I often hear people say how important it is to forgive those who have wronged us but how do I forgive the unforgiveable? I have been a victim of many types of abuse and I feel that forgiving the abuser has led to further abuses. Indeed, I believe that this attiitude of `altruistic forgiveness is what keeps victims victims and abusers abusers. Arent victims just setting themselves up for more pain, disappointment and torment by forgiving trespassers? If a person truly deserves forgiveness, let alone wants it, shouldnt that person ask for it themselves? Why should those who have been wronged seek to repair dysfunctional relationships?Please answer my questions. Your response means my sanity.
Im sure you are perfectly sane with or without my input but Im here to help by offering insights into issues and problems. Your question represents a very deep social and moral issue that rather exceeds the scope of a column such as this but I will answer you as best I can. There are many misconceptions about forgiveness and your comments exemplify some of them. First of all, how does one define `unforgiveable? Jesus forgave the `unforgiveable, didnt he? Im not a Christian but it seems to me that his example is not a bad one to follow in this case.
Because were human, its difficult for us to forgive, let alone forget wrongs done to us. Most of what you say about this issue though has more to do with ego, pride and anger than justice. No rational person would say that life is fair although I do think in the end, it does all balance out but thats another discussion -if youre going to apply logic to things like forgiveness, wrongdoing, abuse and victimisation, you are asking for perpetual confusion. There is only place that you can find forgiveness and that is in the deep recesses of your own heart. It has nothing whatever to do with the other person or their lack of deservability. What would be the point in only forgiving someone because they deserve it? Where is the charity in that?
Without knowing what you have suffered, I cannot comment on your personal situation but I guarantee you that if you can find forgiveness for your `abusers, you will know a peace that has hitherto escaped you. I think you are mistaking forgiveness for lack of accountability. Insist that others are responsible for their actions but let your forgiveness not be conditional. Come only from true compassion. You can only be a victim if you forget the lessons of your pain and neglect to stand up in your determination not to be abused again. Being a victim is also a choice.
Forgiveness is for YOU, not those who have hurt you. Let anger and resentment go and you will start to truly heal.
Body Talk Column is hosted by Charmaine Saunders. www.charmainesaunders.com
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