Multiple Dimensions of Forgiveness

United States
July 14, 2007 9:56am CST
Thanks to a post by Perspectives, I'm following up with the many attributes of forgiving... Let's forget about forgetting and just focus on the act of forgiveness. I see several layers, starting with a heart for doing what is good, a condition of a loving and forgiving heart. Along with that is the act of asking to be forgiven. There are many aspects of forgiveness that work together. How is it that it seems many people are incomplete in their understadning about forgiveness and do you know all the different aspects? How do you forgive? How do you define your actions?
5 people like this
9 responses
@sigma77 (5385)
• United States
14 Jul 07
I will put it a different way. How about having an attitude towards life, including people and events, that gives you no reason to ever have to forgive anyone or anything? That is becuase you never take any offense with others or events. Therefore you don't get upset or angry with anything that happens in your world or the world in general. Then there is nothing to forgive in the first place and all is harmonous in your life. I believe it is a good way to live and anyone can live in peace and harmony with all.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Jul 07
Your harmony is one hand clapping and makes no sound of appreciation or dismay. In your philosophy you are disconnected from reality, if an event is caused, deliberate dangerous actions of another person, a mean spirited attack, are you saying that you have no civic responsibility to stop the attack? Are you willing to watch a child get molested, raped, beat and you are content to stand aside with blinders on. You and your child are being attacked and you offer no resistance you don't try to run or get away, you offer up your life as a sacrifice when a wave of swords come to kill the life you represent. Your harmony will end in your silence. Just the breeze of one hand clapping, the wind doesn't care and the world doesn't care. I respect your point of view, but being disengaged is also allowing evil to grow and flourish. I believe there is a non-violent way to create change. I'll think more about a non-violent way to create change as I write to others about forgiveness. Maybe I can find a way to write the wrongs and make the world turn in the right direction once again? ;) (Cheeky little grin) Thank You for your reply... Now if my one hand would happen to meet your one hand we might be able to show appreciation for the performance and get people to really think about the world around them. :)
2 people like this
@sigma77 (5385)
• United States
15 Jul 07
It seems to me that you are very fearful of your world as you look at it as if it all was evil. I did not say any of those things that you bring up. We were not talking about attacks and violence. I see the world much differently that you do. If you go out into the world expecting to encounter violence, that is exactly what you will get. The world is a lovely place, full of peace and harmony. And would you be able to forgive those who disrupted your life? In my world, there are no disruptions.
• United States
15 Jul 07
I'm glad that your world has no disruptions, thank you for such a quick response. I'm saying that in my world there are forces outside that are disrupting my life. I've known about these forces for a long time. Now the right way to deal with these diruptive forces are to use tools, not weapons, but tools the tools of words and laws. That is why the laws are created, to protect us, but then again you would have to know more about my story. I'll share more about my world and how others disrupted my world, I'd be glad to show you the truth.
2 people like this
• Canada
15 Jul 07
Hi Again, We seem to be bumping into each a lot more these days. Thank you for the acknowlegment of my original posting on this at the Perspectives site. In my view our ability to forgive is easier as we develop a capacity to understand and accept differences. In most religious/spiritual teachings there are common and Universal truths that can apply to any theology. One of the main tenaments in any religion...is an invitation to know our Creator...and embody Source's attribtues. From there we can choose to align ourselves with Source and become a co-creative force of Love and Light on this plane...if we decide to go that route. Some do not. However if we could do our best to express the attrubytes of our Creator there would be enough unconditional love to resolve all our human rights concerns. However, it is clear we have a long way to go in that department. With love as the foundation of our Being, it eventually becomes easier to accept, to understand, honor differences...and of course to forgive. If our Creator did not want each of us to learn how to find the light...shadows and darkness would never have been created. We need to have an opposite to CHOOSE from. From my perspective our Creator has such an unconditional capacity for love that we were given the unencumbered right of free will to the point that human beings can even choose not to believe in Source's existance if they choose to. To me that says volumes about unconditional love...acceptance and forgivenss. You said you wanted to explore the dimensions of forgiveness...well here is another dimension. Not being able to forgive keeps us stuck in the past. Until we learn how to detach from the past it makes it difficult to eliminate the suffering that still exists in this world. Forgiveness takes us to a different place. Think about all the people who are fighting wars...cultural wars, religious wars, political wars...you name it...many of them are fighting and killing in the name of their traditions. They are taught from birth that they must beleive as their ancestors believed...and this logic often perpetuates the suffering. Consider how many of these battles between ethnic groups have been going on for thousands of years...and to what end. Without forgivenss and detachment from the past and its horrendous events the cycle will continue. There is no religion that I know of that says...go kill your brethern in the name of God. No Creator with any amnount of unconditional love and acceptance would ever set that down as a decree...but many who