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March 07, 2007


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I don't think you need to tell someone when you forgive them - I think it's more about your state of mind than about them. But you could send a friendly card out of the blue (without reference to the earlier wrong, and with no ulterior motive, like, to solicit a still-pending apology), and maybe brighten their day.

Although I can think of some things I'm sorry I did many years ago and wish I could be forgiven for, and it would really be nice to know they forgave me for those things specifically. I guess it's my job to hunt down the people in question and apologize first, huh? Maybe that'll be my big lenten accomplishment. Getting up at 6 am certainly hasn't been working out...

1) This is my favorite time of year. I love it and am so looking forward to daylight savings time THIS Sunday (3 weeks early..weeee).
2) .2 lbs. Bah.
3) I'm doing good on my no coke and no fast food but boy howdy, you better believe the second I leave Mass on Easter, I will either a coke, or some fast food, or BOTH! I do think I'm going to try to maybe keep it to a one a day coke and maybe once a week fast food though. I think that could be doable.
4) I need more details on this forgivness thing.
A) To give you a better answer
B) Cause I'm nosey
5) I think you are the only person who needs to forgive her and accept forgiving her. It's all part of something in you. Forgiveness can be a wonderful thing for the soul. However, if you think it would lighten her heart or help take a chip off her shoulder if she knew you had forgiven her, then I would tell her. If you wish to maybe have a future relationship with her, then I would tell her. If you are fine with never speaking to her again or fine with simply giving her a polite smile when you do see her, then I would keep the forgiveness to yourself.

I love Wilson! You're going to make fun of me probably, but I have this Big Huge yellow cup at work that I keep full of ice water all day long (with the exception of my 2pm run to the commisary for my daily dose of Diet Mt. Dew...but I digress). So when I was first starting to learn guitar, one of the first songs I wrote was inspired by my big yellow cup. Want to hear it?!?

I vote for sending a letter, but only after you get the 8 year old on board. You can draft the letter as you work on getting the 8 year old on board, so she has a chance to say what's there for her, but you may want to revise her comments. ;)

After you can say in total honesty and your own way, something like this, send the letter:

Hey, when X happened, I was really hurt. Looking back, I can see that I let that hurt get in the way of blah blah which impacted me Y and you Z. I wanted to let you know that I've forgiven you and also myself, and I hope the next time we run into each other we can start fresh.

KEY TO MAKING THIS WORK IS TO HAVE NO EXPECTATIONS OF HER. Otherwise you are setting yourself up for disappointment. After all, this is about you practicing forgiveness, not getting something. :)

I sent a letter like that once, maybe 6 or 7 years ago. It was one of the best things I've ever done for myself. I went from regular sadness and occasional obsessive behavior (over the previous 8 years) to having the person and incident rarely even cross my mind. I can't think of the last time before this, my best guess is a few months before Noah was born.

I completely spaced on commenting about the forgiveness part. I think that it depends on whether the person you are forgiving realizes or accepts that they did something wrong. If the person doesn't think they did anything wrong, then they are just going end up hurting your feelings more when they question why they would need forgiveness in the first place.

On one hand I sort of second Liza, but I think that is because I loathe confrontation and letters are an easy way to have difficult conversations...same with email and to an extent IM. They are a lot easier to deal with than talking face to face. But it can be hit-or-miss in the effectiveness category because you can't always see inflection and intent like you can when you are looking someone in the face.

So I guess that I think that if the person is aware that they hurt you, then you should let them know, explicitly, that they are forgiven. If they aren't aware that they hurt you, then the forgiveness is more for you than anything else and there isn't much use in actually telling the person you've forgiven them.

I blogged about "forgiveness" after a church sermon. I think it relates to your post and there's some good scripture I quoted: http://marriage-101.blogspot.com/2006/08/forgiveness-is-good-for-soul.html

Whether or not you decide to tell her that she's forgiven isn't as important as truly forgiving her. Good luck!

OMG! I never talk religion on the blogs because I am escared of how people will react, but I feel like I probably should since, by God, I have spent a lot of the government's money learning about it.

I think forgiveness is absolutely vital to a right relationship with God and with creation. After all, the Lord's prayer asks God to forgive us our debts AS we forgive our debtors, not EVEN THOUGH WE HAVEN'T forgiven them.

I don't think you strictly need to tell the other person that you've forgiven them. The main thing I think is important is actually letting go of the hostility. The traditional wisdom is, "Forgive, but don't forget." But how much forgiveness can really happen in that situation?

Anyway. Food for thought, I guess.

I am also of the opinion that forgiveness is most important for the forgive-er. I don't know the whole story, but if she isn't banging down your door for your attention, maybe just let it go?

And isn't it convenient that I'm also completely terrified of confrontation, so this particular philosophy has been working FABULOUSLY for me so far?

Wilson does look like kind of a ladies' man. You'd better watch out.

No, I don't think you need to tell the other person. However, you could do so at the time that that action would just happen to happen. Don't let the past weight you down. Move on. I currently am studying the parables of Jesus to know more about the Kingdom of God. Good stuff.


Let me share: I created a bad situation with a freshman year roommate. By the time I figured out I was on the side who needed to apologize, she had already left the school (our issue was not one of the contributing factors), and we hadn't spoken in 2 years - even when she sat directly behind me in a class sophomore year. Still, until I forgave myself for my part in the issue, it was one of those items that I contemplated in the wee hours of the morning. If I happened to run into her (almost 8 years later now), I would probably apologize, just to make it formal that I regretted my actions.

Point being, if you want to make it ok in your heart now, you don't have to reach out to the other person to make the forgiveness complete. And who knows, by forgiving her and yourself for your part in the divide, that happy face when you see her may just be real.

Loaded questions, friend. I don't think you necessarily have to tell her in a production sort of way, but maybe something very subtle to ease the tension. Most importantly, I think, is to move on from the situation and not let it take up any more of your thoughts.

Your mom takes up my thoughts.


I wish I knew the answer for you. There are two people in my life that I have no contact with. One chose to boot me out of his life, one I choose to boot her out of mine. Neither of them even care that they hurt me so yeah, forgiving them is not on my list of priorities. Neither is forgiving my monster-in-law for her past and ongoing horrible behavior. It is the whole FORGIVENESS issue that keeps me from being the Christian I should be. I'm a work in progress. I pray on what to do, then ignore the answer I get when I don't like it. I wish I could tell you the right thing to do, but I can't even fix my own life. Ugh! Good, thought provoking post!

Wow. I don't even know exactly what to say.

I think forgiveness is important. Mostly for your own state of mind. And I imagine that true forgiveness will take a long time. We are humans. Once you have truly forgiven this person, I imagine things will just fall into place. I don't think an actual letter or phone call needs to scheduled and prepared. I think that once you have truly forgiven this person, something will happen to mend the relationship.

And as for your question as to whether or not I've forgiven someone....

I like to think that I've forgiven my exhusband for the mess that our marriage (and sanity) was left in. But the fact that I've recently been thinking about it so much makes me think that maybe I haven't forgiven him. Or the people that are also to blame for the demise.

I think forgiveness is a good thing, even if the other person doesn't know. At least you will be at peace with yourself, in your mind.

I actually think one of the hardest things to do is forgive oneself. It's harder for me to forgive myself for acting in ways that haven't exactly been pretty or for things I've done that have hurt others. It's far easier to forgive others...

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  • "The Lord is my helper,
    I will not be afraid.
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