Who is Forgiveness Really For?

I have always thought of myself as a forgiving person. I often say that I can’t hold a grudge to save my life. Mostly because I quickly forget what the person did to make me angry or to hurt me. So, I guess it might be fair to say that my forgiving nature is based on a shoddy memory.

Last year, two people hurt me so badly that I thought I would never be able to face either of them again. I thought they were both horrible people, and I wanted no part of their selfishness and malice in my life. Then, about a month ago, my ex began to re-enter my life. I found that I could forgive him easily; that I was already forgetting the terrible pain he had caused me. I could go back to my Ex-Chronicles blog posts to refresh my memory, but I don’t want to hold onto that pain. I want to let it go. I want to forgive him. I have mostly succeeded, I think. I really do try not to hold the things that happened in the fall against him. He made some awful decisions, but ultimately, things worked out well for me, and he is really the one who is worse off.

Is that terrible of me? Is the only reason I can forgive him that my life is pretty much the same and possibly even happier now, while he is more miserable with the circumstances he caused? I hope not. I like to think that I’m a bit more magnanimous than that.

So, he has been (at least mostly) forgiven. I’m working on the little bit that isn’t. However, the second person who hurt me. I am having trouble forgiving. I think a lot of that is because she shows zero remorse for the pain she caused, both to me and to a very dear friend. She has tried to make amends with him, but she has shown no interest in doing the same with me. To be treated as a non-entity by someone that I once considered a friend is really a second heartbreak. It is difficult for me to forgive someone who does not seek my forgiveness or even value it.

At least, that’s how I thought of it before tonight. This evening, the very dear friend was over to while away the time with the roomie and me. We were talking about the situation, and he said that he had already forgiven both of them. He forgave them a while back, though neither asked for the forgiveness. He said, “They have to live with what they’ve done, but I don’t have to.”

This brought up another question for me: who is forgiveness actually for? I always thought of it as a mutually beneficial enterprise. Forgiveness as an olive branch to help bridge the cracks in a broken relationship. But what if that’s what has been holding me back from really moving on from the Fall debacle? What if forgiving her for being a terrible excuse for a human being has nothing to do with her? Will I be happier without this feeling of loathing and the mild urge to vomit when I hear her name? I think so. At least it will be worth the lack of nausea.

I still don’t know that I’m capable of forgiving her, yet. I know I will be better off without this sense of hate, but I really prefer pretending she doesn’t exist. As evident from the last few sentences, the grudge is still strong for now. With a bit more time and distance, I think I can overcome this issue. I’ve recently begun meditating again, and I am hoping that it will help me to clear my mind and with it the stagnant air of negative emotion that still clings to certain parts of my heart.

image found here

image found here

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One thought on “Who is Forgiveness Really For?

  1. gewanita says:

    You are a great person for wanting/trying to forgive those people who have hurt you. I have such a hard time with that… I just end up cutting them out of my life, no turning back, hands dusted. I hope you find peace through your meditating!

    Liked by 1 person

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