What does forgiveness mean to you?

  • JimJim

    Posts: 58

    Jun 19, 2010 10:59 PM GMT
    People always say forgive and forget, let bygones be bygones, etc. But can one really forget? Is it possible to truly forgive someone who really did fucked up shit but still not want them around as friends anymore?
    Does forgiving someone mean liking them again? Is it possible to let go of the hurt and hatred you have for that person but still view them negatively?

    Just there seems to be this notion that once you forgive someone, all is well and things could/should go back to normal with the people involved becoming friends again, but is this necessarily so?

    Also, if you forgave someone for something really big, if they wanted to be friends again, would you require that they "prove" themselves in some way if they wanted to be friends, or is the initial forgiveness all it takes. For me I feel like I can forgive someone with just an apology, but if they want things to go back to normal they have to go the extra mile, if that makes any sense.


    So I guess what do you all think? What does forgiveness mean to you?
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    Jun 20, 2010 1:45 AM GMT
    Forgiveness is letting go of any insult or harm done to you so that both you and the other person can be free of guilt and resentment. Guilt and resentment are burdens on the psyche that are unnecessary given our already short lives.

    Forgiveness does not necessarily mean that the relationship can or will return to a former state or even continue.
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    Jun 20, 2010 2:37 AM GMT
    JimJim saidIs it possible to truly forgive someone who really did fucked up shit but still not want them around as friends anymore?

    Yes, it is possible.

    JimJim saidDoes forgiving someone mean liking them again? Is it possible to let go of the hurt and hatred you have for that person but still view them negatively?

    With forgiveness, you're letting go of your feelings of pain and resentment. This doesn't mean that person is now your friend, just that you feel no ill will towards them. You could recognize that having a friendship with this person is not a healthy endeavor for you, but if you're still viewing them negatively it's possible you haven't forgiven them.

    JimJim saidJust there seems to be this notion that once you forgive someone, all is well and things could/should go back to normal with the people involved becoming friends again, but is this necessarily so?

    If someone thinks all should go "back to normal", I'd say this person doesn't fully understand forgiveness.

    JimJim saidAlso, if you forgave someone for something really big, if they wanted to be friends again, would you require that they "prove" themselves in some way if they wanted to be friends, or is the initial forgiveness all it takes. For me I feel like I can forgive someone with just an apology, but if they want things to go back to normal they have to go the extra mile, if that makes any sense.

    I don't think true forgiveness has anything to do with receiving an apology. And how does one "prove" themself?
  • JimJim

    Posts: 58

    Jun 20, 2010 3:27 AM GMT
    JimJim said
    With forgiveness, you're letting go of your feelings of pain and resentment. This doesn't mean that person is now your friend, just that you feel no ill will towards them. You could recognize that having a friendship with this person is not a healthy endeavor for you, but if you're still viewing them negatively it's possible you haven't forgiven them.


    I guess to rephrase what I said, is it possible to forgive someone but simultaneously still have a permanently altered view of their character? Can one really let go of the hurt and just come to terms with and accept the fact that some people are just inconsiderate and not who you thought they were?

    [quote]
    I don't think true forgiveness has anything to do with receiving an apology. And how does one "prove" themself?[/quote]

    I guess for instance, let's say someone in your life just never told the whole truth, gave lots of contradictory confusing statements all the time for the sake of achieving that person's selfish self interests, regardless of how painful it was for you. You end the friendship because its too painful but eventually come to forgive what has happened and don't let it bother you anymore. However, the person in question then contacts you again and wants to be friends again. Is the fact that you've forgiven them in your mind enough, or do you expect them to put an effort into showing you that they've become less selfish, tell the whole truth more often, etc before you can allow them to be friends.

    So that's just one example of what I meant by "proving themselves."

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    Jun 20, 2010 2:48 PM GMT


    JimJim, I think that to forgive AND forget dooms a person to repeat the mistake(s) that gave them reason to have to forgive in the first place.

    Forgive, but not forget.

