I asked a good friend of mine, on Google+ if he would like to be a Guest Blogger on my blog *Filtered Sunlight*.
He loved the idea. This is his post to the blog. He would like feedback. Many of you know and love this person.
I read somewhere that anger and resentment are poisons for the one who holds them (not an exact quote). This statement resonates with me quite strongly, since I have stuff to forgive. I understand, on a logical level, that the statement is true, and yet it's hard to put into practice, it seems, at least for me.
Why is it that I find it difficult to "forgive"? It is related to the
other part of forgiveness, often mentioned in the same context, and that's forgetting. Forgive and forget. One is supposed to also forget, if he/she is to truly forgive, but the people I have to truly forgive, I cannot let my guard down. I will forever, no matter how naive I am (and I am, very naive), be vigilant, and direct my vigilant attention and suspicion towards the people that have wronged me. I can never truly forget, and that's why I am not sure I actually forgave, either, though I don't feel the resentment anymore. Is that forgiveness? Shouldn't forgiveness arise from a conscious decision, rather than come as a simple consequence of the passing of time, coupled with physical separation? I don't know, because I can only see inside my own head, so when people talk about forgiveness, they have their own ideas of what that really entails.
Most of the things I need to forget stem from my childhood, and the person I would have to forgive is my father. I have absorbed abuse that changed me, forever. I have lived through terror and humiliation. Now that I am an adult, can take care of myself and don't depend on my father in any way (and am aware of this, of me being independent), I don't even feel any need for forgiving him. I feel nothing towards him - it's an equanimous state, most definitely not characterized by oblivion (fading from memory). Should this forgiveness be absolution (exoneration) of his actions? I can't do that, either; I feel that it would be unfair towards that little boy, frightened and small, a boy that was deeply changed by the abuse perpetuated towards him. I cannot absolve my father in his name. That's something only he can do, but it's too late for that, I am afraid.
What does forgiveness really mean for you? I would like to know. Not the stereotypical, feel-good definitions of it, but what you truly think forgiveness should be. GS