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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.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: wlotus
2009-08-28 11:39 am (UTC)
Forgiveness means choosing not to seek retribution for what was done. Fellowship/trust/reconciliation means associating with someone. The two are not the same, and one is not obligated to hang out with a person they do not wish to associate with. While it hurts when someone doesn't want to hang out, the person seeking reconciliation needs to accept the other person's choice and learn how to move on.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-08-28 12:57 pm (UTC)
That's a useful distinction.

Forgiveness, on this model, is quite a cold, cerebral thing- an act of the will- and doesn't really involve the emotions. I like that.
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