing this.
                      Publisher
                      Armchair General Magazine
                      Weider History Group

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