This will be a controversial post but I think it needs to be said. Forgiveness as a concept is wonderful for those worthy of it. The narrative of forgiveness is centered around “it’s for you not them”. It’s supposed to make you feel better and move on. For some people it can for many of us it just suppresses the anger of the betrayal. Many of us have been faced with the forgiveness narrative. A “second chance” is almost expected in many cases and if you don’t give one YOU are the villain.
I believe forgiveness should be extended to a very small pool of people. I am talking about kids, spouses, siblings and parents. Beyond that I believe it should be used sparingly if at all. What we don’t do often enough is examine the cause and effect of the betrayal. Why did this happen? Why am I in a position to HAVE to extend forgiveness? if you have been wronged by someone, more often than not the person who wronged you did so knowing that it would be a betrayal.
Now they probably hope that you never find out, but they know the behavior is wrong, but they do it anyway. In my mind someone who knowingly harms me with the intent to hide the action is a threat. This person is willingly hurting me, knowing they are doing so and trying to hide it from me. What exactly is worthy of forgiveness in that scenario? Now this can be infidelity, financial, spiritual there are all sorts of levels to do this.
What should you do? It really depends on your situation; you may need this person in your life presently. Each person has their own spirituality and many might struggle with the concept of NOT forgiving someone. For me, if someone I love and trust knowingly harms me I would have a hard time forgiving, if at all. For me the only people in the world whom I would even consider forgiveness in that situation are my children.
Remember there are different levels of betrayal. I’m talking about the major transgressions in life. I hope you are never faced with a scenario like this. If you are remember forgiveness is a gift, perhaps one of the most valuable gift you can give. Don’t give it over so freely, and never be convinced that it’s your duty to do so. Forgiveness, in many cases is overrated.
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