The ramifications of forgiveness go far deeper than I think we sometimes may realize. These are complex times. Nothing seems very simple any longer in this modern era. We are really often angered prior to understanding what others may well be offering us in the way of insight as to the human condition.

Love is simple. Human problems sometimes simply are not.

In the act of forgiveness, we then allow others to breathe better and be themselves.

Forgiveness.

Sometimes it seems sheer improbability that certain people may even be worthy of becoming forgivable. If nobody's forgiving, then nothing seems resolvable.

Now, I'm not talking about weakness.

Weakness and being forgivable are neither one in the same nor essential to each other.

I've seen people regard me as weak for just having forgiven someone.

Go figure.

Being tough or rugged seems to be the natural human answer to having been offered some struggle or other. But if nobody's perfect, and people keep on making the mistakes we're accustomed to them making, forgiveness can become really a serious project to accomplish.

I've learned something new here lately where this tough subject is concerned. While this certainly makes me no expert, I'll have to admit that right now, in this stage of learning I'm currently experiencing, it makes sense to study the act of loving kindness called forgiveness.

But what does it mean, exactly?

The Mayo Clinic even has its own page on the subject.

Today's google search has yielded a whopping total of 52,800,000 search results!

Forgiveness must be a pretty big deal, then.

Merriam Webster online shows that to forgive is:

: to stop feeling anger toward (someone who has done something wrong) : to stop blaming (someone)

: to stop feeling anger about (something) : to forgive someone for (something wrong)

: to stop requiring payment of (money that is owed)

In other words, to let go.

To let things be.

To be FREED.

"The prisoner that it really frees is you."~ Matthew West

Forgiveness.

(Oh, I am being brazen now, aren't I?)

I think there's strength in forgiveness, not in its opposite.

Any real strength can only be gentle, kind and allowing. It simply cannot strengthen others that we be unforgiving, angry, or impulsively against truth.

So if i'm sensing that somebody else's ideal is that we be arguing and in trouble together, what's to be given?

That's the middle syllable of the word, "forgiveness," after all--

give.

To my way of thinking, to be the swiftest, the angriest, the most rageful, the toughest, the strongest physically, doesn't necessarily mean that a person is the best.

Strength of character isn't blind to the needs of others. Maybe that's why so many people can't help but admire the character of Atticus Finch in the famous book, "To Kill a Mockingbird."

Sure, he was a great shot. He put the sick and dangerous loose dog down, remember?

But he also taught Scout to be a better person, to no longer scrap and beat people up over problems. 

He taught by example. That's why so many still love his character.

It's his dignity we could appreciate as young people growing up and viewing the film version of the book for the first time. I know that I'm one of the ones who saw Peck's version of Atticus prior to finding more depth in the book than even the film still offers me.

Atticus was a strong person. His strength of character showed in everything he said, did, and obviously felt.

The truth fits with some people.

Forgiveness.

Atticus had to choose to be forgiving of a doctored legal system even as he worked to reverse the evils of society which had allowed legality to become so doctored.

Atticus knew the ways of dignity, love, truthfulness and--

Forgiveness.

It's the flexing of certain muscles of an interior kind.

His interior self had to be strong, beautiful and courageous for him to become so respect-worthy.

To forgive.

It requires care, if not outright love, and an open heart, an open mind, and the ability to admit the truth of one's own flawed humanity.

Forgiveness.

That's a big part of my lessons here lately.

To be unforgiving is to be unkind. It holds people back. It offers nothing but mistakes, misery and a heap of problems.

Forgiveness is the freedom factor I see missing around me even as I type these words.

Forgiveness.

It's the best "F" word I know.

It's the gift that heals, mends and chooses peace.

Photo: BlairSnow 

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gift-wraping.jpg

Views: 301

Comment by Gerald Andersen on March 31, 2015 at 3:23pm
Very good, PW. Mr West is right: forgiving someone is the best thing we can do for ourselves. Anger and resentment are toxic, and forgiveness is a good antidote.
Comment by Poor Woman on March 31, 2015 at 3:24pm

Lyle: I like that statement.

:)

I don't forget what people look like either. Can't seem to.

Comment by Poor Woman on March 31, 2015 at 3:27pm

Gerald: Thanks!

Anger and resentment have been toxic in my own life, believe me. It's how come I posted. Been working at this for months and months now. My guess is that it's a lifelong project, and not at all completed as of yet.

Thank you so much for adding your perspective.

Peace to you.

Comment by Alysa Salzberg on March 31, 2015 at 3:55pm

Nicely done. I admire forgiveness, and have also been called weak for forgiving others.  But I do have to say, it's still not my favorite "f" word - not in terms of action, but in terms of utterance at least. :-)

Comment by Poor Woman on March 31, 2015 at 4:05pm

Alysa: Not saying I haven't cussed recently. (seriously) I did just last week. (in florid terms too) (colorful, unrestrained-- completely surprised me)

But thanks for the positive response. And I see that you have experienced the "weak" jab for forgiving, much as I mentioned that I have.

Peace to you

Comment by Rosigami on March 31, 2015 at 4:05pm

It's so hard to let go of something we feel, isn't it? Especially the powerful emotions surrounding people whom we must forgive.
The act of real forgiveness empties you and can allow you to see the relationship in a new way. 
One thing I learned was that forgiveness does not necessarily mean that a relationship need continue.
Sometimes it means that the relationship can be let go, without guilt.

Comment by Poor Woman on March 31, 2015 at 4:36pm

Rosi those are some wise words! It's true. Forgiveness does not necessitate continual reception of someone's troubling words and actions, does it?

I like the way you say it, tho'

It sums it up for me nicely. Thanks so much for adding a slice of your wise thoughts here for others to taste.

Comment by Zanelle on March 31, 2015 at 7:35pm

Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself!

Comment by Theodora L'Engle Knight on March 31, 2015 at 7:59pm

great post. great subject. forgiveness is a blessing for the person who forgives. resenting another person only hurts you. that person is traipsing around doing just fine. or not but not because of your resentment. so much easier said than done, i know. 

i've forgiven the main people in my life. the giant challenge. forgiving myself. i've done and said so many things that i feel are unconscionable. 

sorry. not going to hijack your post, sweetheart. 

Comment by Theodora L'Engle Knight on March 31, 2015 at 8:01pm

what rosigami said. you can forgive someone and release that person. not have anything to do with him/her again. 

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