Be integral and constant with who you are and acknowledge the inescapable inevitability that what lies outside of you will not be. The first is challange enough but by doing so you are positioned to enjoy and accept what pleseantly arrives and discount most of the rest.
Never forgive anyone who has not made restitution.
Tom, “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” Mahatma Gandhi.
Life doesn’t have to be, and is unlikely to be, “fair”. Sometimes letting go is more important than getting even, which is often what focusing on restitution is about. Forgiveness sometimes has less to do with the one who harmed you, than with freeing yourself from the self-harm of holding on to anger.
Remorse in the offender may or may not be encouraged by withholding forgiveness; but as withholding forgiveness harms YOU, it just maintains conflict.
An eye is not restitution.
If it costs the perpetrator nothing as penance for their crime, they have actually gained by their deed. Why would they care if you ‘forgive’ them when they got away with their crime?
Forgiveness without restitution reminds me of the comparison between prayer and a rocking chair: It gives you something to do and might make you feel better but it won’t get you anywhere.
You are missing the point. Holding on to anger in the name of justice which harms you, is simply deciding in favor of self-harm.
Forgiveness frees YOU at times, not the person you are angry with. That person may or may not change, ever; taking care of yourself is a greater responsibility that trying to take care of justice or someone else’s moral development. This is not about feeling better, this is about care for your own soul and life.
I agree that you shouldn’t hold on to anger. I never suggested otherwise.
Just don’t forgive someone who has not made restitution for their crime. It protects you from them in the future.
If you don’t forgive them, you are holding on to the offense. What emotion encourages that, if not anger?
Not forgiving someone does not protect you, it maintains a vulnerability and a sore spot which can be poked, and which can adversely affect other relationships and one’s outlook and possibilities in life; it’s baggage; let it go, to release yourself from its burden.
So you *were* falsely implying I was connecting anger into this somehow. That was a mistake. I never mentioned anger and specifically discounted it.
Why hold on to the offense? Self-protection. The offender (or someone like them) could do the same thing. Learn from your victimization so that you might be less likely to be victimized again.
It isn’t a vulnerability: It’s a shield.
It isn’t baggage: It’s a diploma.
No Tom, I was not falsely implying anything; I was giving you my honest feedback, with friendly intent. I am saddened if you interpreted my intent as otherwise. I had and have no wish to inspire anger or hostility.
Your original post said much more than, learn from an experience; you said, insist on restitution before you forgive. But the condition you would set (requiring restitution) binds the one withholding forgiveness, as much or more than the offender.
Not forgiving someone who has committed a crime against you is no shield that they will not continue to victimize you, bullying is in the same category, the bully keeps coming back. what a person need to do that won’t let go is to identify his/her own demons, until we clear our own inner demons we cannot forgive or forget. look at the movie Dead Man Walking and try to understand the message in the movie.
I disagree with this.
Both my parents had Narcissistic Personality Disorder and actively sabotaged my schooling and career choice. For example, one semester, my mother found my calendar, where I had listed exams. My mother intentionally picked fights with me as I was heading-off to school to take exams. I was upset and I did not do as well as I could have. My mother was trying to get me to flunk out of school. She failed. I could see on my mother’s face that she got some form of sick pleasure out of trying her hardest to really damage me.
My brother was the Golden Child Who Could Do No Wrong. I was the Evil B*tch. When my brother was in college, my parents caught him abusing prescription drugs. They also discovered how my brother got the drugs–one of his friends stole his father’s prescription pad. My parents did absolutely nothing. They acted as if nothing happened. I contrast this with the time my mother found a piece of a dried fern on the floor of my bedroom. She accused me of smoking pot (I’m allergic to it–I’d never have it around.) My brother is a functioning alcoholic and has malignant narcissistic personality disorder–a real a** h***. My brother is a high-paid engineer in a Fortune 1000 company. He has the reputation of being a real suck-up to management and for treating support staff badly.
When I became seriously injured, due to a work-related illness, and my doctors (several are considered true authorities in the field), my father and brother refused to believe it. They claimed that I was making it all up. I did get SSDI (extremely difficult for a young, successful professional) and a large Workers’ Compensation settlement (the 2nd largest settlement in my state at the time).
My mother refused to go to an elder law attorney to have a proper estate plan made. This is important when a disabled adult stands to inherit a piece of an estate. A good attorney can create an estate plan that works when the siblings can not get along (saving lots of grief and attorney’s fees) and can qualify her for Medicaid much sooner and protect the interests of the disabled adult. My attorney told me that my mother’s will kit estate plan is a prescription for trouble.
I have absolutely nothing to do with my family of origin. My extended family also broke-off contact with me. They think I am wrong for deciding to have nothing to do with my immediate family.
Should I forgive them? NO! They have *never* apologized for what they have done–they have *never* apologized for even 10% of the evil that they have done.
Instead, I have chosen to accept them for who they are. They are really rotten people–people I would have worked hard to stay clear of had they not been family. I have decided to live life as full as I can, with respect to my ongoing health problems. I have a roof over my head, food in my belly, good companions, wonderful doctors and a purpose. I live modestly, but comfortably.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *