The Power of Forgiveness

I like that this blogger points out three types of forgiveness.

Healing Secrets

Today’s Healing Secret is Forgiving or Forgiveness.

Forgiveness and the act of forgiving means different things to different people but the end results are the same: the bitter taste in your mouth when you think about what was done to you…is gone! The curl of the lip, that scowl that passed across your face, the voice change, the utter disgust and tremendous hate for the target of your anger disappears when you forgive.

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  1. My favourite lines here were: ‘even if they don’t deserve forgiveness’ and ‘you may get prettier’.
    Food for thought.

    1. Interesting thought…

  2. There are people who it is not safe to forgive.

    Rabbi Nachman of Breslov wrote a famous teaching: every person has within them at least one little spark of good. Even the most evil person cannot say they never did something good, even if it was in the service of evil! (For instance, he helped an old lady across the street in order to mug her.) If you concentrate on that one good point, and only that, poof! Where once an evil person stood, there is a good person instead!

    However, if by forgiving an abuser, we open ourselves to further abuse, then that is not a safe kind of forgiveness. Love the sinner, hate the sin can be safe, as long as we maintain our boundaries, which may mean distance or NC if necessary to protect ourselves from a malignant narcissist, for instance.

    I prayed to forgive for years, but due to the incredible skill of my abuser in shapeshifting and finding my weak points at vulnerable times, I finally “got” that my forgiveness came in the form of protecting myself, while depriving her of the soul-wrecking pleasure of shredding me every time I showed up looking for love and acceptance.

    Then of course I shredded myself when I found I could not “forgive” her in the way I thought was conventional. My therapist at last convinced me that staying far, far away from this person was the healthy thing to do.

    1. Well I respectfully disagree. Forgiveness given for your own sanity & peace of mind. There are people who should NOT share your space with, they are too dangerous to be around. You have those people alone. But forgive them. Don’t get it confused
      I’m working on a piece niw that deals with this. I must post this in preparation for Father’s Day.
      Be blessed!

      1. I absolutely hear you. I know that from the Christian perspective, any and all crimes can be forgiven. But from my own perspective as a specialist in child abuse, I find it impossible to forgive people who rape and torture little babies (and I mean LITTLE babies!). Some people might be able to forgive them, but I can’t.

      2. well ok. As long as you are not consumed with hate, revenge and the like

      3. Nope. My feeling is that aside from my duty to do my best to see that perpetrators are brought to justice if possible, I leave it in the hands of the courts and ultimately, in the hands of God. Although I have seen some grievous miscarriages of justice in this world, I’m quite sure they won’t get away with it in the next! And that goes for anyone who commits acts of abuse, whether physical, whether emotional….we (Hebrews) believe that a person who truly repents must be forgiven. In fact, by us, it is a sin NOT to forgive a sincere penitent. How I wish that those who abuse those who are helpless to get out from under their control, would truly repent. Unfortunately, narcissists are “sure” that they, and only they, are in the right; and so, they are unable to repent. In this case, all we can do is to pray that their eyes will be opened so that they CAN repent. I have seen this happen, unfortunately not as often as we would like…

      4. The Christian perspective is for one Christian to another. People that do this are not Christians…

  3. You and I have the same perspective on forgiveness. It’s difficult to forgive someone that’s refuses to acknowledge the abuse and is bent on continuing the abuse, every chance they get. I do, however, think forgiveness is a necessary component in the healing process, but there’s no timeframe on forgiveness, just like there’s no timeframe on healing. And it’s okay to forgive simply by moving on with our lives–away from the abuser. Just because we forgive someone, it does not mean that we trust them. Our forgiving them has nothing to do with their decisions or behaviors, but everything to do with ours. And it doesn’t mean that we want, or even should, allow them into our lives. It’s okay to use boundaries to protect ourselves from people who have proven to be harmful to us in the past.

    1. Indeed, well said. As I have been processing my parents, there came a revelation that it is I myself whom I need to forgive, because it is I who has come away from this whole “family” thing feeling all bummed out that I wasn’t able to make it work, to make them SEE me, to validate that I am a real individual in their minds.

      Actually, in the months leading up to his death, my father and I got a lot of things straightened out with honest talk. So I feel good about that.

      And now I feel good that I am under my own control, not my mother’s. I’ve had to give up a lot of physical property to pull it off, but better that than my soul.

      I’ve also had to separate from my son, who, sadly, has shown his colors as a malignant narcissist. That was wrenching, but imagine dealing with non-stop manipulation for 31 years! Enough is enough.

      So thus I forgive myself for all the time, energy, money, lost opportunities, and grief that I put into my unwitting codependence with soul-suckers.

      My goodness, I have gone on here. Must have touched a nerve 😨

  4. So true what you have shared, Laura…sometimes forgiving opens us to even more abuse..and we are hurt again. It takes time and permission to process this hurt. If we deny it we can set ourselves up for illness as our body is not fooled.

  5. I really agree with Lynette, we should forgive but we must protect ourselves from further hurt. It will be unwise to open up your chest to be hurt over and over again. You may not live long enough to offer the next forgiveness if you act unwisely.

  6. Forgiveness is given to lift the burden of hate and any other damaging, negative emotions. It is the gift you give to yourself and then you enjoy the peace that comes with forgiveness.
    Forgive and leave them alone. Move on. They have proven to be your enemy so leave your enemy alone.
    Please don’t refuse to forgive because you think you will get hurt all over again. You won’t. You will be a better person and live in peace.
    Blessings to you

    1. I’m looking forward to reading the piece that you’re working on for Father’s Day.

  7. One of the things that I keep learning in this very short life that I have lived so far is that forgiveness is necessary. You don’t have to feel it to forgive. It is not in your emotions, it is in your will. It doesn’t happen automatically. When you hurt, you hurt, when you have been disappointed, it stings, but every time that sting begins to hurt, you remind yourself, I have forgiven that person. You speak out or mutter those words of forgiveness under your breath and one day you will discover that it doesn’t hurt or sting any more. But you have to start by willing yourself to forgive.
    Shalom aleichem,

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