Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Does forgiveness have a larger affect if it is given by someone to another, or if a person is able to forgive themselves for their own mistakes or misgivings?
Does it mean more to offer forgiveness than to receive it?

I know that I personally find it much easier to forgive others than I do to forgive myself.

It's possible for me to find more examples of this as work. It's as I hold myself to a different set of expectations than I do those around me. I seem to be able to accept that other people are human, and therefore mistakes are inevitable. Yet when I get something wrong myself, I will beat myself up about it for days, weeks, sometimes even longer, even if other people forgive me or reassure me

There are a couple of people in my life who find it exceedingly difficult to forgive themselves for anything. Causing themselves grief for years. Long after the people involved in the incident have moved on from it, and in many cases even forgotten about it.

I can still remember things from my childhood that I did. Such as when I yelled out that I hated my parents. I was probably no more than 4, and really upset at the time. I have no recollection if what had happened leading up to the outburst, but I remember with a sickening feeling the words I shouted out. I don't think I'll ever let it go. There are many other things, that I will not go into here, as I still feel ashamed of them. Some at the time were reckless and fun, but people got hurt. I don't let these things consume me, but if and when I do, for some of those things I still feel guilt. Others are just a memory.

I have a belief that mistakes, bad decisions and moments of impulsiveness will occur, and that it is better in the long term to forgive oneself and learn from the mistake than to carry the guilt. Forgive but maybe not always forget.

I bring up the not always forgetting, for two reasons.  1. Because repetition of the same mistakes is really not a good course of action.  2. I was in an unhealthy relationship for a period of time, and had I forgiven and forgotten everything that person did to me, I'd most likely still be in that horrendous situation.  There came a point, that although I could still forgive, I knew I had to get out, otherwise I would only be able to hold myself accountable for what would of/could of happened to me.

"Forgiveness isn't something we do for others. We do it so we can get well and move on." 
(source unknown)


  1. You won't have been aware but my husband died unexpectedly last month. After the first shock and then going over all the regrets, in the end things start to fall into perspective. I haven't had too much of a struggle to forgive the usual episodes of life.

    Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
    gnaws on kind words unsaid,
    promised walks never taken.

    What I have had to struggle with is a betrayal that happened a few years ago but has only relatively recently come to light. I haven't been able to forgive either the betrayal or myself for having so naively allowed myself to be used.

    As you say, it's best not to forget in some circumstances.

    I'm glad you managed to get out of your unhealthy relationship. Some people never do and I can somehow understand why. You keep hoping things will improve.

  2. A. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I have found that betrayal is one of the hardest things to get over. Maybe because we irrationally in many cases, feel someone what responsible for the situation ourselves, even when we were the one betrayed. How could we have let it happen, or not notice, set ourself up for it to happen.


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