A Meditation on Forgiveness

Forgiveness is the modern equivalent of snake oil. Dazzled believers feel cured while skeptics are pushed to the back of the crowd. As social animals, we have to protect the group dynamic sometimes at the cost of the individual. In some cases, there is nothing left to do. All the shouting has been ignored and to save our sanity we are willing to try anything just to let the hurt go. We accept their apology in person or absentia and try to turn away. Their acts so damning that our forgiveness of them has shifted into resentment. Nothing has been solved and further additional negative feelings have been accumulated. Thus begins a cycle of resentment-forgiveness-resentment.

There is another less prescribed action that involves just letting feelings be and moving through them. It will be awkward at first. We have been socially trained that the person who does not accept the apology is almost as guilty as the transgressor. Most of this guilt has roots in religion. We seek the same salvation from a higher power that someone may be seeking from us. Humans continuously fail, yet redemption is always possible. Like second chances, mercy is the way salvation until one day it is not.

In my experience going down the rabbit hole of dark emotions gives one a magical protection. Not in the whatever doesn’t kill you make you stronger school of nonsense, but cohabitating with darkness adds a sense of stability to your emotional scheme when you can identify with more than five basic emotions. The endless merry go round chase for happiness has to stand still at some point and we have to be able to look around and really feel our lives with our available emotions.

I often wonder where all unexpressed emotions go. Purportedly they travel to parts of our bodies to manifest in chronic pains. Anything is possible, but these feelings are generally just under the surface looking for the right time to reappear and wreak havoc. We try to get rid of any emotional discomfort quickly because we are alarmed when we cannot smile. The real fear is allowing our negative emotions to have breathing room and become part of our lives. It would be a new direction for us Americans to admit anything other than hysterical happiness.

Our buried emotions could be placed next to our lighter ones and we could finally see simultaneous shades of happiness and anger. Think of how much happier our Thanksgiving dinners would be if no one were sick of denying his or her emotions. Requests for passing the gravy would not dissolve someone into tears or result in thrown turkey (true story). Coping is a far stronger action than denial through forgiveness. We need a chance to allow our emotions to evolve without a time limit and a toe tap from other people. There have not been any recorded instances of someone dying from being unforgiven or abstaining from forgiveness. Who know what may happen. Anger could turn into drive when taken down a notch. Sadness could induce empathy and anxiety could adjust into healthy caution. We owe it to ourselves to see forgiveness as an option, but not the only way.

About bluebeadpublications

I am a writer living in Miami who loves reading, writing, and editing. If you need a ghostwriter, I am your chick.

16 responses to “A Meditation on Forgiveness”

  1. lisalday111711 says :

    You asked in the weekly writing challenge to give you my honest opinion; spiritual or political. I think you are a fantastic writer with great incite. My first gut instinct is to tell you to go spiritual but that maybe because I am so scared for this country that I am avoiding politics. I voted but nuff said. I feel helpless and hopeless at the direction this country is going in which is no different then the days full of the haves and the have nots. The more money you have, the more you want and if you are in a powerful position you can get it. Everyone in Washington is in that position. So I do not trust anyone in politics and that scares the bejeezus out of me. However with the spiritual side of life there is hope and that hope is contagious. Maybe….just maybe if enough people start taking ownership of themselves and to work on improving their spiritual side then perhaps this contagion just might spread to Washington. Maybe not in my lifetime but maybe in the future. I don’t know. What I do know is I enjoy reading your blog, you do it well and I look forward to reading more especially if it revolves around the spiritual side of things.

    • bluebeadpublications says :

      I love politics, but understand why every one is afraid of the new direction we are heading in. I am not all that surprised that Texas wants to secede from the union. We absolutely have to take ownership of our internal lives and country. Thank you for your input.

  2. Jim Kaszynski "THE IDEA MAN' says :

    I love your story…but I hate when you make me think, (just kidding.) You brought up some good points, the forgiveness thing! I like you do not like giving advice; however, I do like sharing how I made it through some of my life’s most difficult challenges.

    I am from the US but now live in Thailand doing volunteer work; I am 67 (but don’t act like my age.) This culture has taught me some of my greatest life lessons; How to never have to go to the forgiveness level. It’s so simple I don’t know how I missed this all these years. Acceptance; It has been my answer; if I accept the other persons view, about people places or things (I don’t have to agree with them) I give no chance for a resentment to be born. Then forgiveness is not even on the agenda. It works for me.

    Keep up the good work and stay with writing from the heart as you are doing. Jim

    I think I will get a tattoo like the one in the photo but with the word “ACCEPTANCE” on it, lol.

    • bluebeadpublications says :

      Jim, I visit Phuket where my brother has his beachhouse. Going there changed my life. They really take care of each other there. I don’t recommend the tattoo, but I love your embrace of acceptance. If only we could all do it.

      • Jim Kaszynski "THE IDEA MAN' says :

        Puket is beautiful; I could see how it changed your life. Thailand has done the same for me!

        As far as the spirituality challenge; that is what I call it. It could be Washington’s answer. However, spirituality vs religion has been my problem and my solution. Some people don’t understand I am a spiritual person without a religion? When I dumped the religion part from all the rules and guilt and shame related. I found my “LIFE” answers, including the acceptance part. I will be doing the historic “Camino de Santiago” walk from France to Spain next year, hey it’s just 484-miles. I hope, this will only add to my; almost in balanced life?

  3. Kozo says :

    I agree that you should go with the spiritual over the political. You are more adamant and substantive in your spiritual views. Although I don’t agree with your views of forgiveness, I like that you venture to posit a completely different worldview.

    • bluebeadpublications says :

      Kozo- Thank you for your response. I just wanted people to know there were other valid options besides blind forgiveness.

      • Kozo says :

        I completely agree. I love your point about how sadness can induce empathy. This is why I think you should take the spiritual route. You zero in on controversial topics and take a firm stance the leads to conversation, insight, and wisdom. Your posting on politics seems to comment on the events without taking a stance, which is understandable in this political climate. Either way, I look forward to what you have to say.

  4. Janene says :

    I like what Jim said about acceptance. That sounds like a healthy point of view. I accept that people (including me) make mistakes so I forgive things pretty easily. There are times though when people act maliciously. That’s different in my book. If someone acts that way toward me I let it go but let them go, too. If I’m in a situation where they have to stay in my life I address the issue head on. It’s worked for me so far. At the same time no one has posses me off in a long time. 🙂

  5. Dennis Kreative Idea (@denniskreative) says :

    I agree with your original assessment…we are certainly kindred spirits. This post was very well written and expressive. I agree with all your points…especially the fact that there are other ways of dealing than the prescribed belief that we must forgive in order to move forward. Emotions are digested differently by everyone…and there is no “one way fits all.”

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