Thursday, February 26, 2009

[forgiveness] powerful weapon in the right hands

‘The Tree of Forgiveness ’, 1882, by Edward Coley Burne-Jones. Wonder why artists are all coy about the male but are happy to show all the female? Just asking.

Cherie wrote about forgiveness:

The ones listed are relevant to the comments on my previous post:

* Aids psychological healing through positive changes in affect

* Improves physical and mental health

* Restores a victim’s sense of personal power

Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself. It is not something you do for someone. It is not complicated. It is simple. To sum up it takes a great deal of courage to forgive someone and move on.

I have two main ideas on file [not my own] to add to that:

Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

If someone hurts us, either that person never knows he’s hurt us or else he just goes away and leaves us to suffer. Where once we were going along happily, now someone has made us angry, depressed and seeking revenge.

This then makes us bitter.

Does this person pay for his crime against us? No way. Do we pay for his crime? Yes, every time, through loss of balance, loss of mood and loss of health. In the end, he wins and we lose.
Only we should choose how we feel.

Forgiveness is the way to say:
"Nobody is going to hurt me and control my feelings, even in his absence. I make the choice whether to be hurt or not. In the end, he is the unfortunate one, not me."

By rethinking the meaning of forgiveness, we can become emotionally freer, calmer and generally a more pleasant person. Power over oneself is the key to a calmer, more balanced life.

This last was a paraphrasing of Philip McGraw.

My view of forgiveness is more aggressive than Cherie's. It can be a powerful weapon and not only to harm but to rebuild yourself.


CherryPie said...

I agree with all your thoughts on forgiveness except for the last sentence!

I do agree that forgiveness can be a weapon, but only a defensive weapon.

If used aggressively, it is not forgiveness but something else...

Forgiveness doesn't harm, it has the capability of rebuilding both people.

Of course that won't happen if the forgiven person doesn't acknowledge the forgiveness or if the victim chooses not to outwardly express the have forgiven the transgressor.

I could discuss this for hours ;-)

Thanks for the link!

James Higham said...

I could discuss this for hours ;-)

We could. :)