Let's Talk About Forgiveness

Let's Talk About Forgiveness

While forgiveness can be tough for some offences and some people, hopefully we are able to understand that it is possible. We will forgive others, in this life or in the next.

They say that forgiveness is a gift we give ourself. There is truth to that. When we forgive, we stop carrying someone else's negative "stuff". Typically, we can think of ourselves in the hurtful equations, how we were hurt and how it felt. But even when one is the victim and one the offender, there is more than one perspective.

We hold people accountable according to our thinking, not theirs. None of us knows anyone else's full story. How do they think? We do not fully know. How were they injured in the past and by whom? We do not fully know. We know our own thinking programs we are running. And most of those are subconscious. See the problem? We cannot know everything and we do not have to know everything. But we must be disposed to forgive if we want to be creative and happy.

Generally we should not remain in damaging relationships or with people who have seriously harmed us. But we can accept that we do not know fully why they harmed us and submit their actions to God, who was crucified by people running bad thinking patterns and allowing themselves to be tempted toward power, control, and personal safety. People sometimes choose evil actions.

A discernment tip:

When God inspires us, it is not from an old program or pattern of thinking. What comes from God possesses fresh grace, a different insight, or a new way of thinking about something or someone. God is not stuck in our ruts. He can bring us to new conclusions, either abruptly or over time. Light enters.

We can count on this. When we have everyone's full story, we ourselves will be asking God to forgive them for their sins. We will also understand more fully how our actions impacted those around us.

If this is a tough one, we understand. Let God have it. One Backpacker avoided the Forgiveness Room of their Contemplative Prayer structure and walked past it in her mind for a month. Gradually, she noticed then that her impression as she walked past it began to shift. It did not bother her as much. Finally, she went in and found that she had forgiven someone for something she thought she could never have forgiven. She simply did not care any more. 

"It just happened for me," she reported. "I realised the problem was never with me. It was with the other. This other person actually looked ridiculous in it. I felt sorry for the person. Why would I carry it so personally? I stopped. But I didn't do anything. It happened for me." And it can happen for us, too!



Comments 2

Genevieve Neff on

After being hurt several times by the same person and unable to set aside the hurt I made a novena to St. Therese, the Little Flower, for this person. All the hurt was lifted from my shoulders and I was never troubled again. I have also seen changes in this person and am able to communicate on a friendly level again with this person.

Paula J Schmidt on

Very good. In the forgiveness room I try to see things from another’s perspective and God often graces me with insight.

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