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Tony Grist

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Forgiveness [Aug. 28th, 2009|09:39 am]
Tony Grist
Forgiveness is always sublime, but...

A friend of mine is being pestered by a man from her past of whom she has less than delightful memories. Maybe he's just amazingly thick-skinned and unaware of how she feels about him- or maybe he's been put up to it by his AA group. Apparently that's something the AA do- they urge their members to go out and seek reconciliation with those they've wronged.
It's not that she doesn't forgive him, it's just that she'd rather he faded back into the woodwork. Does forgiveness mean you have to hang out with your former enemies?

It's a very egotistical thing, wanting to be forgiven. You've hurt this person and now you're creeping round them going, "Please make me feel better".  It turns the victim into the aggressor.  Wouldn't it be kinder- more honest-  to keep the hell out of their way?

Or are you doing them a favour by giving them the opportunity to forgive, which- as I said at the beginning- is always a sublime act?

Someone should write a novel about this.

[User Picture]From: sorenr
2009-08-28 09:51 am (UTC)
It's the old story about forgiving and forgetting; one does not necessarily lead to the other, and sometimes forgiveness can be granted without the victim ever being able to forget or have normal relations with the aggressor again. Anybody seeking forgiveness should - in my opinion - always be ready to face either a refusal of forgiveness or a forgiveness that doesn't mean a clean slate. (Can there ever truly be a clean slate when one person has been hurt? Will traces not always linger on, sore in the background? And sometimes too sore to be reminded of on a regular basis?)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-08-28 11:23 am (UTC)
It's complicated. Is it really forgiveness if you still want the person out of your life? Can you forgive someone while still intensely disliking them?
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