Forgiveness Is a Rare Thing

We’ve all been insulted in life.

We’ve all been betrayed and disappointed.

We’ve all been hurt in some way or many ways by those people we loved or cared for; by those we expected better of, and demanded more from.

Over the course of our life, such disappointment will occur countless times. We’ll be let do more often than we’d like. We’ll be brought to tears, and bewilderment, and anger. We’ll be left asking: “Why?”

When such happens the natural reaction is to hate and form grudges. It’s to gain some sort of vengeance against those who harmed us and those even who allowed it. Of course, between the yelling and screaming, or the plotting and hating, we demand an apology. We say reconciliation is not possible without it; that if they truly regret what they’ve done and are willing to do what is necessary “to win back” our trust, then an apology is necessary. We’re owed it. We deserve it.

Receiving an apology is not rare at all. People apologize all the time.

But what of what happens afterwards?

Is the relationship repaired? Is the wound mended?

As so many say, “I’ll forgive, but I won’t forget.”

The problem with forgiveness, is that so frequently it involves very little forgiving. We accept apologies and do say that all is well. But it’s not. Because the wrong committed has created a debt to be repaid. And apology notwithstanding, that debt rarely feels to us repaid.

And so we continue secretly or overtly hating the person who committed whatever injustice in our minds. We continue treating them as second class, as people beneath us because of what they have done, and whenever possible, and perhaps far more frequently, we do not hesitate to remind them the wrong they once committed; that though we may have done this wrong recently, or that wrong just now, it wasn’t worse than what they did. It wasn’t as bad as what they have done.

But that’s not forgiveness at all.

It’s not any better than what they had done to us. And in their wrong we found excuse to become as bad as them; to be worse even in the strange pleasure and enjoyment we have gained from feeling like the victim; from playing their moral superior.

True forgiveness is something else. It’s the realization that no harm was ever done; that only in our weakness did whatever thing they did hurt us.

Only in our weakness was there need of apology at all.

Read more at The Last Broken Home, a self development blog dedicated to the journey from teen depression to self esteem.

Central to the site is the idea that all people all people, regardless of parental participation and quality, are raised in an environment that in some way proves an obstacle to their full and complete emotional and mental maturity; that the tendency for anxiety and depression, indecision and stagnation found in most adults is best explained through the learned behaviors of their youth, and therefore best addressed there in others.


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