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December 31
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NOVEMBER 18, 2012 5:35PM

A Meditation On Forgiveness

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Forgiveness is the modern equivalent of snake oil. Dazzled believers feel cured while skeptics are pushed to the back of the crowd. As social animals, we have to protect the group dynamic sometimes at the cost of the individual. In some cases, there is nothing left to do. All the shouting has been ignored and to save our sanity we are willing to try anything just to let the hurt go. We accept their apology in person or absentia and try to turn away. Their acts so damning that our forgiveness of them has shifted into resentment. Nothing has been solved and further additional negative feelings have been accumulated. Thus begins a cycle of resentment-forgiveness-resentment.         

        There is another less prescribed action that involves just letting feelings be and moving through them. It will be awkward at first. We have been socially trained that the person who does not accept the apology is almost as guilty as the transgressor. Most of this guilt has roots in religion. We seek the same salvation from a higher power that someone may be seeking from us. Humans continuously fail, yet redemption is always possible. Like second chances, mercy is the way salvation until one day it is not.      

           In my experience going down the rabbit hole of dark emotions gives one a magical protection. Not in the whatever doesn’t kill you make you stronger school of nonsense, but cohabitating with darkness adds a sense of stability to your emotional scheme when you can identify with more than five basic emotions. The endless merry go round chase for happiness has to stand still at some point and we have to be able to look around and really feel our lives with our available emotions.     

             I often wonder where all unexpressed emotions go. Purportedly they travel to parts of our bodies to manifest in chronic pains. Anything is possible, but these feelings are generally just under the surface looking for the right time to reappear and wreak havoc. We try to get rid of any emotional discomfort quickly because we are alarmed when we cannot smile. The real fear is allowing our negative emotions to have breathing room and become part of our lives. It would be a new direction for us Americans to admit anything other than hysterical happiness.      

           Our buried emotions could be placed next to our lighter ones and we could finally see simultaneous shades of happiness and anger. Think of how much happier our Thanksgiving dinners would be if no one were sick of denying his or her emotions. Requests for passing the gravy would not dissolve someone into tears or result in thrown turkey (true story). Coping is a far stronger action than denial through forgiveness. We need a chance to allow our emotions to evolve without a time limit and a toe tap from other people. There have not been any recorded instances of someone dying from being unforgiven or abstaining from forgiveness. Who know what may happen. Anger could turn into drive when taken down a notch. Sadness could induce empathy and anxiety could adjust into healthy caution. We owe it to ourselves to see forgiveness as an option, but not the only way.

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Well said!

But it would have been MUCH easier t read if it were in paragraphs......;-)
Much better now!

This is gonna sound condescending, and it is not meant, in any way, to be so, but DAMN you sound like me at what I can only imagine is your age (26?).

If I got your age exactly right, it is a function of life, until recently, spent playing poker. It's a great game for developing ones power of prediction, if only because it forces you to practice that predilection.

Humans are social animals, and no one likes a critic or a skeptic (believe me, I know this 1st hand), but critics, when well intentioned, can make people better at what they do - hell, you called me a heckler previously, when all I was doing was recognizing a similarity between us which was simply separated by the years in which we were born and the time at which we started our respective journeys.

Accepting the apologies of others, in not right in the moment they give it, is not important for them. It's important for you. Holding on to anger, and not releasing it, eats away at a person. I wouldn't shun you for it, but I would counsel you on it.
XY-a few years off. Heckler? Who You? Silly, silly XY.
I didn't know the Reznor thing when I said that. Reznor fan puts you at, at least 34...possibly as high as 37.
Such an insightful post. As a recovering Catholic myself, this is where I flounder: "We have been socially trained that the person who does not accept the apology is almost as guilty as the transgressor. " I appreciate apologizing is a difficult task in itself, but hey sometimes you just need time to let go. Way too much pressure to accept apologies, I think.
Gaud. This writing is given birth from Experience.
I'll take this Post with me when going for a slow walk.
Forgive seventy Times Seven. Sorrow expands Heart.
Heart Aches can Break a Person and We Cry Out. Sad.
Critics Help You Examine Self. Your The Higher Level.
Nature Embraces. No Worry. Sense Pain. You go Aloft.
Pass Through Emotions and Sense Intuit The Spiritual.

Realm and Mysteries are Revealed To Others Like You.
A Sorrowful Human Heart (Sentient) Is Great Treasure.
Youre are Here on Earth To Share Inner Beautifulness.

Words Fall Short.
Take Daily Notes.
O! Often Silence.
Thomas Hardy wrote:
No words can often says more.
Discreet. Keep some Secrets.
No caste Gem to all we meet.
XY- I did not worship at the alter of Trent Reznor at all, but I did wear flannel the single cold week in Miami.

Icy-Way too much pressure, I agree.

AJ-Jude the Obscure was my favorite book in college.
XY- I did not worship at the Reznor alter of teenage girl angst, but I did wear flannel.

Icy- Way too much pressure I agree.

Art- Jude the Obscure was my favorite book in college.
Hey, CG. You make some sound points here about the density, the very buoyancy of our emotional life. Great take on how we work -- or do not. Your sense of understanding how we work, is quite strong. Think that you have this ability to see from the outside in, as well as the inside - out, which tells me that you are careful in your take on this. Not everyone perceives, then really processes this. Meaning, you get it and can convey these insights.
Thanks for your fine post. R>>>>>>>>>>>>
CatholicGirl. I got Kicked off the AlterBoy
Honest. My Father was so Happy for that.

(RealName) Father Keydash Cursed me.
I could Not Remember Latin` Confetti.
The Misery Pray was ` Mea Culpa.
Father Keydash was a WW2-drunk.

He had been a Chaplain in WW-2.
I Loved the Catholic Girls after that.
No Priest touched my belly button.

Catholic Girls were more mature.
They're Wholesome. Affectionate.
Get a Saint Joseph Statue foe dash.

He's the Patron Saint of Travelers.
Joseph Loved 'Virgin' Mary Best.
Virgin is Inner` Pure Intention.
I got a Sanskrit Name. Honest.
It's `Pure Intention' Nice Idiot.
Happy Travels. Poor Red Elmo.
I heard Elmo left Sesame Street.
If You want Open Salon ` Fixed:
Say Open-Sesame. Hocus Pocus.
Call Kerry? He know de' Popes.
Number`e-cum-spirit Tutti-Frutti
Buy AlterBoys a `ice-cream-cone
Thanks. Massmeans to ` Worship.
Catholic means ` Universal. Ah!
I sure-enough have had it @ OS.
Maybe Kerry prey on baby jesu.
Some folk go asray. Devil hook.
Devil-Dark-Forces `Devil Tool.
I sense Goodness `and Blessing.
Calm-Thank you, I always appreciate your detailed praise.
Art- We Catholic girls are quite fabulous. I prefer Saint Jude-patron saint of lost causes. There is something incredibly dramatic and romantic in praying against certain doom.
Reconciliation can happen thru forgiveness but it is important to understand that we do not need to involve the other person, especially if there is a chance that they won’t be receptive.