I looked at several YT video’s to get some idea of what people think about forgiveness. It is a hot topic. I thought I had it all worked out until I looked at a video from Wes Penre and Arial Glad who turned my view on this topic upside down.
Then I discussed this subject with friends and found out that most people would not forgive someone that hurt them badly.
I came to the conclusion that forgiveness has a lot to do with exchange. We give and take and honest people feel there is to be some balance between the results of giving and the results of taking.
Even dishonest people strive for balance.
Let us say someone steels a bike. This causes an imbalance between the thief and the owner of the bike. The owner of the bike wants his bike back so the imbalance is corrected. But what about the thief? Does he/she strive for balance as well? I think so.
The reason you steel is because you feel an imbalance. You don’t have a bike and you need or want one. We could consider this to be an imbalance too. When you have an idea you start to experience an imbalance and when you realize your idea you again feel in balance.
The difference between an honest and a dishonest person, regarding balance, is that an honest person doesn’t want to obtain balance by causing a dishonest imbalance to another or others. A dishonest person is only interested in balance for him/herself and doesn’t care much about causing a dishonest imbalance with others. However, the dishonest person would make an exception for those that can help him to obtain balance for himself.
The reason for honest people to collide so heavily with dishonest people is the difference in their states of awareness. The honest person is aware of how others feel and wants others to feel good. The dishonest person doesn’t care much about the feelings of others as his attention is mainly on himself.
To complicate things even further, both types of people tent to not understand each other. Most honest people don’t understand dishonest behavior. On the other hand most dishonest people cannot figure out why honest people are so honest.
I used to believe that understanding the dishonest person was the same as forgiving them for their wrong doings. You understand that they are selfish so what else can you do then forgive them. They can’t help being dishonest. Their awareness is too low to have empathy with others.
Now, thanks to that video on forgiveness I mentioned above, I know better.
Forgiving people that are dishonest is taking away an opportunity for them to rise in awareness. We cannot expect from dishonest people to become more aware about the feelings of others if we don’t make them responsible for their actions by having them correct the imbalance.
There is nothing wrong with understanding the dishonest person. In fact understanding why people are dishonest could be a first step in dealing with these people. Forgiving them without offering them a chance to make up for their wrong doings is in fact allowing them to continue being dishonest and thus not giving them a chance to become more aware.
When we consider the above, honest people have only one option and that is to force the dishonest person to correct the dishonest imbalance.
As we all know, this isn’t always feasible. We live in a dishonest world. Far too many people don’t give a damn about others and only try to interfere when their own interests are at stake.
When we cannot stop dishonesty what can we do? We can sever or lessen contact with the dishonest person. This way we make it harder or even impossible for the dishonest person to continue creating dishonest imbalances with us.
By the way, a dishonest imbalance can be seen as any imbalance that is not agreed upon. When you hit your opponent in a boxing match and it is a knockout you win. That is an example of an agreed upon imbalance. You both agreed to fight each other knowing well what results can be expected.
When you as a boxer break a rule in a boxing game and your opponent looses the match due to you breaking that rule we would have a clear cut example of a dishonest imbalance.
Sometimes disconnecting from someone is not feasible. In that case contact could be avoided as much as possible giving the dishonest person less chance to be dishonest with you.
Breaking contact or avoiding contact were feasible can be hard on the dishonest person. This doesn’t make it into a bad solution. Quite the contrary, it gives the dishonest person an opportunity to reflect on him or herself. It entices the dishonest person to question himself and that is an important way to raise awareness.
Dealing with dishonesty can be extremely hard on honest people. We have all experienced dishonesty many times in our lives. Dishonest people experience dishonesty more easily as they expect dishonesty from others. They know they would do the same when given a chance. Finding a way to correct a dishonest imbalance that happened to them is simply solved by creating another dishonest imbalance to get back in balance. The honest person can’t do this and thus feels being victimized by dishonest people.
We must also realize there are many shades of grey between the honest and the dishonest person. We can be honest in one aspect of life and dishonest on another. We can be more honest than dishonest or less honest than dishonest.
As a general rule of thumb we could say that the honest person is more aware and could for this reason take more responsibility for people that are less honest and therefore less aware.
Forcing dishonest people to make up for the damage they brought about will give them an opportunity to rise in awareness and thus become more honest. Severing contact, if feasible, is the only other way to stop dishonest people from harming you.
We don’t forgive dishonest people until they become honest by making up for the damage done. In fact there is no need to forgive any perpetrator at any time. When a dishonest person makes up for the damage done to full satisfaction of his victim the dishonest imbalance has been rectified making forgiveness unnecessary.
1. Absolving other(s) from correcting a dishonest imbalance.
2. Letting go of negative emotions such as being angry or vengeful.
Per definition 1 we don’t have to forgive anyone as forgiving others is allowing a dishonest imbalance to persevere enticing the perpetrator to continue or even worsen his behavior against you.
But what about unconditional love? Can we love our fellow man despite his evil acts? Yes we can but we don’t have to. Sometimes emotions such as anger can cause a shock effect that might help the person to realize what he is doing.
So far we have only looked at forgiveness from the viewpoint of the perpetrator. But what about the victim? What if you are heavily traumatized by what was done to you? Your life is all in shambles due to a dishonest imbalance.
As stated before, honest people are mostly affected by a dishonest imbalance and especially when they don’t get a chance to get it rectified. This might turn on negative emotions that can haunt these people for the rest of their lives.
Letting go of negative emotions is the only way to get back on your feet. Vengeful feelings against your perpetrator can make your life miserable.
Understanding the perpetrator can be a very important first step in letting go of negative emotions.
It isn’t always a black or white situation. Sometimes we have contributed to the dishonest imbalance ourselves. This has to be taken into account as well or we will not be able to let go of vengeful feelings. We will have to forgive ourselves for any shortcomings regarding the situation at hand.
People who are mostly honest can temporarily slide toward dishonest behavior causing a dishonest imbalance. We have to use judgment in all situations. The yardstick that can be used is whether your claim for rectification offers an opportunity for the perpetrator to rise in consciousness. When we can raise consciousness in ourselves and others we all win.
As stated in the above definitions of forgiveness, there are two types of forgiveness. You absolve the person from correcting the dishonest imbalance. This can be done with people who are reasonably honest as they will be inclined to make up for it as soon as they have a chance to do so.
The second and most important definition of forgiveness is the letting go of negative emotions held against the perpetrator or yourself. This is also the hardest thing to do. This is done by understanding both sides and than just let go. If you cannot let go of the vengeful feelings you might need some help in looking at how you, yourself contributed to the situation as that is usually what makes the emotions stick.
Then you have to forgive yourself. To forgive yourself is sometimes harder than forgiving others but when done can help clear up the entire situation.
I hope you find this information somewhat useful.