The idea of forgiveness I’m not against, but I absolutely can’t stand how people make excuses for it. Here’s the basic definition of Forgive via a dictionary:
forgive: verb | for • give |
: to stop feeling anger toward : to stop blaming
: to stop feeling anger about
I’ve talked before (not sure if I did on this blog) that “Life is simple, it’s the people that make it complicated.” Because, talk to anyone about forgiveness and you’ll get everything from the basic answer above to several misconstrued answers that have nothing to do with forgiving at all, but instead are excuses or explanations based on a current situation.
This perception thing really hurts my soul too.. because in life, I understand that we all see things differently but, 2 + 2 will always equal 4. There are many constants in this life are are just plain fact, but with the evolution of the human mind, we use that to convolute our ideas as to why we do the things we do vs just owning the fact that we are making excuses – for whatever reason. “Because I love them”, Because it’s my child”, “Because its my Mother” , “Because.. work”. Whatever the reason, its still an excuse vs facing reality. But that’s a whole other blog post..
Anyway, life IS simple, so is forgiveness. To forgive is simply to stop blaming and feeling angry about something. Forgiveness isn’t allowing that person or event back in your life. Forgiveness isn’t second chances. Forgiveness isn’t a blank slate. Forgiveness itself is an act, a verb – a doing of something. Therefore second chances, or allowing someone to continue to take from you in a negative way, have nothing to do with the act of forgiveness. Those actions are separate in themselves. For example, you can’t run and skate at the same time, those are two actions that are separate from each other. Most actions are this way.. Even eating and drinking.. you can argue – you take a sip of a beverage while chewing – but if you notice, you can’t chew and swallow at the same time. Again.. two separate actions.
Whether it’s me being a Christian, or just being a good person, I believe wholeheartedly in forgiveness and to forgive often.. but I don’t go inviting negativity back into my life. In being a good person, you love thy neighbor, and be kind to one another – but nowhere in those teachings does it ever say go bring back negative parts of that into your life. So when I hear, “I forgave them, thats why we got back together” or “I forgave them, that’s why I’m trusting them with my car again.” Do as you please, but if that situation was not positive in the first place, forgiveness will not make it better. Because again, forgiveness does not change anything in itself. That is a separate action and on top of that, effort, in order for something to change.
This is partially why so many expectations become disappointments. People think to forgive means it’s all better, like it never happened. It did happen, and there are still feelings involved even if anger isn’t one of them. Forgiveness opens yourself to happiness and hope, it allows you to find peace.. Not empty more space for the negative.
So go on forgive, but don’t forget. In all, forgiveness is an action for yourself, to let something go, but the reality of it all is that it is still there – it’s just that anger is no longer associated with it. Allow forgiveness to do what its meant, remove blame and anger – which in turn should move you into happiness and letting go.