Forgiveness may be divine, but sometimes may not be the best thing to do…..

Tonight I thought I should share some of my thoughts on forgiveness and the process of forgiving.

We learn during our childhood that “To err is human, but to forgive is divine.” Many religions keep on teaching us that forgiveness is the only fair and the most compassionate thing to do, since we are all sinners and we all hurt others. Many psychotherapists tell us that forgiveness is necessary in order to heal. These teachings at high level do not go hand-in-hand with lowest level of daily deceit, injustice and unfairness that we all encounter. And as we grow up, we continuously forgive others outwardly, while internally juggling with the same age old mind-boggling dilemma “To forgive or not to forgive is the question“.

The wrongdoings by others can often go beyond one’s tolerance limit, callously crossing the boundaries of normal decency and shamelessly entering into the territory of hurtfulness, e.g. the low levels of wrongdoings can be as follows: after receiving poor performance appraisal the employee running to HR and Top Management to falsely accuse the manager, trusted friends breaking one’s trust and confidentiality, greedy colleagues stealing one’s ideas to secretly file patents etc while the peak levels comprising the highest horrendous hillocks of child abuse, rape, and adultery etc. What should one do in these situations: simply forgive and let go, or hold on to the very thing that prevents one from forgiving such as rage or anger (so that one can cope with and rise above victimization.)?

Here are the harsh facts: Paradoxical to common thinking, in certain cases forgiving is neither possible nor practical, e.g. victims of rape, child molestation, and dark incestuous relationships, who allowed themselves to express their rage about being victimized were able to recover from the trauma much better and faster than those who opted to forgive and never got angry. Similarly in the case of child sexual abuse, it is often anger and rage that helps victims feel separate from their abuser, and importantly feel free of self-blaming, shame and guilt that sometimes lead to self-victimization of victims. Forgiveness can be a viable option only when one overcomes the feelings of victimization.

So the Devil‘s Advocate approach here leads one to conclude that forgiveness may be divine, and yet may not always be the best strategy to recover from a post-traumatic syndrome. And most importantly, in some cases the forgiveness is simply not possible. Forgiving and forgiveness requires case-by-case judgment.

Take care, and have a great day!

-Deo

Thursday Night / Friday Morning

May 24, 2013.

P.S.: One of my fellow blogger friend tric, from Ireland, provided an excellent feedback, which I am posting here for its relevance – just in case the comments are either not seen or get deleted. It’s a very insightful feedback. Thanks a mil tric.

The comment from tric:

Great post. I will never forgive the man who stole so much from me, BUT I do not spend my life hating him. I think that is the key for me. In fact actively not forgiving him is important to me because as you say it helps me accept my own innocence. As you can see though, by the little you have seen of me in my blog, this lack of forgiveness, does not make me a bitter, damaged victim!”

And here is my response with thanks:

Thanks tric. I agree with you totally. Forgiveness is divine undoubtedly, and yet it has a darker side. At the outset it may help the person who has been hurt to let go of hurtful feelings, even anger, resentment and strong urge for revenge. And at the same time, exactly in parallel, overt forgiving can encourage the aggressor or transgressor to do it again, most likely to the same meek victim. So in certain cases, it may be best not to forgive, and if one must, let it not happen too soon. It’s surely an area where only experts know what’s the best for specific situations.”

Have a great day all,

-Deo 

painting-girl-daydreaming

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Deodatta Shenai-Khatkhate
    May 24, 2013 @ 02:21:30

    Reblogged this on Deo Volente.

    Reply

  2. bearspawprint
    May 24, 2013 @ 03:22:25

    Reblogged this on bearspawprint and commented:
    perhaps forgiveness after the rage

    Reply

  3. tric
    May 24, 2013 @ 08:19:51

    Great post. I will never forgive the man who stole so much from me, BUT I do not spend my life hating him. I think that is the key for me. In fact actively not forgiving him is important to me because as you say it helps me accept my own innocence. As you can see though, by the little you have seen of me in my blog, this lack of forgiveness, does not make be a bitter, damaged victim!

    Reply

    • Deodatta Shenai-Khatkhate
      May 24, 2013 @ 09:04:31

      Thanks tric. I agree with you totally.

      Forgiveness is divine undoubtedly, and yet it has a darker side. At the outset it may help the person who has been hurt to let go of hurtful feelings, even anger, resentment and strong urge for revenge. And at the same time, exactly in parallel, overt forgiving can encourage the aggressor or transgressor to do it again, most likely to the same meek victim. So in certain cases, it may be best not to forgive, and if one must, let it not happen too soon. It’s surely an area where only experts know what’s the best for specific situations.

      Reply

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