claim to be the truthsayers have put the lies in place to serve their own purposes. All too often we particpate in attachement to the past when we attempt to determine for others what their path SHOULD be...from our perspective...rather than honoring their decisions as our Creator honors our right to choose. Another level of forgivenss is the healthy, liberating freedom that always follows afterwards. Detaching from the past...no matter what has occured (like the women in my post who forgave the murderer of her child) allows us to be free. Forgiveness for atrocities also becomes easier if there is a belief in Divine Justice...and I do believe that because of what I see in the 'what goes around comes around' principle in life on this plane. There is within psyics and metaphysics..a law of cause and effect..or the law of attraction..that cannot be denied. Sooner or later those who have done the most harm will have to come to terms with the cause and effect of their choices. Forgiveness comes when that reality sinks in...and we are able to accept that it is not our job to force accountability or attempt to control others...that will work itself out eventually in Divine Retribution or the Law of Attraction. Personally I absolutely believe in the Divine Order within our Universe...it is evident everywhere where we look. Consequently, I believe the multiple dimensions of forgiveness is one of the pathways to achieving greater enlightenment while we are here. Within the detachemt from energetic ties to the past comes a fuller comprehension that love is for the giving...not the taking. As we develop a capacity for greater love and forgivenss within ourselves...and our lives...more of it comes back to us. One final thing in this discussion about forgiveness...forgiving does not mean that we condone the behavior. Nor does it mean the person should not be held accountable. Without the systems we have in place (as distorted as they may be at times) society would fall into anarchy. Forgiveness in the context I am speaking is how we choose to grow our own souls within the collective Onesong. When I speak of detachment in human relationships I am not suggesting that there is a absence of caring or concern. Forgivenss is simply a choice we make...it is ours and ours alone. Some circumstances in life are horrific, unfair, unjust...and we often do not have any control over them and feel 'victimized.' We have all had that happen in one form or another. Some much worse than others...but still victimized. Having said that..we still can choose HOW we will react, respond, hold or to or realease the energy around the event. An inability to forgive keeps us hostage and often hostile. Whereas forgiveness liberates and provides the inner peace that comes from acceptance about what cannot be changed. The prayer of serenity says it all...God give me the wisdom to accept what cannot be changed, to change what I can...and the wisdom to know the difference. (Slight paraprhase there..but the message is clear.) Yes, I agree there are many dimensions to forgiveness. The capacity to forgive involves being willing to suspend value judgments about others and learning to relate to them form a postion of love rather than trying to control or judge them. No one knows for sure why others make the choices they do...and we never will until we all walk a mile in each other's shoes. Until we do that...our judgments of others and their actions will always be filtered through our own beliefs about right and wrong. In my experience perception is the worst filter because whether we will admit it or not...we all have a bias and it is founded on our beliefs. Opposing beliefs do not unify..they polarize..and that makes forgiveness a difficult thing to achieve. Multiple dimensions to forgiveness...you bet! But one can still choose to do it. Of course, as always...this is just my perspective.
• United States
15 Jul 07
I timed out my reply was once again lost, I ended with to Nobelly go where few others have gone. You'll have to intuit the rest of the missing post, it was a good reply describing and giving a great example... Too bad it is lost into the cyberworld of missing words.
• United States
15 Jul 07
Read my reply to Darkwing, How do you forgive a man bent on twisting the truth? I forgive him, and I can say or write it a million times, but as I seek accountability for his actions a million times I've been told that this proves I really haven't forgiven the liar. Excuse me? The liar never asked to be forgiven. He keeps taking his lies to the next level. When do we put a lid on the obvious lies of the obvious liars? Just like the war in Iraq, a lie left unpunished will cause great harm to individuals or nations. Our enemy is those that do not love the truth, and the biggest of these is found where? Seek ye' the truth and know, search your heart for the truth, search the scriptures for the truth, search men and churches for the truth, search the government of man for the truth. Find human rights and the defense of the human right and find the truth about humanity. What is the greatest lie ever told?
@herrbaggs (1308)
• United States
14 Jul 07
Forgive, that word falls into the same catagory as God bless. Nobody ever forgives they just ajust and try to forget. People are so full of crap that it is a wonder that this planet does not look like a giant cow pie.
• United States
15 Jul 07
God bless you airbaggs!
1 person likes this
@herrbaggs (1308)
• United States
15 Jul 07
Coming from you, gives it real meaning.
• United States
15 Jul 07
The world can be beautiful or disgusting, that is a perspective issue. There is no beauty in evil, and yet my world has seen plenty of evil. So I pray for Peace and Blessings, To grow out of the manure of the events that have been dumped upon my life. I have a little further down the road to go before good seeds are seen growing into a healthy and beautiful life. I'm still riding the wave, Sincerely, Gary
1 person likes this
@whyaskq (7532)
• Singapore
14 Jul 07
By forgiving, I have only one dimension - and that is to forget. When I forgive, I forget all that has happened and continue talking to the person whom I have forgiven. Even when the incident is mentioned again, there are no more emotions attached and I am at ease with it.
