Forgiving another, what it really means.

Posted on June 11, 2016

But what does it mean to forgive?
We have all experienced this feeling of rage and injustice due to the way we were treated at some point in our lives. Being human usually results in experiencing some form of abuse or violation of self in various degrees. If unaddressed and suppressed, these feelings can make us ill or cause us to separate ourselves from others in order to protect ourselves. Whatever the cause, it is not a good idea to try to “get over it”. Especially in this modern world, no-one is encouraged to delve into their emotions and wallow in self-pity. Do something, very quickly, and move on. Some people go on a weekend workshop, some say positive affirmations, some try to ease the pain through meditation or medication. But emotions cannot be suppressed. They are the soul’s feelings and we must take heed of this. Ignoring your pain, rage and frustration is certainly not a healthy way of relating to yourself. This is only further violation of yourself by yourself.

What it doesn’t mean.
First of all, forgiving does not mean that the pain stops. Forgiveness does not mean reconciliation either. Once you have forgiven the other, then you are often left with pain or grief or regret. As Professor Längle pointed out, regret involves forgiving yourself.

What it does mean.
Forgiveness means that you free yourself, that you let go of your dependency; your need for the perpetrator to make it right in some way, or of vengeful thoughts. Forgiveness is about erasing the debt, accepting the past and letting go of what you have lost. Forgiveness is also about realising what you have gained from the experience and recognizing that you are now a different person because of what transpired.

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Source material from Applied Jung

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