Something has come up for me today that I need help with.
I suffered a huge hurt a few years ago. Details aren't necessary, only that it was totally unexpected, bewildering, humiliating, I cried in front of them and I spent a fair while afterwards very confused about it. I went through a range of emotions...
and it wasn't until I learned to cut them away and not feel guilty about it that I came out of the dark place I was in and became at peace with the situation.
So. I haven't seen them for a few years. Life has been good without them in it. One of the people involved had pulled this sort of thing in the past and I'd ignored it as I wanted to keep the peace but her absence made me feel liberated. It was like removing a toxin from my body. Following the incident with her and her cohort, I developed a one strike you're out policy whereby I refused to accept anymore crap because I wanted people in my life who genuinely cared about me, not pretenders.
Now I've been asked to forgive them.
The people involved haven't come forward asking this, I've been asked to be the "bigger person", to say sorry and forgive them anyway and accept that sh*t happens and just move on. I admit I am confused by this request.
Thing is, I thought I had forgiven them. I have moved on. I have relinquished all blame and have let it all go. When I think of them now I no longer feel shame or embarrassment or anger. I just feel sorry for them really if I feel anything for them at all. The incident is a distant memory. I just don't want them back in my life. My DH, for his part, knows them and doesn't want them anywhere near us. But when I was asked this question today, I found myself saying no, no, no. I was surprised how quickly this defence mechanism rose up in me so I've been thinking on it a bit.
What I want to know is this:
1. Is it forgiveness when you've moved on and yet don't want them back in your life?
2. Do I have to be "the bigger person"? Does complying with this request actually make me a bigger person? (Really stumped on this one).
3. Am I a lesser person if I decline the offer and stick with the status quo?
All comments are welcome. I value them all.
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27-04-2013 12:34 #1
Soul Question: Forgiveness
27-04-2013 12:48 #2
Sounds like a tricky situation happywanderer! I believe that it's possible to forgive people for wrongs in the past and not have them in your life. By hanging on to the bitterness and anger it can only drag you down. I think if you feel at peace with what happened there shouldn't be any shame in not having them in your life. It's your choice to make.
The ball is in your court. Do these people add anything to your life? Is the situation likely to occur again? When you said that you felt free by not being involved with them spoke volumes to me.
If it were me I would make it clear that I had forgiven them for past injustices but I am choosing not to have them involved in my life. You need to do what feels right in your heart.
Good luck with your decision.
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happy wanderer (27-04-2013)
27-04-2013 12:57 #3
Thanks for your response Chippa
Do these people add anything to your life? Is the situation likely to occur again?
I guess I'm asking these questions because there seems to be more than one definition of forgiveness and I want to make sure I'm living a good life, you know?
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27-04-2013 12:57 #4-
- Join Date
- Mar 2013
Forgiveness is a funny thing. Forgiving someone doesn't mean you will forget, and it also doesn't mean that everything is ok.
I feel that forgiveness is more about you, than them. Forgiving someone lets you let go of everything and move on, instead of dwelling on it and just hurting yourself anymore. I hate when people ask me for forgiveness, its like they only want it for them to feel better, I'd rather an apology and to be left to move on in my own time..and with time I will forgive.
I have had some bad happenings with my family, and I forgive them, but I don't forget and I won't put myself in that position with them again. I've moved on and I feel better not dwelling on things. They will never be a part of my life.
I'd respond to the people "I have forgiven, I have moved on, but that doesn't mean I have to have them in my life". People get funny when they are caught between situations like these, I just make it clear to them that its not an issue for me, so it shouldn't be for them. If it is an issue with the other party, then its their issue, not yours or the people stuck in the middle - if that makes sense?
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27-04-2013 13:00 #5
Total, perfect, beautiful sense. Thank you
27-04-2013 13:02 #6
From what you have said, I think you have already forgiven them.
Forgiveness does not mean you have to be all sunshine and roses with these people again, if that's what is being requested. It doesn't even mean that you have to speak one word to these people again.
If you're content with leaving it in the past, do just that.
27-04-2013 13:14 #7
I'm confused why you have to be the bigger person and apologise if they were the ones who did something to you?
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27-04-2013 13:15 #8
27-04-2013 20:39 #9
Forgiveness does not mean you should cease to be wary. Forgiveness means change and acceptance - change on your part and hopefully theirs. However, lots of people mistake forgiveness as a sign that everything is the same as before.
Never seeing people again is okay and goes with forgiveness. You offer the forgiveness as a result of not wanting them hurt, maimed or struck down by God, but it doesn't mean that you have forgotten what they did and will abolish the consequences of their actions.
These people have received your forgiveness, they need to realise that a CONSEQUENCE of their actions is not being in your life. You do not need to do anything - these people need to accept this consequence.
Lastly, forgiveness is for you, not them. Forgiveness means that you do not spend your days dwellingon these people as the hate and angst will destroy your life and not theirs. It sounds as if these people aren't able to deal with the consequence of their actions - which is their problem not yours. Don't let anyone turn it into your problem.
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27-04-2013 20:48 #10
Forgiveness has nothing to do with the person you're forgiving, you do it ONLY so that YOU feel better. They need not even know that you've forgiven them.
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