October 26, 2006


From "Love Story": "Love means never having to say you're sorry."

I disagree. In my opinion, love is solid enough to say I am sorry.

When someone you care about is genuinely sorry for something, forgiveness is the next step in the healing. And a major part of forgiveness is then forgetting. If you need to hang on to the disappointment or hurt feelings, you are not ready to forgive.

In Ottawa Hypnosis, this is a good description:

"It is an act one does with oneself…not with another. One person cannot forgive another! That is the other person's task. Obviously it is very difficult to give up a long held, deeply imbedded emotion such as fear, anger or revenge, etc. Usually the emotion is entangled and ensnared in all sorts of justifications, excuses, defenses, habits, addictions, etc. The pathway to love is forgiveness. Forgiveness dissolves resentments and jealousies, etc. Reluctance to let go of fear keeps people "stuck", alienated from experiencing the present moment, and fully living life. If we learn to continually practice forgiveness we see each other and ourselves as blameless. Forgiveness is a powerful tool in our struggle to transcend "the blame and shame game."

Forgiveness. Healing. Moving forward to more adventures.


Chuck Cliff said...

If I understand this, the idea is that the act of forgiving is something I need in order to be healed of a wrong done to me.

The difficulty is with my internal relation to the agent who harmed me. If I just say to myself, forget it, this is just ignoring the wound.

This is why it is of value to me if the person who harmed me in a real, honest way lets me know that they truely understand the ugliness of what they did -- the short hand for this is "asking for forgiveness".

The one asking for forgivness must understand that he/she may have to recieve some pent-up anger and rage when the wounds of the injured one come to the surface.

The one who has harmed also bears a wound, whether they recognize it or not.

I was once the boss of a small team and I treated this fellow badly -- it was because he was stupid and couldn't understand the work we were doing with the computers.

A couple of years later, I met him by chance on the street. I ran up to him and told him how sorry I was that I had been mean to him.

It was a strange moment.

Make any sense?

Anonymous said...

Ignoring any feeling is to let it fester and nursing it along is using it for even more damage. If the person asks forgiveness, it isn't our job to decide if they are sincere or not, they have to take care of their own insides. In order for us to be healthy, we forgive and then let it go.

Chuck, thank you for the insight and good example. Making amends felt strange to you at that time but aren't you glad you listened to your gut feeling and told him you are sorry and then let it go. Good for you.

Chuck Cliff said...

It was an odd situation.

The guy simply couldn't comprehend the IBM S360 mainframe we were running and in the end we had to let him go.

But there was one scene were he brought some cake or something to work and he offered me some and I refused the offer in a nasty way and he turned aside with tears brimming in his eyes.

I met him in front of the Tivoli gardens a few years later and without a thought of forgivness or anything I ran up and told him I was sorry.

I hope this doesn't make me sound better than the asshole I am -- I tell the story only to illustrate that this forgiving thing is not a show you can put on or make happen with contriteness or banging your head against the wall or saying "mea culpa" or whatever.

Like all spiritual realization, it happens in the moment it happens -- or not!

That's my feeling anyway.

Anonymous said...

That's right, it happens or not, depending if we make that choice at the time. I really think that things like this are lessons to be learned and when we know we do or say something that hurts someone else and we allow it to happen and don't make amends right then, we will have to take care of it in a different way and a different time. Not exactly "what goes around comes around" but similar. We are learning what is really important in this life. Not one of us is more important or more special than any one else. We might not be drawn to someone but we have no right to hurt them. I go with the "pay it ahead" concept and don't worry if I'm going to get mine or not. I've already had plenty. When someone hurts me, I do not want to retaliate. I'm not patting myself on the back; I have done and said things that caused grief to people and as I remember their pain now, I am so sorry. I forgive myself for my past mistakes and with this new knowledge and strength, I move forward in life really looking at fellow human beings with a caring heart.

carina said...

Boy, I read that and signed in just to say "easier said than done" but dang it, you two are making me think now. Heh.
Not getting your hurt or angry feelings acknowleged by someone who hurt you makes it very hard to forgive...but I do believe one can let it go, without "forgiving." I suppose I'm not that clear on what forgiving means, specifically, in a real way.
I've been able to do that in my life, at least I think I have.
I do not find it difficult to apologise or make amends, never have. I can be a real beeyatch at times, but do my best to own up.
Easiest way to live with others - the Golden Rule! Simplistic, maybe. But it works.

Anonymous said...

Hi Carina,
The Golden Rule is a good start.
What I am striving for is to have no expectations and to let each person I come in contact with just be what they are at that particular time. We are all learning and changing and maturing, even if it is not evident. Over the years, I have been learning to truly forgive and let it go. Not just for the other person, but for my mental and emotional health too. There were times I would carry around a grudge but then something inside of me would be sick. I still can't say I like those people who hurt me, but I can now say they don't have that power in my life, and I have let it go. Make sense?

Carina said...

That made sense...that is sort of what I meant when I said one can let go without actually forgiving the person. Only, you said it much more eloquently than I.

Anonymous said...

Hi Carina,
I totally understood what you were saying and it seems we are in agreement. Forgiveness is a tough one.
I know I am not a writer and when I started this blog, it was to be able to say things my way and let others say things their way, for the freedom and not trying to outdo each other with words.

I really like it that you stop by and visit and contribute to the discussions. Way cool!