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 Post subject: Forgiveness Both sides
PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:14 am 
Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3463
Location: UK
Back in October I posted in my thread

Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as vengefulness, with an increased ability to wish the offender well.[1][2] Forgiveness is different from condoning (failing to see the action as wrong and in need of forgiveness), excusing (not holding the offender as responsible for the action), forgetting (removing awareness of the offense from consciousness), pardoning (granted for an acknowledged offense by a representative of society, such as a judge), and reconciliation (restoration of a relationship).[1]

Forgiveness is totally down to the individual
I have forgiven myself for what I did to myself but I have not forgiven myself for what I did to her

But what does it take to forgive?
What does it mean to be forgiven?

Would we change the above (from the web) definition when specifically related to SA?

Remember recovery is more than abstinence
Every transition begins with an ending
Do not confuse happiness with seeking pleasure
stay healthy keep safe
Coach Kenzo

PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:13 am 
Recovery Mentor

Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:29 am
Posts: 120
I think that this is an interesting subject. In my view I believe that the common understanding of the word "forgiveness" is somewhat different from the dictionary definition. The definition provided suggests that the person who is the subject of the "offence" has made a decision to no longer hold negative emotions about it and to move on. I would in fact think that many would actually view the term "forgiven" as suggesting that it no longer matters to them that the act happened in the first place which is a subtle change in definition but makes the world of difference.

In my own case, my wife and I went through therapy a number of years ago and as we neared the end of our sessions with him he encouraged my wife to forgive me. We then got into a debate about what that meant. She said that she was prepared to acknowledge what I had done but did not want to say that she forgave me for it as it suggested that it was OK for me to have done it which she felt strongly was not the case. I completely agreed with what she was saying.

On reflection, and going back to the definition put forward, I would suggest that the term "acceptance" may be a better one to use than "forgiveness" in the context of SA. If I look back to that discussion with my wife, I think it is fair to say that she got to a stage where she was willing to accept that it had happened but did not want to go as far as saying that it had been OK. I am completely on-side with that. If I then look at myself, I found one of the early lessons incredibly helpful which was essentially saying that if you have made the decision to change and start out on the new path of a healthy life then no amount of trying to beat yourself up about what you have done will change what you have done so whilst you need to feel remorse for what had happened you must "accept" it and then let it go. I will always regret the pain that I have put my wife through and won't ever forget it but I can't change that now. I will not "forgive" myself for what I have done but I have now "accepted" that it happened. What I can change and have control over now though is how I treat her in the future and that is where my efforts and energies must be focussed.


"If you ever doubt the lie of excitement that anticipates an urge and wonder if it will be worth it, remember that there is a very good reason that you joined Recovery Nation"

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