Thursday, May 24, 2007

Hump Day Hmmm: Accepting Forgiveness---The Incredible Participants

Updated, Thursday at noon: Check out the comments. There is some good discussion going! Feel free to use this space, really, truly, to think out loud if you want. :) You know I like that. Do it all the time. Sometimes even in public. ;)

Without any big fanfare---because the awesome posts stand on their own---these are the Hump Day Hmm particiants who answered this question:

What has the experience of being forgiven been like for you?

Take some time and go read every one of these responses. It will be worth every second; trust me.

Kaliroz at Fortune and Glory wrote "Please forgive me, I know not what I do ..."

Gwen at Woman on the Verge wrote To Forgive Divine

Lawyer Mama wrote Those Three Little Words Are Hard to Say

Chani at Thailand Gal (newly remodeled and GORGEOUS!) wrote The Tree of Forgiveness....

I wrote Shove me in the shallow water

Bub and Pie wrote A Few Things I Have to Say

Mary-LUE of Life, the Universe and Everything wrote A Gift Too Lightly Received

And Mary-LUE of Life, the Universe and Everything also had a late entry for the journey discussion (that I hadn't yet linked) with The Evolution of Awareness

This topic was probably the hardest for me. I appreciate the participation, but more than that, I appreciate all of the other pespectives. I can't seem to find a way to explain how awesome it is to have this channel opened up, and so eloquently. Thanks all!

P.S. I keep the host post up so if I (a) missed you, then SORRY!!! let me know and I'll add you in, and (b) if you put tsomething together in the next couple of days let me know and I'll add you in.


copyright 2007 Julie Pippert

19 comments:

jen said...

it's funny how i am struggling with writing my own thoughts on this, i just mentioned over at gwen's that i feel like a weird voyeur, and i don't usually feel this way.

which must mean, julie, that you are doing something right. if my brain hurts, it's got to be good.

Mary-LUE said...

Here is my post of for this week's discussion: A Gift Too Lightly Received

Julie Pippert said...

Jen, I am so glad we got this ongoing discussion of forgiveness going. It feels like such a key factor to me right now.

More generally...

This week's question (which I, unfairly, had at least twice as long to ponder) was particularly hard for me, particularly hard to find my feelings and thoughts.

I struggle with boundaries---when to step in and when to step back, when to take responsibility and when to let myself off the hook.

There's something dangling just in front of me and I think if we keep talking about this, I'll get there.

I've been really working to define and redefine forgiveness. It's been crucially helpful, all the perspectives, comments, personal stories and experiences.

My brain hurts too, Jen, and I agree it's all good.

LOL :0)

slouching mom said...

Thank you for coordinating this, Julie. These posts are indeed thought-provoking.

Julie Pippert said...

Mary, got you! Thanks! Off to read now...

SM, you are welcome. Truly, my pleasure. I thank all the participants, writers and commenters. As I said just above, this is such a boon.

thailandchani said...

This is a very interesting discussion and reading the other posts this morning has been very thought-provoking.

I wonder, you know, where and how pride plays a role in the inability to accept forgiveness and/or lovingkindness.

Many say, "I don't feel comfortable" but is it really pride that keeps us from accepting one of the most gratifying gifts we give one another?

Something to consider anyway...


~Ch

Julie Pippert said...

Chani, that's a good question. I'll have to ponder it.

Today as I was commenting to one of the posts in the Hmmms (not sure which post, not sure that matters) I thought about your reciprocity post.

You talked very eloquently about believing people should gracefully appreciate an extension of kindness. I agreed.

I shared how frustrated I have felt in several situations when my reaching out to be there and support, whether just emotionally or concretely with something (like food for a new mom) was rejected as if it was nefarious in intent, some attempt to put the other person at a disadvantage. This hurt and appalled me.

I said it is only kindness to appreciate the gesture, even if you don't accept it for some reason.

