Forgive & Forget

June 6, 2007 at 9:04 am (Uncategorized)

Ok, I confess – my tv was on e last night. *blush* Anyway, this forgive and forget show was on and I think it’s crap. But it got me thinking on the whole concept of forgiveness. Can we all just be that good to forgive everyone?
I’m not talking about breaking someone’s vase or knocking their car. It’s the huge things like cheating, stealing, betraying, lying (not the white lies mind you) and other life-changing stuff.
I once read a piece in Time magazine about a woman priest who resigned because she couldn’t forgive the man who killed her daughter. Not forgiving, she said, was alien to the teachings of the Church so therefore she had to resign.
Is that a bit extreme? Or was she just being brutally honest about something we’re all expected to do: forgive?
I’ve forgiven people who have hurt me so badly I wanted to take them out (ok, I’m dramatic when I get emotional ok). I’ve never forgotten, but I have forgiven.
But what would I do if, say, my dad cheated on my mom (he’s not; he talks in his sleep) or my best friend was stealing money and other things from me for tik after I’d tried to help her stop (she’s not…um…at least I don’t think she is…). What if my sister made moves on my man or a trusted colleague ripped off an all-important story idea?
Since the nice psychologist lady has already established I have serious trust issues, I know I’d struggle to forgive. I wouldn’t just be the bigger person (believe me, I’ve tried and it sucks because the person will just go back and stick the knife in deeper) or let it go.
I wouldn’t be able to ‘set myself free through forgiveness’ because I’d be lying to myself.
And, anyway, would it be so bad to say, “Screw that, I don’t forgive you”?



  1. Louisa said,

    Forgiving is the very important Tobes. if you can’t do that eventually the anger will eat you up from the inside.

  2. tbhanks said,

    I know everyone says that Louisa, but is it real. I mean, do you really forgive the person or do you only say so because you’re expected to forgive the person?

    It’s something I constantly think about when I read stuff in newspapers and think of what I’d do if it happened to me.
    Would I forgive my mother’s killer or my sister’s rapist, etc? Somehow I don’t think I will and I don’t know if it’s a bad thing to say, “sorry, i can’t forgive”. It’s something I constantly struggle with because I know you’re supposed to be forgiving and all that.

  3. Louisa said,

    It’s very real Toby…

    I don’t want want to sound like a complete nutcase (errrm…oh hell, what do I care) but i just recently ynderwent some regression therapy. And what I came to realise is how much I was still influenced by things that I was carrying round with me for yeeeeears.

    It’s really true, I will vouch for that. 🙂

  4. tbhanks said,

    Dont think you sound like a nut Louisa!

    What is regression therapy actually?

  5. Louisa said,

    Well, in my case it entailed being put under a sort of hypnosis. Then you get “taken back”. I had to “relive” my brith, and some very traumatic early childhood memories. Once you’re in the moment, the therepy works two fold.

    1) You get to express any emotions that you may have about it, which you may have kept hidden at that stage for whatever reason. This can be quite intense – it’s hard to beleive how much evens of 20 years back can still upset you! (So you get that release on pent-up stuff)

    2) Secondly you get to “rewrite” it almost. This could mean saying to that person in the memory how that made you feel and to forgive them, even if it’s for yourself and not for them. I had this done through a church, and the therapist would at this stage tell me to “see” what Jesus was doing to make it better.

    It’s not like the memories are changed when you snap out of it – that would be way to wierd. It’s just that it doesn’t have a sharp edge anymore. Not numb, but healed somehow?

    I don’t know if I’m explaining this very well – but anyway, I’m glad I did it. Alot of good has come from it. 🙂

  6. madamm said,

    I know that little things manifest themselves later in life in quite a big way. I also find it very hard to forgive, but in many cases I do it just so that I don’t have to deal with it later.

  7. tbhanks said,

    That sounds a bit like running away though, doesn’t it Mrs M? At some point it’s sure to come and bite one in the bum?

    That sounds incredibly interesting Louisa. I must admit, I’m a bit skeptical about therapy but haven’t tried it so can’t be really sure about it’s benefits. My one occasion with an industrial psychologist didn’t really inspire faith in the profession as I disagreed with a lot of what she said. I dunno, maybe I’m just too crazy?!

  8. Louisa said,

    Tobes, some are just better than others. Having been a problem child of note and a self-professed crazy for some time now I can tell you that about 50% are brilliant, and the other 50% couldn’t help themselves out of a wet paper bag.

    If you feel the need to see someone like that, then it is perfectly okay to shop around till you find one that’s worth it. (Remember: You are still the customer!)


  9. madamm said,

    I guess you’re right, it is running away, I just hate conflict so much though!

  10. tbhanks said,

    I’m a bit of a conflict-dodger myself Mrs M but when it needs to be let out, it must be let out.

    You’re right Louisa, one should shop around but there are three things stopping me:
    1) my life is actually ok and I don’t have weird dreams or stuff like that. The occasional weepy moment but nothing any girl wouldn’t have.
    2) Cost, cost, cost!
    3) I can’t see myself sharing my life with a stranger. I just can’t picture it AT ALL!

  11. Louisa said,

    Are you not kind of sharing it here right now?

    I wouldn’t have done it either if the medical aid didn’t pay to be honest Tobes, and the last one was the church lady which didn’t cost me a cent – and I’m not even in that church!

  12. tbhanks said,

    I do share lots here, of course, but I also hold a lot back. I do have difficulty sharing my personal stuff with others – no matter how much I love them and are close to them, it’s not easy. So when I do, it’s like a really big deal and I’m always scared I’ll end up being hurt in the end. I’m sure none of this makes sense!!!
    Now you’re really going to think I’m nuts, hey Louisa. And I don’t even belong to a church. Any church!

  13. Louisa said,

    You’re not nuts Toby… 🙂
    That sounds normal to me.

  14. tbhanks said,

    thanks Louisa. You’re too kind.

  15. Gnome said,

    Thanks for the entry Toby. Was also watching Forgive & Forget last night (until I found something more constructive to do). It is SO DIFFICULT to forgive. To truly forgive I mean. And I’m not really sure that it’s something you can just decide to do, you know. You can’t just wake up one day and have forgiven people.
    And I think in an extreme situation like someone you love being murdered etc, I’m not sure I would be able to forgive either. The worst is when someone has wronged you and doesn’t admit it. It’s so much easier to forgive someone if they actually admit that they have hurt you.
    What works for me is ranting and raving about whatever is bothering me for months until all of it is out (it really helps to have a husband who doesn’t get sick of you talking about the same thing over and over again). Eventually you reach a point where you don’t feel angry and hurt anymore; where you could see the person who hurt you without having a break-down.

  16. tbhanks said,

    Oh Gnome – bless you. I was starting to think I’m a seriously emotionally challenged person. It is human after all then, to not be able to forgive and just get to a point of not breaking down, as you so. Thanks for this.

  17. madamm said,

    I agree Gnome, it works to get things out of your system.

  18. Israel Izz Mlambo said,

    We shouldn’t offend. In that way, we won’t have anything to forgive and forget.

  19. tbhanks said,

    If only it was that easy Israel. If only it was that easy…

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