The Art of Forgiveness – An Ongoing Thought Blog

What is forgiveness?

There are things that happen to us that we can’t talk about. Secrets we hold so close to us they become a crutch that we use to push people away. We have hurt that is caused by other people that is so painful we ask why we were born. We feel angry– and if we let it, this anger becomes so powerful it turns into hatred.

Should we forgive those who hurt us? Who are not sorry for hurting us? Where do you draw the limit?

Should we forgive everyone who has hurt us?

Earlier this month I reached out to an old friend. This particular friend was one I considered at one point to be my closest companion. She was a person who I relied on so heavily and so deeply that we inevitably broke apart. When our friendship was strained we spent almost two years without the other for comfort. When I had reached out to her after almost two years the forgiveness I felt washed over me like a warm ocean wave.

Our falling out never destroyed our humanity. If anything, during our period of time not speaking, we grew. I learned to love harder and forgive more often. When our hearts were ready, we forgave each other and we’re stronger and more independent for it.

In most cases I would say yes, forgiveness is a healing experience. Especially when experiences between two people who want and need it.

But what happens when the other person doesn’t want forgiveness?

Sometimes the people who hurt us are not sorry. Sometimes people hurt us for no other reason than to gain pleasure from our pain. When this happens, forgiveness feels impossible. Do we forgive those who are not sorry? Do we forgive those who take pleasure from our pain? These questions are difficult to answer.

Forgiveness makes us vulnerable. It lets down our walls and allows another to see us for who we really are– human. But this is not an excuse to allow others to continue to use your humanity against you.

During a recent Vipassana I sat in complete silence for 10 straight days trying to forgive someone who has hurt me beyond words. I came out of the experience with 3 questions:

  1. Why do we forgive?
  2. How often should we allow ourselves to forgive one person?
  3. What should be the result of forgiveness?

Here are the answers I’ve come up with:

  1. We forgive so that we can grow from our experiences.
  2. We should always forgive. But this does not mean we allow others to continue to hurt us and this does not mean the other person should not remain accountable for their actions.
  3. There is no definitive result.

I am always curious to hear about what people think of forgiveness. What makes a person more forgiving than another? I would like to hear your stories! So please send me a message or comment on this article, it would be most helpful 😀

One Comment on “The Art of Forgiveness – An Ongoing Thought Blog

  1. Hmmm…a not-kind thief, liar and general jerk with whom I was in a band. It was his band and he cheerfully helped himself to most of the $ for gigs and wanted to borrow gear constantly. I never let him use my Fender Twin, mostly because I had figured him out and assumed (probably correctly given his track record because he’d stolen gear from others) that it would be returned with a few expensive tubes missing. I guess the foregiveness has riders from my end because I will not get on a stage with him ever again but I don’t wish him any harm. I guess it’s not foregiveness at its best but the old ‘fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me’ applies in this case. Aside from that stinker, I try not be be that kind of person.

    Liked by 1 person

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