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I find it a privilege being on this planet at the same time as you, and believe we all are here at this time of humanity for a purpose. I hope you will find it interesting getting into conversation with me and my readers.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

“Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.”

During these few days I will be talking about the beautiful act of Forgiveness. I myself am learning as I am taking one step each day in the journey of life. Very few people can say they were able to forgive in an instant decision, for most of us it is a procedure, it is a journey, a journey of healing of souls and relationships. A beautiful journey. As I was writing my Bachelour Dissertation about 3 years ago, for a whole year I read almost everything that was published on 'Forgiveness'. I did my research on what the effects of forgiveness are, physically, emotionally, mentally, etc.

The Dictionary defines Forgiveness as “to say that one no longer has the wish to punish somebody; for an offence, a sin; pardon or show mercy to somebody; no longer have hard feelings towards somebody”. Psychologically speaking, forgiveness involves several aspects – cognitive, emotional, behavioral, spiritual, psycho-physiological and social aspects (Worthington, 2003).

There is no consensus as to the definition of forgiveness. There is general agreement as to what forgiveness is not - ‘condoning’, ‘excusing’, ‘forgetting’ or ‘denying’ (Enright & Coyle, 1998). Enright and Fitzgibbons (2000) have championed a definition that emphasizes the interplay of cognition, emotion, and behavior. McCullough, Fincham and Tsang (2003) have emphasized reductions of motivations of revenge and avoidance over time and increase of conciliation. McCullough, Worthington, and Rachal (1997) state that the essence of forgiveness is a change in one’s motivation toward the offending person. All of the existing definitions seem to be build on one core feature: when people forgive, their responses toward people who have offended or injured them become more positive.

The severity of a transgression might influence the extent to which an individual forgives a transgression (McCullough, Rachal, Sandage, Worthington, Brown and Hight, 1998). Severe transgressions may be difficult to forbear because they can influence the recipient’s life more profoundly and pervasively and have enduring consequences than do minor transgressions.

The fact that someone appraises a situation as hurtful is constituted by a complex set of cognitive, affective, and volitional dispositions and states. Piaget stated that forgiveness implies a sense of ideal reciprocity, which can be expressed as “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The understanding that one should forgive because you have been forgiven in the past and in order to be forgiven in the future- is a complex one; forgiveness cannot therefore be fully understood before late childhood. The motive a person has behind their decision of forgiveness and moral reasoning changes from childhood until adulthood.


Ailar said...

Hi Elham jan,

The topic of u’r article is very interesting and important.
I just wanted 2 share my personal experience about forgiveness

u know, at first I didn’t understand how it was possible to forgive someone in u'r life and still after years have something remind u of the pain u felt, or sometimes even anger ...

I knew what forgiveness meant and I knew I had 2 forgive in order to feel free again..
but still from time 2 time I would experience pain and anger ..

what I decided to do was to pray each time I had a memory of this person and 2 forgive on that particularly moment in time. Cause even though I had forgiven many times it would still come back ..

I know God shows me some repressed memories that I have 2 see and forgive again

actually its not again but still.

its like a huge tree with enormous routs ...

but I praise God for he wants 2 take all the routs..

With Love

Elham Binai said...

Ailar jan
thank u for your comment.it is a vital issue you are raising.yes surely our memories will not be erased,as you also have mentioned,but yes I do agree sometimes certain aspects of the hurt will come up in order for that part to be healed. As we live life, we need to face the pain of receiving inner healing and surgery,although painfull,but it is rewarding when the soul receives its healing.

Anonymous said...

Hi "mammy",

I love your blogs and this one is totally true but even if we really want to forgive someone, the pain is still there most of the times, we might have no bad feelings for the person but when the action comes in mind, the pain comes too! Even if we have the best intentions to forgive, the pain is not leaving some times and as a result our health is damaged with headaches, deppression and various symptoms, so the question is how we can forgive. Also, sometimes we forgive because we don't really bother. Forgivness should be in everyone's heart but unfortunately it's not, selfishness usually take its place...


Elham Binai said...

Ioanna, my friend and co-worker,the greek journalist....no-one said it is easy to forgive.it is difficult...and often wemight think we have forgiven,but actually we have pushed things aside,and not bothered as you are saying thinking of it.I believe forgiveness occures when you know inside the depth of your heart that you are not bitter anymore,that you are not holding grudges,you have left time show the truth.
Forgiveness is a hard matter to deal with all alone, I believe it needs some heavenly strenght in order to be accomplished.what do you think?

Sara said...

Forgive sounds good, forget i'am not sure i could. They say time heals everything but i'am still waiting.