How to forgive someone?

64 posts in this topic

19 hours ago, BigUtahMan said:

I have found forgiveness is a skill that must be practiced, and often.
Forgiveness is more of a decision of you not trying to carry the weight of being wronged, than relieving the offender of anything we otherwise want them to feel.
Also my faith also teaches me, Christ paid for their sin, and suffered for my emotions. So ignoring those facts is insulting my God and my faith which is now a me issue regardless of the offense I suffered through. My resolution needs to be found through my faith in God, not in the actions of others.

Absolutely! We must die daily to our flesh which includes harboring on hurts, etc. forgiveness is a must!

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I see life as a long list of choices, some we regret, others we don't.

After moving to Canada to be with my wife, I brought my mother to live with us, we paid for her rent, we specifically got a place that catered to her. Then the market in Alberta crashed, wife and I both lost our jobs, living on EI, mother acts like Gollum with her face into a registered sex offender from Georgia who diddled with his own daughter, who also happens to be her fourth cousin or whatever. She didn't care that wife and I put ourselves on the line to bring her to Canada, being on the hook for sponsoring her for PR, every penny she ever took from the government we had to each pay back every cent. If she killed someone running them over with a car, we'd have to pay for it.. thats the oath for sponsorship undertaking, and rather than the 3 years my wife was on the hook for me, parents were at least 10 years. Nonetheless, I did it without question, my wife had even less reservations than I did for a mother that wasn't even hers. In the end, mother locks herself away upstairs with her head up this guys ass in a long distance relationship, we can't even beg her out of her cave to spend time with the family. Shes had a number of health issues including diabetes and such (lifetime smoker, her bp was 220/150 when we convinced her to see a doctor), none of which she wants to address, she decides for this guy she'll take herself off her heart meds, go work out like mad at Goodlife, all to the praise of her Goodlife trainers, winds up in the hospital a month later with congestive heart failure due to taking herself off her meds. The day she needs to go to the hospital my wife and I tell her lets take her now shes like naaaah, but then gets mad at us when we aren't there later to call emerg. Anyways, long story short, we were in a huge rent to own townhome in downtown Calgary so very expensive, she decides she's so involved with this guy she's gonna screw everyone else off, ignores us, doesn't do anything around the house making me and my wife pick up for her and our toddler at the same time. This mother decides she's gonna move just after we sign a new lease, but agrees to pay her portion as she's on the lease. She knows we got the place for her and couldn't afford it on our own while on EI. Doesn't care. Moves, gets mad at my wife for not helping her move in a nasty email later despite wife being at a wedding in another province that week (mother spontaneously moved up the date), then when she gets to Georgia she says she isnt paying her part of the rent as she said she would, meaning we were screwed and going to be homeless, and legally can't do anything as she's in another country now. Wife and I hunkered down and took several jobs to find another place.. the market still only had a 1% vacancy rate, people slow to run away from a recession, but we lost our place and had to throw things in storage and made a deal with a hotel. I warned my mother at the time that if she screwed us despite all we did for her and caused us to be put on the street (not just my wife and I but our daughter as well) I would disown her. The cousin she was with was quite wealthy and owned his own business, she was making bank from a work at home job, and didn't want to fork over even a few hundred for her responsibility of being on a lease with us. Her excuse was "it's just time for me to worry about me, mommy can't be there for you every time". And that was the final straw, she was disowned.

So I can forgive.. I just won't forget, and I made sure everyone in the family knows what she pulled, and for a diddling pedo. I won't know when she dies, and quite honestly, I don't care. My father died when I was 10 and I'm content knowing I have no parents at 34, but I have a beautiful family of my own and we're all the stronger for what happened. Well out of that situation and doing fantastic. Personally, I don't feel like I need any deity or belief system to cope with my issues, our own strength showed to be more than adequate. It's just unfortunate I had to be stuck with a pathetic family, and a worthless ex-mother.

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“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” ~Mahatma Gandhi
Many of us are or have been emotional eaters, an attempt to soothe our souls with food, maybe grow a physical buffer of fat to insulate us from the emotional assault. Now that you have had WLS no longer can you turn to food in times of crisis. How do you forgive someone when every Fiber of your being resists? How do you look at them lovingly when you still have the memory of their unloving action? How do you let go of the way you wish things had worked out if only they made a different choice? After all, no one is purely bad, and everyone carries their own pain which influences the decisions they make. This doesn’t condone their thoughtless, insensitive, or selfish decisions, but it makes them easier to understand.

I always forgive. I must or I suffer, or cannot let go. I forgive myself first by realizing I've issues too, that I'm imperfect. If they abused me, I allowed it but why? Once I learn the why, I understand myself, the understanding helps me forgive. Then I can forgive them, the process is the same. I understand them, then I forgive them. It doesn't mean I condone what they did or accept the negativity of the situation, nor does it mean I want them near me, but it better than thinking I'm imperfect and tolerating their bad behavior or, harboring continual anger. To me, not forgiving feels worse to me than to them, it just keeps me in a constant state of negativity, as if suspended in the reoccurring memory of how I was wronged - and that's just no good for my mental health or spirit.

To me personally, people who cannot forgive are lost, and that's terribly self destructive and sad. It's worth the work and effort to get to the other side.

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I have a few modes when confronted with something that could potentially need forgiving:


Set aside but remember

Write them off

Forgiveness has been over-sold as the way to inner peace, possibly as a part of the Christian philosophy. On the other hand, to forgive, I need to find what was done understandable and see the perpetrator working towards self-improvement. That goes for myself, too.

Usually, I remember and act with caution in the future. If someone has repeatedly backed out on their promises, I won't be giving their promises any value in the future. And I won't set them up to fail by asking for promises.

Then there are people whose actions have been actively toxic/harmful and those are the people I write out of my life and count myself lucky to be rid of.

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