If you want to see true forgiveness, look at the Amish families whose children were gunned down by that milkman at school last year. I read that they
not only said they forgave the shooter (who turned the gun on himself), they also went to his funeral and helped his family, who were horrified by
what he'd done, get over their shock and trauma. Absolutely admirable... I don't know if I could do it.
However, I did manage to forgive big-time several times in my life... and I totally agree with some of the previous posters who said that it's really
more for you than for the one forgiven. It does NOT mean you have to tell them you forgive them... you never even have to talk to them again. It does
NOT mean you have be friends with them and invite them over for coffee... you might well never lay eyes on that person again, and that's fine.
Forgiveness does not mean contact.
Quite often, someone who seems to take the "high road" and loudly proclaims that he forgives this or that person -- especially to their face and
maybe in the presence of witnesses -- does nothing but tell that person, "You're an a**hole, and I'm morally superior to you." It's really just
another way to get back at his "abuser" and feed his petty hunger for revenge. Beware people who feel the need to shout from the rooftops that
they've forgiven someone.
Real forgiveness is a very private thing. It's for YOU, to get that nagging and hurtful rage and resentment out of your system, which can make you
emotionally and physically sick over time. If you do it right, you can see true miracles.
I'll tell you a true story.
About 12 years ago, I met a man on the Internet and -- pretty naive and love-starved as I was -- fell in love via emails and phone calls. I lived in
Germany back then, and he lived in the U.S., which was an extra draw, since I wanted nothing more than move to America. I guess I had it in the back
of my mind that maybe, just maybe he'd marry me and I'd have a free ticket to U.S. immigration.
Anyway, the exchanges got steamier and steamier, until we finally agreed that I would spend a 5-week vacation at his house in AZ so we could get to
know each other. Imagine my horror when he picked me up at the airport and I not only didn't find him attractive at all, all the sizzling we had over
the Internet and phone popped like a bubble. To be entirely honest, I found him disgusting, and that he eyed me like a predator would look at a
particular yummy morsel, literally licking his lips, didn't help any.
Of course I should have turned on my heels right there and then... but I didn't. I guess I still had my America dream in mind and also didn't want
to make any waves. So I went with him to his place and stayed there, even had sex with him... and he was insatiable, in fact, I now believe that he
was a sex addict. He also insisted that we didn't use any protection, and I stupidly agreed.
To make a long story short, after about a week of almost nonstop sex, I found my genital area covered with itching blisters. After another two days,
my condition was so bad that I had to stay in bed, and I assure you, I have never had such pain in my entire life. Sometimes it got so bad, I was
screaming and praying to the Great Spirit to please let me die. After nearly a week of agony, my lover finally took me to a doctor, who said this was
the worst herpes outbreak he'd ever seen. You can imagine how mad I was. He knew he had herpes and still insisted we didn't use condoms!
As if that hadn't been enough, my lover also turned out to be a thoroughly unpleasant individual. He was extremely controlling and jealous and stingy
to boot. Since I couldn't leave the bed, he had to buy bland foods (I could only eat baby carrots and grapes, everything else made the pain worse)
and medicine for me... and made ME pay for them!!! I hated his guts, and I swore as soon as I was back in shape, I'd leave that house and never see
Even when I was back in Germany, I would still get herpes outbreaks every few months... not as horrific anymore, but still pretty bad. I hated the guy
with every fiber of my heart. But then I did get the chance to move to the U.S. -- and to the small town where he lived. At first I tried to avoid
him, but then I realized there was no way we wouldn't run into each other at the few local hangouts, so I decided to forgive him. Easier said than
done, of course.
One night, lying in bed, I tried to do an honest recap of our "relationship," acknowledging my part in what had gone wrong. As I said before, I
basically prostituted myself even though I didn't even like the guy, just because I was hoping to get something out of it. Hadn't I acted so
corrupt, he'd never been able to hurt me. Aside from that, I knew that he had had a horrible childhood, and I could see how that had turned him into
the person he was. But it still wasn't enough; I couldn't bring myself to feel true compassion.
So I prayed to the Creator and my angels. I said, "I want to forgive this man, but I cannot do it on my own; there's just too much pain and
resentment. Please, Spirit, will you take that burden from me and help me forgive?" This really came from the bottom of my heart, so my advice is,
this cannot just be lip service.
The next morning I woke up and felt an incredible inner peace, and I knew I had forgiven my ex-lover. I could put that to the test soon after, when I
met him while I was going out, and I was able to have a nice little chat with him. He asked me for closer contact, going out, having dinner, but I
And here's the miraculous thing: Ever since that night, when I asked Spirit to help me forgive, I have NEVER had a herpes outbreak again... and that
was about 12 years ago!
It's really like a spiritual exercise that also has a regenerating effect on your body and psyche... I can only recommend it.
[edit on 6-7-2009 by sylvie]