Choosing not to forgive

It’s taken me a long time to work this through. I wouldn’t have minded if I had been told that I couldn’t cope, I had issues, I was insecure, I couldn’t bring myself to deal with your having Cerebral Palsy. I had issues with you not being perfect. Those are the words I would have been okay with.

To be the mature adult, to help and nurture when we’re not feeling mature is the right thing to do. We must get past our issues. It’s okay that we don’t always get some of the parenting thing right. In those circumstances, we can be forgiven. We learn on the job and that’s accepted because we don’t go to school to learn how to be a parent.

That as a parent we will make mistakes along the way. No one is infallible, but in my case my physical and emotional issues were ignored, those responsible hoping the issue would go away, that brushing my issues under the carpet would make it all go away.

All that meant is that I would be left to deal with the consequences, when those responsible were no longer around. On our part we want to forgive. We want to say don’t worry, we’re okay, we understand, but forgiving is almost too easy.

Does not forgiving make us a bad person?

It absolutely doesn’t. When someone chooses not to forgive it’s not because they’re doing it out of spite or simply choose to be malicious. It has nothing to do with that. Instead, we must look at whether the other person is worthy of being forgiven. If they had their time again would they choose to do things differently, would they right a wrong for us? Those are the questions we need to ask ourselves.

For us to forgive, others must want to look to redress their wrong doing towards us. Simply right a wrong for us. If others genuinely want to help, but can’t because of what they deal with, they must tell us and that’s accepted. To wittingly choose to keep someone in the dark, when unconsciously we know it’s wrong, isn’t something the universe will accept or agree with and that allows us to make our own decision about forgiveness.

Fast forward years on and some of us will learn through our experiences. We grow, we mature, we change and we’re genuinely sorry for the hurt we’ve caused and that allows others to forgive us. Perhaps, therefore those on the receiving end of hurt don’t have to forgive at all.


3 Jun, 2017

6 thoughts on “Choosing not to forgive

  1. What a loaded topic, this is in my world. I have so much and yet so little that I really want to say on this subject right now.

    My Dad’s passing has brought up so much that I haven’t been able to process since, once again, issues at home have prevented this.

    People have always liked to say things like, ‘they did the best they could with what they had,’ as far as my parents were concerned, but they didn’t have to grow up with them. The most that I ever really wanted from them was at least for them to acknowledge that we had a very shitty childhood, but they couldn’t even do that.

    They just always blamed each other and downright refused to admit or even accept that we had suffered. We were pretty much made to feel guilty for even existing! They may never have said that directly to our faces, but they always argued right in front of us like we weren’t sitting right there.

    My dad hated my mom’s family, my mom wasn’t ever happy, on and on ad nauseum. What gets me, is that we’re supposed to forgive them for being such horrible parents.

    They may have brought me into this world but I never asked to be here. I have spent most of my life torturing myself because of feeling the guilt, shame and remorse that they buried me under, when most of it wasn’t even mine.

    I think I’ve earned the right to NOT forgive them, considering what I sacrificed to keep the family secrets that they forced upon me.

    1. Thanks for being so honest Randy and for saying exactly what you feel. It’s good to get these thoughts out into the open. I would go so far as to say it’s important, particularly to our emotional health.

      I hope that in some small way Randy, on the back of my blog you can now bring about acceptance together with your own understanding on this issue. I know it’s been troubling you for some time.

      Where others have said that your parents did the best that they could, I believe it’s true. That is all they were capable of, given what they had. It doesn’t make what they did right, it just makes it what it is. Since neither parent dealt with their demons and continued to reinforce their negativity, it’s up to you to choose whether you forgive.

      Whilst there is nowhere written that we must choose to forgive, understanding another person’s actions helps us determine whether we should forgive or not. As I said in my blog, choosing not to forgive doesn’t make us bad or spiteful, it’s never about that.

      But it’s wise that if we don’t choose to forgive, we don’t carry their guilt.

  2. Everyone has the right to decide whether to forgive or not to forgive. Right or wrong that should be their decision and theirs alone.

    1. Forgiveness will always depend on the circumstances. Some things that happen to us are easier to forgive than other things.

      Acts of deceit that are premeditated are a lot harder to forgive, because it’s based on a conscious decision. We do have a choice.

  3. It takes a very mature person who has had personal experiences with ignorance, neglect, and rejection. I’m happy and inspired by you every day Ilana. I hope you know and believe what a blessing you are to this world.

    I also think it would be to forgive a person that has done you wrong from a distance. To keep from being hurt again, it’s important to let the person know who did you wrong, you won’t allow them to do it again.

    So to me it’s a good idea to stay away from those that have done us harm.

    1. Awww thanks Bonnie. You’re absolutely right, it’s important to emotionally and physically put a distance between us and those who hurt us.

      I agree with you too that it’s important for those who abuse or hurt us to know that we will not put up with abuse. It takes maturity to understand when to let go and that’s different to actually being able to forgive.

      We can understand, we can even accept our circumstances, but forgiving someone who has or continues to abuse is a completely different concept.

      Your last paragraph sums up your response nicely Bonnie. Yes it is a good idea to stay away from those who have done us harm.

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