    "Fool me once, shame on you
    Fool me twice, shame on me"

    -Doug
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    Jun 20, 2010 3:39 PM GMT
    I seldom completely forgive people,unless I am certain that the apology is genuine and that the scenario that caused the friction was unavoidable.
    Half-hearted apologies tend to piss me off more than the actual action that caused the need for the apology in the first place.
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    Jun 20, 2010 9:05 PM GMT
    For me it works like this! I tend to forget bad experiences fairly quickly, and once I do my life become the more richer after the grieving period. There are so many people yet to know and to learn from for me to waste my time on them who are no longer in my life; so yeah I tend to forget and forgive for those very main reasons!


    Leandro ♥
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19138

    Jun 20, 2010 9:24 PM GMT
    I am all about forgiveness. Mostly because I don't like the negative energy associated with holding some sort of grudge against someone. Life is too short to walk around with a chip on your shoulder. We cannot expect to be forgiven for our own mistakes if we can't forgive others for theirs.
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    Jun 20, 2010 10:01 PM GMT
    You can take a nail out but you can't "unhole" the space it created.
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    Jun 20, 2010 10:15 PM GMT
    I'm usually nice and generous and all that, but (or because of that) I have difficulty forgiving and forgetting/letting it go. Then I become totally critical and analytical like a bad lawyer, and people get scared. :S
  • westdave

    Posts: 212

    Jun 20, 2010 10:17 PM GMT
    forgiveness means it's time to move on...BUT never forget or history will repeat itself
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    Jun 21, 2010 3:43 AM GMT
    JimJim saidI guess to rephrase what I said, is it possible to forgive someone but simultaneously still have a permanently altered view of their character?

    Yes. If someone lied to you and you were hurt by the lie, forgiving them would be letting go of the pain and resentment you'd feel towards them. But you wouldn't then see that person as one who doesn't lie....that would be foolish.

    JimJim saidI guess for instance, let's say someone in your life just never told the whole truth, gave lots of contradictory confusing statements all the time for the sake of achieving that person's selfish self interests, regardless of how painful it was for you. You end the friendship because its too painful but eventually come to forgive what has happened and don't let it bother you anymore. However, the person in question then contacts you again and wants to be friends again. Is the fact that you've forgiven them in your mind enough, or do you expect them to put an effort into showing you that they've become less selfish, tell the whole truth more often, etc before you can allow them to be friends.

    Sounds like you're talking about trust, which is different than forgiveness. You could forgive them but not trust them. And trusting a proven liar is something you'd do at your own risk.
  • Daniepwils

    Posts: 151

    Jun 21, 2010 8:52 PM GMT
    Ciarsolo saidYou can take a nail out but you can't "unhole" the space it created.

    That is an awesome analogy.
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    Jun 22, 2010 6:54 PM GMT
    If you cross me, forgiveness doesn't mean I won't step over you and pretend you don't exist if I ever find you face down, crying, bleeding, physically and emotionally broken on the verge of a slow, drawn out, painful, sad, lonely and agonizing death... it just means I won't be the one who put you there and I didn't necessarily wish it on you.

    If I don't forgive you I'll probably giggle and point as I step on the back of your head and make you gurgle gutter sludge.

    Other than that I'm all rainbows and unicorns full of love and compassion for... almost everyone.
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    Jun 22, 2010 6:58 PM GMT
    The most tragic gay folks I know are people who don't know the difference between gaining wisdom and becoming cynical. The difference between the two is what I call forgiveness.

    Forgiveness means letting go and moving on, not becoming cynical from the things that happen to us. Nothing good comes from cynicism and I'm pretty sure it's bad for your health.
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    Jun 22, 2010 7:31 PM GMT
    Daniepwils said
    Ciarsolo saidYou can take a nail out but you can't "unhole" the space it created.

    That is an awesome analogy.


    With humans, that's called 'healing'. That can be a successful but tough process depending on lots of factors. Sometimes it's a quick process, if an apology is sincere.