The Myth of Forgiveness

The Myth of Forgiveness


Someone close to you has betrayed you. And you are desperately trying to find it in your heart to forgive him. You want to keep the relationship together. Every time you think you have gotten to a place of forgiveness, the old feelings come back and you blame yourself for not being able to “get over it”.

But the truth is that human beings DO NOT have the capacity to forgive. I know this is a controversial statement. Just search the internet and you will find a zillion “how to forgive” links explaining the virtuous process. And none of them will work. People cannot forgive because they are unable to un-know things they already know.

I truly wish I could just use the pen from the movie Men in Black to erase everyone’s memories of transgressions. But in the real world, no matter how much you want to “let it go”, the negative feelings will always creep back in.

Society says that if we don’t forgive, then we are holding onto resentments. That is just ridiculous! Resentment is caused by not being able to tolerate the truth. You DEFINITELY can stop feeling resentful even if you are not able to achieve forgiveness.

You have to focus on learning to tolerate the loss of trust. If you have determined that there are enough positive things about the relationship, you will choose to stay in it.

Say “I know there will frequently be times I feel bad about what happened but I love you and want to keep you in my life anyway”. You have to stop constantly complaining and punishing him. Or you must decide to call-it-quits.

I hope you remember this when YOU are the one who is asking for forgiveness. What’s done is done. Accepting the consequences is a sign of maturity. And humanity.

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