Where can I buy the book, Forgiveness for Dummies? After commenting against forgiveness another blogger questioned my proclamations. As I tried to formulate a response, I realized I was not sure why I felt so strongly about not forgiving someone.
Searching online to further understand forgiveness, I read articles with titles like, Forgive and Forget, Let Go of The Past, and Why You Should Forgive. However, there was not an explanation on how to accomplish the written suggestions, for example, “Think about the incident that angered you. Accept that it happened.” What does that sentence mean? Do I accept that what happened in the literal sense, like C’est La Vie? Is the advice suggestive that I tell myself it is okay that my personal belongings were stolen by my nephew while I was involuntarily hospitalized for bipolar depression?
Another piece of advice that was confusing, “Acknowledge the growth you experienced because of what happened. What did it make you learn about yourself, or about your needs and boundaries?” Absolutely nothing was learned save the belief family members cannot be trusted. How does one gain personal growth from being robbed by your nephew or learning your brother has swindled you out of your inheritance? One article ended with the words, “Forgiving the other person is a wonderful way to honor yourself. It affirms to the universe that you deserve to be happy.” Okay, but I thought the age of Aquarius was over decades ago; now I feel frustrated. Have my life experiences clouded my perception of the key components necessary to understand the concept of forgiveness?
After my over thinking forgiveness, I checked the definition which only caused me to become more confused. How could the following definition be helpful?
Forgive / Definition of Forgive by Merriam-Webster: to stop feeling anger toward (someone who has done something wrong): to stop blaming (someone): to stop feeling anger about (something): to forgive someone for (something wrong): to stop requiring payment of (money that is owed).
Going back to my prior blog posts, I found several instances where I had used the word “unforgivable.” What came to mind was the question, why am I so resistant to the idea forgiveness? After my two-day search for the Holy Grail of forgiveness, I realized that I really need to forgive myself for how I treated my mom in the last weeks of her life. Although twenty-five years have passed, I cry all the time for not telling her I loved her. At one point during her illness, while stopped at a red light, my mother turned to me and asked, “why is it that you haven’t cried after learning I am going to die?” I did not have an answer then, but I do now, I had not forgiven her for being an abusive mother.
“The thoughts you have are vital to leaving the past behind…” This line I found in a post written about moving on. I have a sense that this is where I should start.