One of the aspects of forgiveness which I think cannot be truly about forgiveness is the “forgive and forget” bit. I am quite sure, thanks to my appalling memory these days in fibro-fog that I really have forgiven and forgotten and forgotten I’ve forgiven, but there are some things done to a person that they simply cannot forget. I think the “forget” side of forgiveness is not that we no longer remember what was done, or not done, but that we do not allow ourselves to dwell on it and become angry and resentful about it all over again.
Again this goes back to forgiveness being an act of the will and not a mere feeling or emotion. In fact the will has to fight those emotions quite hard at times.
But there’s another aspect of forgiveness that to be honest, I hadn’t thought of. Dr Ray Guarendi talked about how some people consider themselves forgiving when they forgive the other person magnanimously for something that doesn’t even need forgiving. I must admit I don’t think I have come across this, but I assume it happens. I assume its those kind of people who forgive you for not getting out of your hospital bed to give them a lift to the pub or something like that.
I think most people who struggle with forgiveness do so because what they must forgive is genuinely serious.
One other aspect of this, and it’s something Dr. Guarendi has talking about now and again, and that’s the fact that so few people say sorry any more. The general view is the victim of that other person’s horrible behaviour should simply carry on as though it never happened and the perpetrator should make an apology or attempt to make it right, but then I guess, that’s just something else we have to forgive.
As a mother though, I am trying to teach the children to say sorry. It’s one of those things that they resist doing. Not when they are little, but as they get older. What’s at the root of that I wonder? Bloomin’ concupiscence who needs it?