Do you have someone you need to forgive? You already know I do if you have looked at my Forgiveness and Gratitude page at the top of my blog. And, what better day to forgive or at least to work on forgiving than Global Forgiveness Day?
Apparently, there are multiple dates set aside for forgiveness including International Forgiveness Day, the first Sunday of August. While doing research for this post, I found conflicting information about Global Forgiveness Day. An article at the Huffington Post stated Global Forgiveness Day was on July seventh; so forgive me if I have the wrong date.
The exact date is probably less important than actually forgiving. The problem is how do we truly forgive? I am not going to rehash my prior posts since you can read them from the link above if you choose.
Instead, I want you to read a post from my friend, Phil Dzialo, Moving from Apology to Forgiveness to Closure … It Can Happen! He and his family found some closure after their experience with their son’s near drowning while at a summer day camp. He mentions a book, On Apology, by Dr. Aaron Lazare in his post. It is a book I highly recommend as I have been reading it upon Phil’s suggestion. It has helped me to understand there are times when we need an apology to help us to continue healing.
However, there are also times when you can learn to forgive without actually receiving an apology as noted in my prior posts about Dr. Frederic Luskin’s book, Forgive for Good. This seems to work better when the offense is in the past. However, even then it does not always work. This is especially true if you keep hearing stories about how great the people who offended you are. Imagine hearing this when you know that they really have not changed.
This is when an apology becomes extremely important. Otherwise it is too easy to get lost in anger, and that is not a good thing. Anger consumes you rather than those with whom you remain angry.
That’s great but honestly I can’t avoid having an emotional reaction to it, I respect people who forgive but I think too much emphasis is put on forgiving, society and the main religions say that anyone needs to forgive and thinks anyone that doesn’t forgive will never heal and chooses to be angry and hopeless, I think that’s wrong. I think it’s okay to forgive and okay not to forgive but I and others that survived abuse and bullying are forced to forgive or we are considered terrible people, I guess that left me really sensitive to the theme and I’m sorry to be commenting like this. I just wish that people that were abused or bullied were told that it’s okay not to forgive and that doesn’t make you bad, there is no need to forgive, not forgiving will do you no harm. I never forgave and I’m not angry anymore. I think that’s why I would go to a day of not forgiveness. I actually see more consideration for the person that harms others and “deserves” forgiveness than for the person that was hurt, even in the most abusive and criminal situations. I don’t know if that’s just a bad side of religion and forgiveness we got.
I wish all peace for those that want to forgive and wish they are able to fulfill that for themselves.
Hugs Alicia! I understand your point of view and I am totally okay with it as long as you really are okay. I think receiving a sincere apology can help with forgiveness, but that does not always happen. I do not think anyone should ever be forced to forgive those who have harmed them. I have problems with some things religions try to force upon others too. I do not believe God, Jesus, Buddha, the Dalai Lama, etc would ever demand this, and I do not believe religious organizations or anyone else should either.
A very insightful and inspiring post, Sue! And how wonderful to highlight a day to have us all to reflect on what we need to do to enhance our lives … forgiveness. Forgiveness does not mean we can change what happened or erase what was done. What’s done is done. All we can do is release ourselves from continuing to suffer for what happened to us in the past and dedicate ourselves to making sure that it does not happen in the future. We grasp and regain a positive energy which sustains us. That new positive energy can then become viral…and worlds can change. My warmest regards…
Exactly! Mahalo to you and your entire family for being positive and helping show me how to be too!