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Forgiveness

This subject snuck in out of order today because it has been on my mind.  I have encountered much in my life that needs forgiving, I have probably needed quite a bit of it myself. It is a touchy subject that gets discussed with my recovery peers on a fairly regular basis. 
I have said many times, that "forgivness is me, giving up my right to hurt you back for what you did to me."  What this means to me, is that when I forgive somebody, ideally , I have completely dealt with whatever resentment their actions have caused, and I don't bring it up again. However, to forgive never seems to be to forget. 

I am not sure when the last time was that I have truly forgiven somebody, you see, the new age philosophy of social non-judgement, and irresponsibility does not lend itself readily to the conditions necessary for forgiveness. Somewhere along the line, through the abhorrent concept of  non judgementalism, we have placed the burden of forgiveness squarely on the shoulders of the offended, and absolved the offender of the responsibility of attrition.  Yes people, If I seek forgiveness from you, I should be prepared to not repeat the behavior.  It is not your responsibility to accept my offending behavior, nor is it expected that you accept my hurtful behavior more than once. 

What this lands me with is a reluctance to forgive. I have had occasion where I have been hurt tremendously. It is easy to forgive the first time, perhaps I can even forget, but, when the hurtful behavior is repeated over and over, it is on the offender. 

Too bad if this offends the selfish existentialists among us, but that is the way of social interaction. At some point, sick of being hurt, and sick of being expected to forgive, I must either accept that I will always be hurt, or better yet, distance myself from the flame. Fool me once, shame on you fool me twice, shame on ME.   

Where my imperfect human nature still harbors hatred, it is for the emotional vultures that are so self centered that they never see that seeking forgiveness must come with attrician. If it does not, than the offender does not truly see they error of their ways. "I am sorry" is meaningless today.  sic,I already know your sorry.

One of my close spiritual leaders tells me that when I need to make amens for something, never to say " I am sorry" for that is a rhetorical, and redundant  and obvious statement that means nothing to me. Instead, it is better to say, "I was wrong" and follow it up with where I was actually wrong.  That way, I actually internalize my guilt and admit to it.  A simple 'I am sorry" is just self pity, everybody knows I am sorry. What needs to be known, is that I was wrong.

The root of the work amens is "amend" When you "amend something that means you change it.  "I'm sorry" is NOT amens, it is simply a cerebral attempt to assuage ones own guilt, and illicit sympathy. 

Disclaimer; In the interest of righteousness, I must confess that I am harboring a twinge of resentment toward more than a few that have played the above scenario upon me. People who have hurt me deeply have come to me with a pathetic "I am sorry" but when I say, "OK I will accept your apology if; 

A. you tell me the complete truth. 
B. you don't do it again. 

They look at me like I am some kind of control freak and that suddenly I have offended them.  If any of you are reading this (you know who you are)  Do not waste your breath or my time with an apology unless you bring with it assurance that you will not do it again. And guess what, I get to decide what assurance is, and if forgiveness is warranted. Do not expect a band aid of "I am sorry" to stem the gushing wounds.  Saying you are sorry for something you did, while repeating the same behavior(s) just wont work on me. 

Disclaimer 2;  To those that I have hurt. If you want a meaningless apology, than accept that I am truly sorry for whatever offense I have perpetrated upon you. but know this my personal standards are such that I will not be making amens until I can assure you that I will not offend in a similar manor again.  Simply saying that I am sorry will not solve the problem, and I am not so self absorbed to believe that you must forgive me for something that I not yet know the extent of, simply because I say I am sorry.

Once again, words have become so antithetical to truth...
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