This Is What Forgiveness Really Is, Because It’s Not About Condoning Abuse Or Being A Pushover2 months, 3 days ago
In his book Resilience , Eric Greitens talks about how soldiers standing at attention must learn what it means to ignore discomforts like a bead of sweat running down their face.
To ignore something is to be aware of it. To ignore, you must both be cognizant of its presence, and yet unwilling to let it be consume your focus.
When we choose to ignore pain, we are not repressing it. We are simply allowing it to be what it is, and yet not permitting it to govern us.
The more we permit pain to be part of us, or rather, an expression of us, the more we claim the experience- the more we accept the pain as our own. It is only then that we can work with it. Then, we can change. What happened may not have been our defect, but the persist ache is ours to deal with.
Often, when we are dealt an unfair hand, we become convinced that we need to express just how unfair and unhappy and uncomfortable we are until that unfairness and unhappiness and discomfort dissolves itself. It is almost as though we scream to the Cosmo:” You brought this to me … so now you have to take it away .”
But anyone who has stood in the sunshine on a sear August day knows that dismissing the sweat running down your forehead is not easy. There is forgiveness, and then there is not. There are two alternatives in the aftermath, and your decision will mostly impact you.
People who choose the’ other’ option- to hold onto anger for their dignity- end up letting it swallow them alive. It’s the Taoist saying, that begrudgement is to drinking poison and hope your foe will die.
Forgiveness is not to condone what happened, “its only” to not continue to torture yourself to the purposes of justice .
A lot of us fall under the illusion that we have to punish those who have hurt us.
In the same route that worrying does not change the outcome of things, anger does not bring justice to them, either.
Those who have hurts us will punish themselves in ways far more impactful than anything we can probably imagine. Their faiths, ideas, choices and behaviours are wreaking havoc on their lives and what happened to us was collateral damage.
They will have to repent. We all do .
And forgiveness is very much a reckoning. When “weve been” hurt, we become traumatized. To be traumatized is to become scared of something and then never get over that dread. The longer we allow it to persist, the greater its control becomes.
The ultimate release of dread is to no longer be afraid to be happy again. It is to not be afraid of letting go and knowing that we will all meet ourselves eventually. We will all reap what we have sown. It is humbly remembering that we do not have to play god in the meantime.
Eric also says in that volume that forgiveness and gratitude are similar. They are” attitudes directed outwards ,” but ultimately, they are both very much for ourselves.