Hi Guest and a very warm welcome.
Hi – This is my first post. I’m thrilled to have found a group dealing with issues that are so familiar to me, but hard to discuss with anyone who hasn’t been there.
Yeah, I know exactly what you mean.
I’ve just been reading “Banished Knowledge” by Alice Miller, and the following is a quote from the book:
"In the many group discussions I conducted…almost all the therapists clung to the idea that one must forgive one’s parents to get rid of one’s symptoms. While my counterarguments seemed convincing, the most they would say was that, while they would not directly demand forgiveness, they would put it to the patient that he “would feel better” if he could forgive. They failed to notice that they were thus carrying on a… manipulation… whose purpose was to serve only traditional morality but not the interest of the patient, who was once an injured child and must confront the origin of those injuries. He will not achieve consciousness of past events until he recognizes that the morality exerted by his parents was life-negating and life-destroying….
"When the capacity to feel has been achieved in therapy, the patient will become not less but more aware of events in his childhood that were never allowed to be consciously experienced. Through the increasing familiarity with his own feelings and his own history, it is possible for a new memory to emerge years later….If a person is not allowed to acknowledge the newly awakening anger—because, of course, he has already forgiven his parents during therapy—the person is in danger of transferring these feeling to others. Since, to me, therapy means a sensory, emotional, and mental discovery of the long-repressed truth, I regard the moral demand for reconciliation with parents as an inevitable blocking and paralyzing of the therapeutic process."
Oh yeah, I gotta say, I reckon her angle on so much stuff is soooooo spot-on.
Forgiveness Road has been such a tricky one for me. I was a great forgiver. OUCH. I remember I was, and boy was that the most abused time of my life. OUCH OUCH OUCH OUCH!!
Now I know my words can be challenged, changed and played with. Some people may say, "What you are really mean is" or, "What you are really trying to say is"
No, I'm talking about how my own personal forgiveness I've offered to others has opened me up for even greater abuse in the future.
I've had some fairly lengthy involvments in my life with religion, churches, swingin' from the chandeliers hallelujah fanatics, and also a lot to do with practical, good, level-headed decent christians. I've read the bible from cover to cover more than quite a few times, and in many different versions, even the Amplified. Oh My Gosh. And I have no regrets about that. I learned a lot of things doing it. I'll leave my other dabblings in eastern philosophies and religions out of it and stick with my own personal understanding of the christian model of forgiveness.
And I'll say, my personal belief is that the 'forgiveness' teaching, which forms the backbone of our western christian based culture, really can f**k us up. I personally don't buy it any more, and I'd like to share with you, Guest, why I came to this conclusion. I hope I'm not too longwinded, I'll try to keep it short.
One thing, amongst a whole lot of others I was taught about forgiveness, was that we must forgive if we want to be forgiven. And that forgiveness is a God-like quality, which makes us a channel for God's love to humanity. Another thing is that forgiveness helps us heal, and reduces bitterness and sickness in us. And reduces revengeful and wrong and evil-thinking in us also. Forgiveness makes the world a better place for everybody to live in.
And I do, absolutely accept all of this, only in certain very large contexts. But absolutely not as carte-blanche!! Not anymore.
After all, if that were true, and in any and all cases we must exercise forgiveness, then the Gd or God of the Christian bible is a cheat, trickster liar and hyprocrite, and expecting us to do what he won't!!!
My poor simple answer is, I don't believe He does expect this of us.
I don't think he's telling me to forgive everyone who hurts me, steals from me, offends me, starves me, beats me, kills my precious pet. Or to forgive these people who don't care about me, and haven't ever bothered to make reparation or even said a sincere "I'm so sorry and I want to make it up to you." or "I'm so sorry for the way that I have treated you, and I know that I can't make it up to you, but you have my oath that I will never hurt you agian. And If I do 100 times, please, I implore you tell me 100 times, and I'll try to fix it and say sorry 100 times."
No, this God, according to the Christian Bible that I am using as my reference, has made an absolutely horrific place of eternal damnation, called Hell for those who don't go to Him and repent and say sorry.
and this is the biggee for me, according to the Bible, if we offend anyone and don't make repair, we aren't forgiven!
Not even by GOD. So how can God expect me to do something that he doesn't even do.
What He does say, though, is that I must forgive when someone genuinely, and I repeat, genuinely asks me to. I'm fine with that. I haven't had any problems yet, at all.
I'm not gonna get into the whole sacrificial lamb thing. I don't even like goin' into all this religious stuff here, it makes me really super uncomfortable. But I know, for me, it's the reason why I kept forgiving over and over and over. Please!!! I was just talking about G,d the bible, and religion because I'm 'contexting' the why's of my own forgiveness issues and beliefs that have stuffed me around and up for so long.
But I've just got to say that, forgiving people who don't care, who don't want it, who never admitted anything, who'll do the same thing again tomorrow just doesn't work for me anymore. It doesn't make any sense to me.
Like when my child was bullied. I never talked about forgiveness with my child. Like hell!!
I talked about developing my child's life-protection skills, and the security issues, and safety and disance and systems in place for my child's peace of mind. If my mother wrote to me and said sorry, and made some admissions in writing!!! Took back all the discrediting she'd one, made serious admissions about her cruel behaviour, I maybe would talk to her. But I'm not going to flag that to her and it ain't gonna happen anyway.
I have an image of my forgiveness. I can see how it is such precious aspect of the human condition. It is so beautiful and healing, like a precious magic glowing jewel-like healing gift I have to share. I could almost add, "Are you worthy of it???" but it that would need to much explaining because initially it sounds so conceited.
The analogies immediately flow, like with Jesus saying, "Don't cast your pearl before swine!"
I say, " I most certainly won't, not anymore, don't you worry about that."
Not bad for someone who doesn't like talkin' religion here, Huh