Like your cookie guy, "Oh that is so thoughtful...what a sweet gesture. I'd take you up on it but I'm on a diet. Maybe when I reach my goal...I'll check back with you." Or something.

Your entry today called forgiveness lovingkindness, and you wrote, "To believe in another person enough to forgive."

It and a few other entries clicked in my mind to make me think of strings.

So often it seems like apologies are conditional, they come with expectations that are unfair to the person being apologized to.

I know in my history apologies have been weapons, and forgiveness conditional, and can be taken back. weapons. Forgiveness in my history is supposed to be an exoneration, and a reconciliation. It has made me distrustful of forgiveness.

Perhaps our reciprocity people have a similar issue with kindness as I have with "lovingkindness." Perhaps it has been used as a means of injury.

Do you see what I mean about the extending and accepting of any gesture (kind) being sort of on the same plane, whether it is support, help, friendliness, forgiveness?

And since it is a plane it means we have baggage, right? ;)

I say I am sorry to placate so people will continue to like and love me...I learned this is the condition, you know?

Perhaps one necessity is to set down the baggage, and consider only the people involved in this exact moment.

Oh, this is *her* and she means well---regardless of my history---and is sincere so...I will respond with the kindness she should get.

I'm rambling but KWIM?

Let me think more...see where this is going.

Julie Pippert said...

Okay Chani, thought of something else LOL at me. My point about considering only the moment and the person, and that quote I used...it reminds me about my question: what do you do about forgiveness when the other person isn't sorry, and you don't believe in them? And it isn't an isloated incident but rather a pattern? Out of curiosity...I wonder if Dan's response was due to him already having changed himself and forgiven himself.

Hmmm

thailandchani said...

Julie, one of the things I do is to remove myself from (detach from) other people's motives. Ultimately, I can't be responsible for what others do with my apologies, my forgiveness or my kindnesses.

As for not believing in someone ~ funny you should mention that. I know you've been reading my site and you know about V, my housemate's son who is (as far as I'm concerned) a sociopathic alcoholic.

I don't believe in him because his history indicates that he's a bad risk. His present behavior reaffirms it.

Does that mean I withdraw my lovingkindness or kind gestures toward him?

No.

Because in the final analysis, I am responsible for my behavior. Not his.

Do I forgive him for his behavior? Hm. In the strictest sense of it, probably not. Not if it is conditionally tied to absolution. I hold him accountable.

On the other hand, V. is here with his own set of lessons to learn, his own karma. I don't know what kind of karma he is working out in this lifetime.

That much I know... so perhaps my role in his life is to be kind, regardless of all the rest. Maybe that's part of my karma.

I can be kind to him without becoming a part of his drama. I don't get sucked into his lies. The scenario is obvious.

I am also not responsible for his moral development.

My only responsibility is to honor his lifepath, knowing that in the end, he will learn the lessons he is fated to learn. I can't change that.. and wouldn't.

In the end, it's probably really that simple.

What bothers me intensely is the cultural demand for fierce independence that probably stunts or blunts the lessons we all have to learn in interacting with each other. Lovingkindness and forgiveness are just as much a part of the human condition as anything else.

When it's hidden behind pride or cultural custom, we all lose.


peace,

~Chani Of The Long Comments :)

thailandchani said...

I wonder if Dan's response was due to him already having changed himself and forgiven himself.

Probably. I don't really know. :)


Peace,

~Ch OTLC again .. :)

Mary-LUE said...

I just finished reading all the posts listed so far. I think this has been a really good bunch, don't you?

I will piggy back briefly on Chani's comment on pride to say that I agree it is a component. It has been for me and I have seen that in others. Now, I'm not going to say it is true for everyone; I honestly don't know that. Just for myself and for some I've seen, pride has definitely been a factor in both forgiving and receiving forgiveness.

Julie, I am having a similar sensation of something dangling in front of me. I'm not quite sure what to make of it. On some level, I think it is just such a multi-faceted subject we could do variations on this theme for months. Forgiveness for the unrepentant, forgiveness which is conditional, etc.

