Forgiveness is the authentic action or true process of forgiving or being forgiven, implying… both, ourselves and/or others.

Forgiveness - generally - is regarded as a conscious, deliberate choice and decision to release feelingsThus, genuinely and honestly letting go! of resentment, bitterness, outrage, wrath or vengeance toward ourselves, a specific individual or particular group of people who has harmedRegardless whether the harming that we justify for ourselves is real (fact) or perceived (our particular point of view) us, despite of whether they actually deserve our forgiveness or not. Forgiveness is the act of pardoning a perpetrator, literally meaning “to let go” and not demanding the payment of “debts”.

However, forgiveness is not

  • glossing things over,
  • denying the seriousness of an offense,
  • forgetting and/or pretending that an offense never happen,
  • condoning or excusing offenses,
  • allowing others to take advantageFor example… You have lend money to someone, but s/he wasted it and cannot repay as promised. You might choose to forgive him/her by not harboring resentment, not revisiting the matter with him/her continually, and - perhaps - you might even decide to cancel the debt altogether. You might also choose/decide not to loan him/her any more money. and
  • imply forgiving yourself and others without a valid reason.People (yourself included) who are guilty of willful, malicious misdeeds and who refuse to acknowledge their mistakes, change their ways and apologize to those whom they have hurt (i.e. an act of repentance), are not actually worthy of being forgiven.

To forgive, or not to forgive.

Forgiveness means letting go of the past. ~ Gerald Jampolsky & The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. ~ Mahatma Ghandi

When we are a victim of cruel mistreatment by someone who point blankly refuse to either apologize or even admit to what s/he has done… let go of the anger and abandon the rage! While not excusing the offense, we can refuse to be spiritually contaminated and consumed by the anger and rage that we experience as a result of the “unfairness of it all”. We can take comfort in knowing that a time will comeEverything come to pass at some stage, both the good and the bad times. Often much sooner than anticipated at first. that we will no longer feel the deep pain or hurt that is burdening us now. Providing that… we let go and no longer persist on clinging to the hurt. Also… Karma is a real b%^$h!In other words, that what we sow, so shall we reap.

The following suggestions might - also - help and contribute towards authentic forgiveness…

  1. Remember and realize what forgiveness actually entitles. Not condoning nor pretending that it never happened, it's simply just let it go.
  2. Recognize and focus on the benefits of forgiving. Letting go of anger and resentment, helps us to remain calm, improve our health and increase our happiness.
  3. Be empathetic. We are imperfect, and just as we appreciate being forgiven, we should likewise forgive the mistakes of others.
  4. Understand the context, the bigger picture and avoid dissecting or over thinking. Although it may not seem likely at first, the perpetrator might also be a victim of another set of circumstances.
  5. Be realistic. When we have a cause to complain, determine its severity, prioritize and - when minor enough - continue putting up with one another, rather than to proof a point.
  6. Act quickly. Work towards forgiving as soon as possible and don't let anger fester for too long.
  7. Forgive every perceived slight. Quite often, rather than pardoning a so-called perpetrator, we may need to admit that we had no valid cause for being offended in the first place.

Although forgiveness might help to repair any damaged relationship, it doesn’t obligate us to reconcile with the person or persons who harmed us, nor does it release a perpetrator from his/her ethical accountabilities and legal obligations.Forgiveness does not shield any perpetrator from the consequences of his/her choices, decisions and actions taken.

The actual value, real meaning and authentic purpose of forgiveness, is bringing the forgiver peace of mind that frees us from corrosive anger and guilt. While there is still some lively ongoing debates over whether true forgiveness requires positive feelings toward the perpetrator, the general consensus - currently - is that forgiveness at least involves the releasing of deeply seated and toxic emotions & feelings held. In this way, it empowers us to recognize the pain we are suffering, without letting that pain define who we are, enabling us to heal and move on with our life's.

It is quite difficult to really understand the full extent of forgiveness, let alone to actually practice it. The following TED-talk is one of the better examples to illustrate forgiveness in action…

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  • Last modified: 22 December, 2018 @ 1:16pm
  • by Jan Viljoen