My Experience with Forgiveness Mar 11, 2009 7:23:29 GMT -8
Post by Susan Peabody on Mar 11, 2009 7:23:29 GMT -8
If you decide that forgiveness is for you, it might be helpful to realize that letting go of anger does not mean you have to like the person who hurt you or continue to let that person persecute you. Actually, you don’t even have to be around people who hurt you if you don’t want to.
For years I attended a church where another member absolutely hated me. I loved to talk about my involvement in 12-step programs and she was so narrow-minded that she spoke up against me. “I am tired of hearing about those steps,” she used to say. One day she berated me at a committee meeting and I quietly left. I went home and wrote a letter to the pastor tending my resignation on the committee. I ended the letter with the lines, “You know, Christ asks us to love our neighbors and our enemies alike, but some people you just have to love from a distance.”
Furthermore, forgiveness is not a constant state. It ebbs and flows like the tide. Sometimes you feel good about those who hurt you, and other times you feel the anger all over again. But this doesn’t mean you have not progressed. I’ve found that, as long as I ask God for the strength to release my anger, or announce it in my support group that I am going to “turn it over,” or tell my therapist I am really tired of these resentments and want them to go away, the anger comes less and less often.
Please note, despite my own personal feelings about the value of forgiveness as a therapeutic and healing device, and the right moral choice for me, I feel strongly that it is a very personal choice and that no one should be told to forgive when they’re not ready. They shouldn’t be shamed by others, and they should not shame themselves. They should just push themselves gently in the right direction.