I didn't go into issues with forgiving myself because it seemed like the subject for another post. I couldn't transition from what I wrote to that. Okay, I'm rambling now. I've got to get out for a walk and then I'm helping a friend with a floral job.

Thanks again for putting this all together.

Lawyer Mama said...

My head is starting to hurt too. But in a good way.

One thing I love about your roundtables, Julie, even if I don't participate, is seeing the different takes that everyone has on the same question. There are as many different possible posts as there are snowflake patterns.

About these questions: "what do you do about forgiveness when the other person isn't sorry, and you don't believe in them? And it isn't an isloated incident but rather a pattern?"

I think this is part of the problem I have with asking for forgiveness or apologizing. I've had so much experience with people who truly aren't sorry, but simply toss off the words as if they are no big deal, that forgiveness is much harder for me. If someone offers me forgiveness in response to my apology, but they don't really mean it, is that worse than never apologizing at all? And is there anything more frustrating in the world than constantly being in the position of trying to accept forgiveness from someone when it's not really meant sincerely?

Christine said...

I wanted to do something, too, but I've had a hard day and am so tired.

I really want to think about how we deal with NOT being forgiven. Hmmmmm. . .maybe another day. too tired.

Scribbit said...

For me forgiving can be so hard but when I can do it it's a lifting, lightening release.

Julie Pippert said...

Chani, you are right; that is a crucial thing to consider (part of the wisdom bit---knowing it is beyond your control).

Thinking about V and other things, times when people are not taking responsibility, are not sorry, have not exhibited regret or willingness to change...

Maybe we need another word. Or words.

If someone expresses regret...forgiveness.

If someone hasn't reached that place yet but needs kindness...lovingkindness.

If someone isn't sorry and never will be but you need to move on...release.

Or soemthing like that.

Julie Pippert said...

Mary, I agree; it really is a good batch. But it might be bias on my part since I really am working on this bit.

I think you and Chani are right that pride is often an unhelpful component when it comes to offering or receiving apologies and forgiveness.

I think it is most often a "defensive tactic, strong need to be right/never be wrong."

The other element that occurs to me is disbelief.

So often we have a strong idea of who we think we are, and an action that is detractive or in contrast to that idea generates disbelief.

"I'm a NICE person...what I did couldn't hurt her feelings, I mean it NICELY."

All of which, I suppose, also goes along with intent and action not being mutually inclusive.

Julie Pippert said...

LM, I find the same thing. As for your questions, those are good ones. When you mention insincere offerings, I take it as being frustrated because Person A's insincerity invalidates Person B's true emotion.

Those are good questions. Maybe we need a question pool. A forgiveness meme.

***

Oooh, Christine, that's a great angle. Let me know where your thoughts go with that, and hoepfully it leads to a blog post.

***

Scribbit, I agree.

Gwen said...

I do think, for me, pride gets in the way of admitting I even need forgiveness. I also have realized, for myself, that I can only be responsible for me. What other people are doing or saying or thinking is outside my control. I can't make someone be sorry; I can't know for sure what anyone else is truly thinking. The instances of hurt in my life that I've had to work through--boarding school, missionary narrowness, my parents choosing god over their family--have all been done in a vacuum. By this I mean, the hurter has never apologized or even known, probably, the hurt that was caused. So I've had to work that out on my own. Perhaps this is why, for me, forgiveness is about what I do in my own head, not what other people do for me. I can see how the experience is different for you, Julie, especially, since the people who hurt you are actively involved in your life. I've realized that's one reason we approach this issue differently. Or why it feels so different for me.

Julie Pippert said...

Gwen, I confess: I'm lost. LOL

You wrote, "Perhaps this is why, for me, forgiveness is about what I do in my own head, not what other people do for me. I can see how the experience is different for you, Julie, especially, since the people who hurt you are actively involved in your life. I've realized that's one reason we approach this issue differently."

I'm confused...any elaboration? Thanks!