The Ghost of Forgiving

I have forgiven a bazillion times. I have to admit, however, I do not understand the nature of forgiving. The format of my forgiving is to just accept that you have made a mistake, and I accept that as a mistake.

Is forgiving that easy, however? I wonder.

I think forgiving tends to becoming difficult when the impact of the mistake is over a longer term. If your mistake/offence/flaw, whatever you want to call it, affects me far too long, it becomes difficult for me to forgive you. Then, there’s intention. Did your act, which I find difficult to forgive, is it full of or bereft of intention?  How much does intention matter in forgiving? What of repenting? Irrespective of the intention, does repentance count? Does the mistaker’s repentance count for the mistakee?

Ghost of Fogiving

Ghost of Fogiving

Forgiving has been reduced to a word that we use without thinking or feeling. Its meaning has been sucked out and has been reduced to a letter combination. A filler word; an answer word; that helps us avoid confrontation – not with the mistaker – but with ourselves – because we just do not want to deal with what we feel. Perhaps, because we have been bombarded about what a great virtue it is, to forgive.

Many may disagree, but it is better not to forgive, if you don’t feel like it. If you can’t come to terms with it. You may hurt yourself or an other, but at least there will be no loss of where you stand. Forgiving without meaning is treacherous. It hurts the forgiver and the forgiven, forever. Because for the forgiver, there is no forgiveness, though it is said. And for the forgiven, there is no forgiveness, though it is said. That’s when forgiving dies and the ghost haunts, both.

There’s another reason forgiving is not easy. Most, who kneel, seeking forgiveness are unable to forgive their own selves. So even if forgiveness comes from the forgiver, it is never enough. Forgiveness is incomplete, unless you are completely forgiven. Which includes you, forgiving yourself.

Almost always, redemption is when you forgive yourself. Why we seek it elsewhere, I have no idea. It would make sense if we were living someone else’s life, but the fact remains:

We have to live our own life.


3 thoughts on “The Ghost of Forgiving

  1. Pingback: Forgiveness: A tale of two apologists – hittingthesweetspot by Bob Skelley
  2. In tribal cultures elders would intervene to organize conciliation for the wronged party. This was not a matter of getting justice, but of ensuring that the one that committed the wrong offered demonstrations that brought the injured person back into a sense of safety. Even only if with “I understand that I hurt you. I shouldn’t have, and I’ll try not to do it again.”

    I wish that still existed – the personal discipline of forgiveness seems hollow without it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Welcome to Gaizabonts.

      Past cultures have much to teach us; we have much to learn, from them. But we live in different times. Perhaps, the times we live in are a new culture which we have to adjust to. Thank you for your insightful comment. 🙂


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