Friday, August 04, 2006

Forgiveness

The concept of forgiveness is beautiful to me. The ability to say I am sorry and in so doing accept responsibility for your actions is difficult and graceful. Our natural reaction is to accept some of the responsibility and attempt to share the 'blame' with the party we are apologizing to.

We can only be held accountable for our own actions and can not share responsibility. You alone are responsible for your actions and if you have done something that you feel badly about, man up and say you are sorry. It will make you feel better if you mean it.

If someone approaches you asking forgiveness it can be almost as difficult. Accepting an apology requires as much grace as offering one. Forgiving and forgetting are mutually exclusive, if you forgive it does not mean that you forget. Past transgressions play into the sincerity of the apology. They need to be considered. When it is evident the apology is insincere it must be rebuked. If you love the person you need to help them get help or get them out of your life.

In my life I am not apologized to often, I am lucky that when people do offend me, I deserve it. When I am apologized to I make sure that I can move on before I accept, if there are issues I need clarified, I bring them up. When I apologize, I ask forgiveness for what I have done and try to listen and respect the issues that need clarifying. Many times this is where it breaks down, the person apologizing wants it to be over and gets defensive.

Forgiveness is one of the cornerstones of Catholicism that I respect and admire. Forgiveness for me requires prayer and meditation, there is an aspect of humility involved that for me is tough. I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut when it should be shut, prayer helps me with that.

5 Comments:

Blogger Mary P. said...

Heidi does know she's got a winner, doesn't she?

7:52 PM EDT  
Blogger Charlie Blockhead said...

We recently we through a situation where the preacher at our church committed a sin, but refused to own up to it. Consequently my family and close to 6 others have decided to find a new spiritual home. Forgiveness is twice as hard when it's not being asked for.

11:08 PM EDT  
Blogger Kailani said...

If we didn't learn to forgive, then we wouldn't have any friends or family left. Everyone will at least once in our life hurt us, dissappoint us, or let us down in one way or another. To forgive is devine.

Great post!

2:03 AM EDT  
Blogger Rich | Championable said...

Howdy.

I think the key is to not have an agenda while accepting an apology or making an honest amend... I think in my family, apologies were strategies. ways of attempting to further a point.

Rock on.

7:38 AM EDT  
Blogger Peter said...

Mary P.: I think so, she keeps me around.

Charlie Blockhead: Thanks for stopping by, your statement "Forgiveness is twice as hard when it's not being asked for." brings up a very interesting point that may be a post in itself. When you ask for an apology I think in some ways it diminishes its sincerity.

Kailaini: Have I told you lately that I find your rise in blog prominence remarkable. I wish I could raise the p.r. of the Tutu Boutique store the way you have climbed into people's blogroles and on subject i think you are absolutely right on

Championable: Thanks for stopping by. In my experience apologies as strategies ties into asking for the apology. "I am not talking to him/her again until they apologies." Be careful when you force a hand and be prepared to follow through, otherwise your ultimatum is only a threat. Threats are cheap.

8:19 AM EDT  

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