Friday, July 29, 2011

The Nature of Forgiveness

I’ve been wrestling with a philosophical question recently. Can forgiveness be granted if it has not been requested? Can you truly forgive someone who hasn’t expressed remorse?

I’ve had some interesting conversations on the subject. People’s reactions to the question vary. Everything from hell no, you don’t owe somebody anything who doesn’t apologize to absolutely, that is the purest kind of forgiveness.

In the abstract, I agree with the later. In the specific, I’m struggling.

Let me back up a bit. I suspected someone I considered a friend, someone who put themselves forward as a friend, screwed me. Apparently, this person despised me. And, I don’t know why. I do know that I never did anything on purpose against this person; quite the opposite, in fact. I put a lot of time and energy into supporting this person and running interference on their behalf. It’s all very confusing.

But, despite being a friend to my face, this individual, deliberately, with malice, set out to screw me and then they did. Not some Mickey Mouse junior high nonsense either; serious, grown up damage done. Then, a few months ago, my suspicions were irrefutably confirmed. As a side note, the difference between suspicion and knowledge is white hot rage.

Most of that has burned off, but I am left with the actual betrayal. The whole situation is mind boggling to me. I just do not understand plotting against someone. (Did I get off the bus in Pine Valley?) There’s also the puzzling fact that I don’t know why I deserved such treatment. (On a philosophical note, I do not believe, no matter what you think someone may have done to you, that anyone deserves to be the target of malicious actions.)

I guess, in the long run, all of the specifics, the whys and whens, don’t matter. And, when it comes right down to it, this person doesn’t matter either. All that matters is that at some point I need to genuinely forgive them.

And, I’m trying, but not there yet…not even close

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