A sweet friend shared a Facebook post about forgiving and forgetting as in the context of someone having hurt you deeply. While I understand where my friend is coming from, I would have to disagree to a point. Hear me out on this please...
If the person who hurt you deeply is genuinely sorry for doing so and asks for your forgiveness, then it is up to you whether to accept their apology. Depending on the circumstances that caused that hurt, sometimes things can be mended and you can move forward and put it behind you. Other times, you can choose to forgive, but the relationship has been damaged and you move forward more cautiously. Still other times, the damage that was done is so hurtful that you have to protect yourself and cut this person out of your life. In these circumstances, you can choose to forgive but it may be more for you than for this person, so that the anger and hurt does not eat you alive.
I think many of us have sadly been in the last situation at least once in our lives, if not more. I know I have and as hard as it was, I am thankful that I am now "wiser" about knowing when to "cut bait and run". I may forgive the person (in time), but I will not forget and that is not a bad thing from my point of view. We all need to learn to set healthy boundaries for ourselves and learn from past experiences. What is that saying...the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior? If someone consistently shows you who they really are...believe them...good or bad.
I recently shared about the person who came into my home threatening me, my son and my husband. This person invaded the sanctity of my home, my refuge and safe place, and left me rattled and scared. This same person showed up at our door 2 weeks later to "apologize" and Jeff met him at the door and would not let him in our home. Jeff stayed calm and would not let him off the hook for his behavior because the "sorry" was always followed by some excuse and he slipped up and let Jeff know that he was apologizing because he father found out what happened (he got mad about something nice his father said about our family and told him what he had done, jealousy is an awful thing) and he needed to "save face" at that point. He ended the conversation with saying he hoped that we could all be friends in the future, but if not, he would understand. I think he realized that he not only burnt the proverbial bridge but blew the thing to smithereens. Now, in this case, I can look back and see other red flags, even though Jeff and I had gone out of our way for years to be kind and supportive of this man. Am I going to hold a grudge against this man, nope...not worth the energy. Am I ever going to trust him again...nope...he has shown me his true self and I do not want to be part of his drama. I will be cordial with him, but I will not go out of my way to help him ever again. I've been down that road before and I can now clearly see the game playing and trying to pit people against each other. Not going to play that toxic and twisted game...no sir!
Jeff set some very strong boundaries with this man and he now knows NOT to come and attack me and if he has any concerns or issues to come directly to Jeff. Jeff told him, in no uncertain terms, he would never act that way towards me again. The man got the message loud and clear. Like I stated previously, Jeff kept very calm but he would not let him off the hook. I am so very grateful for my hubby and the way he handled things.
I'm glad Jeff was there to protect you and set boundaries. Hope this person will never bother you, again. Stay well, Debbie, and take care of yourself.ReplyDelete
Me too! I am blessed to have such a calm and protective hubby!Delete
Forgive for you heart and peace - not for them.ReplyDelete
Jesus told us to love one another, and we should, but we don't have to LIKE everyone.ReplyDelete
Debbie, forgive for your own welfare but you do not have to forget. You must set boundaries. I had a terrible experience about 10 years ago with a man coming into our home and attacking me. He had set the whole thing up knowing I was going to be alone. It was so awful. It took me a couple of years to trust anyone and even though I have to see this man on a regular basis and he wants to be friends I just do not allow him any rope. I cannot, I forgive him, but that is for me, not him.ReplyDelete
(((((((HUGS))))) and I am so sorry that you went through that experience. He sounds like a horrible person!Delete
When I think of forgiveness, I am often reminded of the story from Corrie ten Boom and her running into a former, vicious guard from Ravensbruck concentration camp. He had become a Christian and she had just spoken on forgiveness. It is a powerful story. Forgiveness is essential however it would be foolish to forget and allow another to victimize us again.ReplyDelete
I know that story too. :)Delete