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Forgiveness.... what is it?

26 replies

unicorn · 15/10/2005 23:23

Please excuse this waffle - I just need to offfload ...

I have an awfully mixed up family.. they haven't helped me a lot in many ways.. (and I'm sure I have been a Pita to them}

but I am aware of my parents gettting older, and siblings all splintered.

My "rosy" family view is of us all being this lovely warm family (ha)- reality of course is a hell of a lot diferent.

I guess my simple qustion is, what is forgiveness?... and how do you learn to be strong (against your family) and move on,?

What is Forgiveness?

OP posts:
compo · 15/10/2005 23:25

I thin sometimes you just have to take a deep breath and decide to forget everything that has gone on in the past and move forward. Or you decide it's not worth it to move forward...

marthamoo · 15/10/2005 23:28

Blimey unicorn - it's late for a question of such magnitude. I don't know...I just know that families are, basically, just people - with all their petty hatreds and foibles and faults...and sometimes they don't give us what we need or deserve. And sometimes we have to accept that they never will - and move on, but somehow find the peace within ourselves to forgive them for not being who or what we want them to be.

Did that make any sense at all?

unicorn · 15/10/2005 23:30

I agree compo... but also think that you have to be strong enough to follow it through...

I think to be in a postition of forgiveness means you are in a strong state.

I would wish everyone to be in that position - but families, life, etc can knock it out of you.

OP posts:
auntymandy · 15/10/2005 23:30

Do you want this happy family or do you want to move on and make your own new happy family?

QueenVictoria · 15/10/2005 23:30

Family is tough. Had a discussion with my DB today along these lines. He was livid about something someone in family told had been insinuated/had done to someone else oh i dont know. He couldnt see reason at all.

My solution to the whole family angst thing was to move a bit further away.

I appreciated them a bit more tbh. They are all mad and i suppose selfish in many ways so they often times dont realise they are being hurtful. A few members of my family are of the mindset that people do/say things only to be nasty etc etc and not perhaps because they just didnt think.

I lost patience with it ages ago. Mostly i dont get involved, dont confide in them and just try and play devils advocate or tell them not to talk about these things with me. Im happy in myself.

Forgiveness is a tough one. I cant answer that. I dont believe in it as such i guess, i think you just get past things or stop being angry about it anymore and its in you - not the people you are forgiving IYSWIM.

Sorry its a bit of a ramble but its my view on it.

QueenVictoria · 15/10/2005 23:32

Marthamoo said it much more eloquently!

unicorn · 15/10/2005 23:36

I s'pose I am still hankering for this ideal family.. and I really just need to let go, and try and make my own- believe in my own capabilities etc.

but these people ( my immediate family) have shaped me.. and I guess I just want things to be ok (er approval?!)

I'm a classic couch case me!

sorry - late night serious waffle!!

OP posts:
marthamoo · 15/10/2005 23:36

Did I? And me three sheets to the wind!

marthamoo · 15/10/2005 23:37

It's what MN's for, unicorn - it's nice to know you can post and someone will have a bash at an answer. Makes you feel less alone I think.

unicorn · 15/10/2005 23:38

Free therapy!!! fantastic!!!!!

OP posts:
marthamoo · 15/10/2005 23:41

Yeah, you'd pay good money for this elsewhere (and feel ripped off at still not being any the wiser )

mishmash · 15/10/2005 23:42

My post got lost
Jist was that - with families forgivness can be hard particularly if there are some underlying circumstances

I have a lot of bitterness in me because of certaing things. I have been to a councillor - but admit I should have gone back. But take the whole "problem" as it were personally even though it had nothing directly to do with me, very seriously.

I want to scream at times but know that I have to make the first move again.

Sorry I will stop there cos I am rambling as thoughts go through my head and I am probably not helping Unicorn.

unicorn · 15/10/2005 23:49

sorry mishmash - don't want to make things even worse...

I guess I am trying to work out a strategy of coping with these people who have...
hmmmmm made me feel inadequate most of my life.

I need to be 'strong' enough to deal with them.. I think Forgiveness probably comes from strength.

OP posts:
mishmash · 16/10/2005 00:33

You havent' Unicorn but families can just be so frought

twinsetandpearls · 16/10/2005 00:40

I think sometimes you just have to let go, I spent years being angry at my Mum as she stood by and allowed her second husband to abuse me. I spent years battling with her, but then one day I had just had enough of battling and negative energy. She will never be the kind of mother I wanted or needed and it is pointless hoping she will.

Once I accepted that and looked to all the positive things I had created for myself rather than the negative that she had caused I managed to build as good a relationship that I will ever have with her.

But it isn't easy.

twinsetandpearls · 16/10/2005 00:41

But as others have said you need to be strong to do that, I find when I am at my lowest and weakest I find it hard to forgive and that negativity comes back again.

unicorn · 16/10/2005 01:23

I truly would love to 'forgive'.. and, (don't get me wrong) my family haven't committed any really awful crimes... but I guess they have left me with a legacy of - never being good enough.

I need to feel 'good enough' in my own self - and perhaps when I do I can move on - and be strong enough to let these damaging people not bother me any more.

(am I bovverred?! look at me - do I look boverred??!!!

OP posts:
ChaCha · 16/10/2005 11:20

Twinsetandpearls said it in a nutshell!! In total agreeance there.

Look at the positive and create from that.
I say forgive but not necessarily forget as forgetting can leave you open to getting hurt again whereas forgiveness IMO can keep you sane and allow you to move on and focus all postive energy on that which is good. Life is too short, I've moved on from holding grudges and feeling guilty about the past. Members of my family who really caused me a lot of pain have been forgiven but I have cut ties - there was no other way.

taramac · 16/10/2005 11:38

Have heard it said that forgiveness is letting go of the wish that the past could have been different - which I think is very true.

However I still havent reached that stage with my family so if you do manage it tell me how!

kama · 16/10/2005 11:48

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KBear · 16/10/2005 11:50

In my experience, forgiveness is letting go of the things that make you bitter.

You can let someone or something screw you up and make you angry or you can let it fly off with the breeze and instantly you are calmer and more peaceful within.

As soon as something stops bothering you and affecting your daily life, it ceases to be important.

Is that a bit deep?

kama · 16/10/2005 12:06

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kama · 16/10/2005 12:08

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Papillon · 16/10/2005 12:12

For me ´learning´to forgive a person when they hurt you not the central aspect. It is about trust, respect and boundaries being built up again.

Forgiveness comes when time brings commitment to not continue a harmful cycle, a commitment to the actions of friendship, companionship, love.

Carrying other people´s actions and responsibilities upon your shoulders is not forgiveness. Relationships cannot harbour resentment - so a change in attitude is really necessary between all / both individuals for a healthy family environment and for forgiveness to be allowed to foster.

Papillon · 16/10/2005 12:22

In the wisdom of animated films - The Incredibles

The Costume Designer to Elastigirl:

"What are you talking about?! You are Elastigirl! And you will remind him of WHO YOU ARE! Now, go, fight and win!"

Forgiveness does not have to be meek, woah is me, it can be about displaying your strengths, confidence in yourself and reminding people of who you are.

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