Monday, 14 July 2014

What is Forgiveness?

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I remember a couple of years ago I was struggling to forgive a family member and my Mam said to me "Hannah, you're a Christian, you are supposed to believe in forgiveness". Yes, that is true, I am a Christian and the bible does say: "forgive and you will be forgiven". But this is all so much easier said than done. In my eyes there is no one forgiveness just as there is no one wrongdoing.

Some things are really easy to forgive and forget, using that last of the toilet roll and not replacing it comes with a grudge that lasts about sixty seconds. Your best friend ditching you for their boyfriend, takes a bit longer to forgive but chances are they have built up a number of get out of jail free cards so, again, it doesn't last all that long. But then you get to the people that seem to require your forgiveness every other week, that's where things get difficult. I like to assume the best of people, I find myself making up excuses for why they have been such an idiot and before I know it I make it my fault so then I find myself forgiving them again. I'm not too sure that's the kind of forgiveness that is healthy and a one I am trying to edge away from. I'm starting to think that there must be a happy medium between forgiving someone for every wrong-doing under the sun and not forgiving them at all. I think that happy medium is acceptance and with acceptance sometimes you just have to walk away from the situation until life is a little more comfortable.

There is a quote from The Pact by Jodi Picoult that I am going to interpret in an entirely different way to its meaning in the book:

"Just because you can't see the wound doesn't mean it isn't hurting. It scars all the time, but it heals."

This is generally how I feel about forgiving people, generally I'm told that I give people way to many chances. The thing is I can act like everything is fine, I would prefer to pretend than live in awkward tension with someone that I have to see on a regular basis, but this doesn't mean all is well. In my mind they're still on probation, the tiniest petty crime will have them back in jail. In this way I think acceptance and removing yourself from a situation can be the real route to forgiveness. If you forgive someone time after time it wears you down and it isn't genuine any more. It's okay becomes your catch-phrase when everything is far from okay.

Coming from one of the busiest of people, time out is definitely a healer. Removing yourself gives you an entirely new perspective on life and will in the end allow for true forgiveness.

Hannah x

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