31 Mar

I’d like to talk a little bit about forgiveness today.
By Pam Quinn

Forgiveness sounds like such an easy thing to do. That is, if you haven’t been put in a  position where you’ve REALLY had to do it. Forgiveness goes hand in hand with trust, doesn’t it? You’ve only truly forgiven someone for how they’ve wronged you if you can honestly trust them again. To forgive is to forget? I don’t believe that. I think you never forget. You may be able to reach a state with the situation where it doesn’t bother you as much anymore, because you’ve moved on…  a bit. You care about OTHER things now… but you never forget. Certainly not if it was a really big deal. Regaining trust? That takes nothing but time and the person you’ve wronged may not have the energy to GIVE you that time. Does time heal everything?

Every situation is different and trust goes both ways. Generally in relationships, if there was a breach of trust, you wonder what you did to cause said breach in trust.  How BAD does something have to be in order to never be forgiven for it? Is the person being stubborn or was it really not worthy of forgiveness? On the other side of things, what if you forgive too quickly? What if that person is getting let off the hook a bit too easily for something they did that made you lose trust in them? Only you can be the accurate judge. You have to be honest with yourself about whether or not the punishment fits the crime. And that goes both ways. Don’t let someone punish you for something you’ve done when you’ve done nothing but beg for forgiveness and prove that you can be trusted again. If they’re not willing to forgive you, and you feel that you deserve to be forgiven… then you need to move on. You may never see eye to eye and why continue to exhaust yourself trying to penetrate a brick wall?  Forgiveness means really being able to MOVE ON and sometimes… you’re just not meant to.

Trust isn’t black and white it’s very gray. Personally, i don’t believe cheating is EVER right… but that doesn’t mean that i don’t think it can be forgiven.  It depends on the circumstance and those who say “I would never forgive someone if they cheated on me” have never been cheated on by someone they loved very deeply. I guess it comes down to this:


We’re human and we’re not perfect. Everyone is flawed and everyone deserves forgiveness. However, if people continue to do things or set a pattern that show a lack of trust on their part, it’s gonna take more than a teary eyed “I’m sorry” phone call to get things right… and who knows what is TRULY motivating that person to admit their wrongs. It’s hard to trust people who have proven themselves to be stubborn and selfish. What, you’re all of a sudden different now?  The damage may already be done. If they’ve hurt you more than once, it may not be worth it to you to spend the rest of your life wondering when they’re gonna hurt you again. Always looking over your shoulder. And for someone who’s done the wrong, you may not want to spend the rest of YOUR life with someone who may never WHOLEHEARTEDLY trust you again. Does time heal everything? Not always. Some damage is just too… deep.


One Response to “FORGIVENESS”

  1. Jax 2011 at : #

    Intriguing thoughts Pam.

    I think the “notion” of forgiveness often gets generically hooked up with actions and feelings that aren’t necessarily connected with it. There are a lot of different variables. Is this issue within my family or my personal primary relationship? That would require a different depth of evaluation and reaction than with a casual friend or co-worker.

    Forgiving someone doesn’t mean I give them endless carte blanche access to repeat whatever they did to hurt me. There’s a BIG difference in denying a toxic person (sorry for the slang) access to my life and deciding I want to work constructively to preserve a relationship that I value.

    I don’t pretend to forget or try to restore trust to previous levels. As you say, that can take a very long time depending on the betrayal and my ability to deal with it (and whether it’s likely to happen again). It involves concious decisions, one at a time in a desired direction. It’s also not, I believe, a one-time decision and action. It has to be dealt with repeatedly, whenever hurt or repercussions from it resurface, which they will! I think forgiveness is an attitude. It’s not repaying like with like, but it’s also not trying to wipe out all consequences for actions.

    There’s an old proverb: “I want forgiveness for me and justice for you”.

    Anyone who says “I could never”, is going to suffer severe disillusionment. It’s not that we shouldn’t expect to be able to trust others, we must in order to live fully. But with trust comes wisdom (some of it with great pain), and with wisdom comes the ability to forgive, and to know what that looks like for each situation.

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