• United States
15 Jul 07
I'm sorry I forgot what I was going to write... Actually, releasing the emotions is good, the forgiving and forgetting how to get so upset is good, but this is a temporary state of being. Many times people find control of their emotions at a moment given in time. The danger is that through constant pressure all that was done for good could blow up and result in real harm in a future event. We are talking about true forgiveness, both personal and interpersonal. You can take a personal stand and claim that you forgive, but on an interpersonal level if the other person continues to act in ways that are harmful to others and themselves then you will remember and remember with a vengence. The thing about my writing and presenting this idea about interpersonal forgiveness (those acts that require other people to be accountable for true forgiveness) is that many people think about forgiveness in a personal way as a benefit to the individual as an individual action. Forgiveness is more than an individual action or act, true forgiveness requires true repentence a willingness on the part of the other person to 'wake up' to the harm that is or was caused. It is then that we can begin to heal emotional wounds. This thinking that I'm on deals with both small and major offenses. We know that some people will never get it and they should be watched for future acts of abuse. Let's say you have a family member that has sexually abused one of the children, we can not just provide lip service saying we forgive and forget about this past act. We need to enforce some rules and even require some punishment many people violate the rules of society and get away with their crimes, and this is what we have to change, the way in which we deal with violators of the law. Crimes against society are lies that lead to innocent people getting hurt. How many examples can I give you? How many should be forgiven and forgotten? Should we decide on who should be punished based on financial statements? Are you saying that we should dismantle the judicial system that there are no laws that can be violated? Are you protecting the criminals or the victims? My way of thinking is to protect the innocent and provide punitive punishment for the perpetrators of crimes. Let not one innocent person be convicted through false representations. Misleading statements should be exposed.
2 people like this
@whyaskq (7532)
• Singapore
15 Jul 07
Well, you put me to shame. Indeed you have a noble thought. I was only thinking of myself. lol.
• United States
15 Jul 07
I didn't mean to do that, I've been trying to say something and other voices kept writing over top of what I've been trying to espouse. Indeed I have a nobel thought, I've known this for a long time. One on one, I do communicate better than when groups try to influence what they perceive as flaws. Thank You for stopping by, and I look forward to participating in some of your discussions. ;)
1 person likes this
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
15 Jul 07
well if you read my responce to her I am not up to forgiviny him at all and he will never have a chance to ask me I just left it all behind. Saying out of sight out of mind!
• United States
15 Jul 07
Like my parents and the rest of my extended family, they will not ask to be forgiven, and I will not talk to them until they repent, this will be a long stand off. Until the lies are exposed and even then it might not make a difference. My forgiving them has nothing to do with how I will not allow them to hurt me or my family anymore. That pain over and over and over again, has finally taught me a valuable lesson, don't keep going back for more. You and your husband have seperated because you were betrayed, your trust was violated. You have every right to keep him at arms length or further. There is a whole lot of pain when involved in such breeches of trust. If other abuses happened that just adds layers of complications to an already bad issue. I stand with you as I stand against those that would hurt me, I didn't deserve to be hurt or abused, and out of my own self respect I will not lie to myself and accept what others try to make me believe. They tell me that I have an unforgiving heart. They don't see my real heart and the need to protect myself from further damamge. I sense that in your writings that you talk of not forgiving your husband, what I see is that you are protecting yourself from further abuse, and your husband has abused you emotionally and you know he can abuse you again and will abuse you again if he is allowed that opportunity. We are wounded by people that we love, the very people that should love us. We can not allow ourselves to be hurt again. The more pain they inflict the more damage is done to our spirits and that is not good. We are strong, and we are weak, we are victims, and we are meak. We stand our ground, and we work together, we are part of a greater community. We see, and we know, the best direction for us to grow, the path we must travel, the trail is not faint, as we follow, we know where to go and what to do. We use common sense as a guide. Peace, and many Blessings, Sincerely, Gary
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
15 Jul 07
I left him behind years ago. and went on with a new hubby that helped me out of what other one had put me through. Only time I heard about him again was after we (daughter) and I found the 3 boys then the oldest just had to find real dad that was such a dissaster for my middle boy HE dont even want to see any kid pics with him in them. But I am glad I am close to this one He even finally got transfreed here to be close to us. Altho now he is on the way to Iraq I know he will come back and then he says he is going to retire! Blessing to you and yours
@Darkwing (21588)
15 Jul 07
I agree with you... what's the point of bearing a grudge against somebody you care for. It makes you as miserable as it makes them, and I feel it's much better to forgive and move on, for everybody concerned. Also, I feel the act of apology is just as important as forgiving. It says a lot for your character. Brightest Blessings.
