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Your definition of forgiveness

Discussion in 'Sobriety Tips and Inspiration' started by RingoBerry, Feb 15, 2015.

  1. RingoBerry

    RingoBerry Senior Contributor

    Forgive and forget yet a lot of people have this habit of bringing back old wounds that should have been forgotten after making up and apologizing. It kind of makes us wonder how words don't really hold much weight anymore even between family or close friends, this kind of thing happens. Maybe we don't even really know what forgiveness means that is why we don't know how to give it. But for you, what does forgiveness mean? What is your understanding of it?
  2. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    Forgiveness is not always easy, specially when the wound being inflicted upon you is too painful. But personally, I think forgiveness is not a sign of weakness or being a martyr. For me, it's the other way around, it takes a really strong person to forgive someone.
    Zyni and MrsJones like this.
  3. stariie

    stariie Community Champion

    Forgiving and forgetting are two different things. I never forget. That is not possible unless one has amnesia or something. Forgetting can be very dangerous. If you forget that the hot stove will burn you, you will continue to get burned day after day.

    Let's say a co-worker stole my wallet on payday, and comes to me weeks later and says sorry. I might forgive her if no real harm was done. And hopefully she pays me all of my money back.

    But when I get paid again, am I going to leave my purse in a room with her unattended? NO, I won't. I'm not going to mention anything to her if I really do I forgive her, but still, I have to protect myself.
    I need my money to pay rent, and bills.

    Remembering is self-protection. You can forgive a person, especially if they ask you to forgive them, and they say they are sorry, but you have to remember what happened so that you won't subject yourself to the same pain and abuse.

    Not saying that one should keep bringing it up, because then they probably truly have not forgiven the person.

    Sometimes people keep bringing up bad stuff because they were really hurt, and still have not healed from the pain. I find that if a person keeps bringing something up, they are still in a lot of pain about it.
    Zyni likes this.
  4. ReadmeByAmy

    ReadmeByAmy Community Champion

    The act of forgiving depends upon the situation that had happened and if really needs forgiveness after apologizing. Some people forgive and forget to move on in their life with no doubts and guilt in their hearts. But there are those other people after forgiving put themselves already a distance to that person for the fear that they might be hurt or put into pain again by that person and still cannot forgot the wounds that was brought to them. All of us had different acceptance with regards to this but for me when I forgive it comes from the heart and no more bitterness after because I want to live my life with no pain and hatred within myself.
  5. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    "Forgiveness" to many people is the word used when they openly declare that they aren't considering retaliation for wrongs suffered.

    But forgiveness should be more than that. Hard though it might be for us humans to understand it, forgiveness should be like deleting text from a page. Or you rip out the leaf out of the book and burn it. The person's actions are forgotten entirely. Never again will you remember them. That's what real forgiveness should be.
  6. Twinsmommy31

    Twinsmommy31 Active Contributor

    Forgiveness is not to let the other off the hook for hurting you. It is to give you the freedom you deserve. It is letting go so they no longer have that hold over you. It is a great way to move forward. Release it all and everything will start to get better.
    Zyni likes this.
  7. valiantx

    valiantx Community Champion

    In my opinion, to forgive is to let go of a thought to a past action from one self or another entity. There's no effect nor any good reason to forgive if one is not willing to do it honestly, clarity, and certainty. It's also acts as a mental gift to give to oneself and a external entity.
  8. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    Some might find it easy to forgive but not easy to forget. I think forgetting is the harder part since it will remain in your memory unless you have Alzheimer. It may take more time to finally forgive fully in which you will not be using such mistake in further arguments except maybe if it will be just the same mistake.
  9. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion

    I believe in this definition I pulled from the net:

    Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as vengefulness, with an increased ability to wish the offender well

    From observation it's the last part that often proves difficult; it's only when you truly let go that you can say you have truly forgiven and forgotten. Forgetting has to do more with your attitudes as I think it's impossible to actually forget an offence has taken place. It's all about letting go.
  10. Thejamal

    Thejamal Active Contributor

    Forgiveness is and should be apart of our daily lives, especially regarding major issues that drastically affect our lives. But as many already pointed out here, there's a MAJOR difference between forgiving and forgetting. I'll forgive you once for something, but I won't stick around the next time if you try it again.

    So my working definition would probably be along the lines of this: Accepting the actions of another person and no longer holding that past action against them in the future.
  11. JoanMcWench

    JoanMcWench Community Champion

    Forgiveness is something that is easier when it's not staring you in the face every day. For instance: You are with someone who is addicted to heroin. This person has made countless promises to you & has claimed to stop but you are fully aware they have not stopped. Quite a difficult situation to forgive someone in. Why? Because the crime you're forgiving continues to occur. Isn't it much harder (& counterproductive) to forgive someone you'll have to forgive again tomorrow?
  12. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I think forgiveness can only be pure if it comes from someone who is capable of it. Some people who are more con the cynical side might be able to intellectualize forgiveness to some degree but I believe that those who are completely self aware and well adjusted are the only ones who are able to truly forgive and forget, while still retaining the lessons that come with the experience.
  13. wander_n_wonder

    wander_n_wonder Active Contributor

    Forgiveness is never easy to give, although one must consider it as a gift to the soul. Carrying too much anger or hatred hates no one else but yourself. It's hard to forgive but it's actually harder to keep living a life with too much pain out of hating someone. As they always say, life is beautiful, so just focus on the beautiful details of life instead of wasting time on anger.
  14. BobPopporro

    BobPopporro Active Contributor

    even you forgive, you will never forget. but nonetheless, we learn new things throughout all of this.
    stariie likes this.
  15. xTinx

    xTinx Community Champion

    Forgiveness is letting go of all negative thoughts and emotions towards a person who offended you. While others equate forgiveness to forgetting, I think it's even better to remember what happened in the past and be free from feelings of animosity at the same time. That, to me, is really impressive.
    Zyni likes this.
  16. Lilypad

    Lilypad Member

    Forgiveness to me is actively choosing to let go of anger and resentment over what someone has said or done to you. It is letting a person who hurt you back into your life and trying to put the bad things behind you. It's not easy and it takes a long time, I think you have to truly love a person to overlook their past behavior especially if it's had a negative effect on you.
  17. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    To me, forgiveness is choosing to accept that a certain situation has happened and moving on without holding any grudges or continung to lay any blame. Choosing to forgive can be very empowering in that it frees you from negativity.
  18. wander_n_wonder

    wander_n_wonder Active Contributor

    I just realized recently that forgiveness is when you are able to see the person you are angry at face-to-face and you do not feel any negative emotions anymore. You can look at that person in the eye without feeling any guilt that you are still mad deep inside. It's a liberating feeling when you are finally able to do this.
  19. goldenmaine

    goldenmaine Active Contributor

    Forgiveness means letting go of something which is hurting you and finally having the peace of mind and heart you have been longing for. It means more than saying the words or doing the physical action of hugging or shaking of hands. For me, it is more of the feeling after forgiving someone. Feeling lighter and contented afterwards would be more genuine and would bring a more positive vibe to you. Having a peace of mind and forgetting how much a person has hurt you is forgiveness. If ill feelings are still present and the thought of how much a person has hurt you is still there, then this forgiveness is half-baked and may have negative effects to you.
  20. Zyni

    Zyni Community Champion

    I think it's possible to forgive someone yet not let them back into your life. I feel like I have truly forgiven people for wronging me, yet I'm never going to get close to those people again. They are not good for me. I wish them well, but I have to protect myself.