• United States
15 Jul 07
Indeed we don't want to bear grudges, but there are some violations against the human personality that we have nothing left to build with or bridge. Here, I've been trying to write an example for Perspectives and her post. Allow me to run this past you. I'm a witness to an accident, you read about this above with the first post. So here I am dealing with the issues as a result of another person's actions. I want to offer help to the police so that everything is understood, how the accident happened and ultimately who was the cause of the accident. I'm dealing with the situation when I hear this profanity, I turn around and recognize the person and their vehicle where this profanity is coming from. As I turn around I pivot to complete the task of making sure the culprit of the accident remains at the scene, I get this warning, "hey! Watch Out!" A car had driven so close up behind me that I could kneel on the bumper of the car. This car was driven way too close and too fast to be that close from the distance that they had to travel. I could write a chapter all about this. Anyway I had to choose, would I allow my instincts to do what everyother person on Earth would do in such a situation. What would your response be to a car sitting just behind you? I mean really close behind you that you almost faint because the object is that surprisingly close. You look in through the windshield and see the character of the person behind the wheel, you know this was deliberate, you are attacked by an antagonist. The car comes to rest the stop was quick and smooth, no lights, no horn, nothing said about getting of the way. Just sitting there, with that look from the person behind the wheel. I gathered myself up, thought about coming down with praying hands upon the hood of the car, (a thought is not a crime, that isn't how I acted.) I also thought about kicking the car. I quickly dismissed my thoughts and forgave the person for driving so recklessly. I then walked over to the drivers door. A asked a few questions through a window that was only rolled down just a little about an inch and a half. I asked, "What are you trying to do? Are you trying to cause a pedestrian accident? Don't we have enough problems here?" This was the time that an officer of the court should clearly identify themselves as such and then I could explain my actions. Instead the lying detective that had lied in another court case silenced my voice. I was not permitted to discuss what happened at this scene and my witness testimony became a crime.
@shrekk (561)
• Pakistan
15 Jul 07
I don't define or have very complicated notions about forgiving. For me, it's just a religious command that "forgiveness is better while revenge is not unfair." That explains it. By taking revenge, you might do justice but you won't make a difference to the world. By forgiving you do, and it gives you control over yourself as well, changes the way you look at things. You become more positive and therefore, more beneficial to yourself as well as to the people areound you.
• United States
15 Jul 07
Again you are talking or writing about personal forgiveness as opposed to actually getting someone to repent and ask to be forgiven of their actions, what I call interpersonal forgiveness. What can be seen in the heart of an individual or the heart of the offender. We can know the true heart condition when we look to how they write, and what they say. I can show you many examples. One about my own experience and my personal example was written and lost. I'll try to show you this thought in detail again, if the powers that be allow me to write out my thoughts and post them.
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
15 Jul 07
As I see it, TGWB, ther is no great mystery to the act of forgiving. You simply have to say the words-and mean them.
• United States
15 Jul 07
That is for personal forgiveness what about interpersonal relationships. If the person asking for forgiveness keeps doing the same thing to be forgiven for; over, and over again this too is a type of false lip service that proves they are not worthy of being our friend or of receiving our trust. Lip service is a two way street, and forgiveness really being forgiven is beyond the actions of two individuals.
@patgalca (14557)
• Orangeville, Ontario
15 Jul 07
I agree with Lakota. I try and just put things in the past. I can forgive as long as it doesn't happen again. That is an issue I have. You don't mean "I'm sorry" if you are going to do it again. But I am willing to put it behind me, depending on who the person is. I have had people stop talking to me completely, in most cases for reasons I don't know because nothing was ever said. I just had to assume the reason and realize that they could not forgive and forget. And when they do that, how can I forget? In the case of my husband, I get a lot of "I'm sorry"s that are empty because I know he will do it again, but because I love him and for the sake of my marriage, I am willing to put it behind me. I can't say I forget because I don't forget anything. As Dr. Phil says, women have long memories. I will forgive for the sake of a relationship or friendship, but I don't think I could ever forget, especially if the incident is repeated.
• United States
15 Jul 07
Indeed as you read my reply to Lakota, one thing you point out is the level of the offense. Are you talking just minor stuff, he forgot to take out the trash? Or something more major? You know to forgive him for taking out the local trash, to that club where he won't take you, that is a lot different and more severe than just minor, I promised you a rose garden and instead we are raising a family and a bunch of vegetables. I like fresh vegies by the way... :) We should all work on social skills and being courteous of other people's feelings, and we should not lie about things, these are the seeds of weeds. So some people keep planting bad seeds instead of knowing that they can't get away with that or they can't sneak that by you... But they don't learn... We have to find a way to teach them the truth... heheeeheee... ;)