The word 'forgiveness has several meanings. This article explores the these meanings in human relationships and about the value of forgiveness.Dr Audrey Coatesworth has a different viewpoint which she shares in this article.
In the dictionary, the word ‘forgive’ has several meanings, each subtly different from the other and, connected with these meanings, are strongly held beliefs.
One meaning is to ‘leave unavenged’ and ‘let bygones be bygones’, and simply ‘to accept’.
When I worked as a Consultant Psychiatrist, specialising in psychotherapy, much of my work was concerned with the unresolved traumatic experiences of the person at a much younger age. The ‘younger ‘ them, who had been involved in the trauma with lasting negative effect, often carried with them a sense of personal shame or a feeling of inner anger or blame even though they had been innocent victims, e.g. of abuse or in an accident. I would encourage them to look at themselves in the experience at the age they were when it happened, and in my presence and with my support and encouragement, they eventually they would learn to ‘forgive’ the inner child.
Then they would be encouraged to love that ‘inner child’- i.e the ‘younger person that had been them’. In that context the forgiveness was ‘an acceptance’ of the lack of responsibility for what happened. They gained an understanding of the lack of knowledge due to the young age, or merely agreed that the child could neither stop nor alter what was happening.
The ‘forgiveness’ of the younger self brings with it a different perspective and regard, which accepts that both courage and resilience are qualities that the adult owes to the younger self. Thus the adult is strengthened through the experiences of the child, rather than weakened.
In this context, ‘forgiveness’ is a healing and positive concept and a very useful tool in the reframing of past traumas.
However, there is also the meaning that forgiveness equals being generous in spirit e.g. ‘forgiving a murderer or an abuser’. Some people go to church to be forgiven in the ‘confessional’ and believe that the priest can ‘wipe out one’s sins’ by granting absolution. The ‘do what you want and then ‘three hail Mary’s and you are alright’ concept.
This ‘acquittal’ or ‘having or giving absolution’ meaning is one which I quarrel with and cannot accept. It is a wrong belief put forward by the religious preachers.
If someone deliberately hurts another person, then the one who harms will carry that action with them, embedded in the memory of the brain. They will have to account for their actions and will receive back the same hurt – either before or after death. They will not receive one second less or one second more. What happens after they have received back the hurt they caused is not ours to decide. That is in the hands of God. No one, even in the heavenly planes, grants absolution for hurt given to another if the action was deliberate and to harm – e.g. by physical or mental violence or abuse.
We have people suffering grievous harm saying that they ‘forgive’ another person. Sometimes this is because they believe that that will make them ‘better people,’ or more Christian. If to do so allows someone to feel less angry about what has happened and eases their grief, then all well and good. But that is a personal ‘healing process’. Their forgiveness has nothing whatsoever to do with what happens to the ‘doer’ of the action.
The power to forgive in the ‘wiping out the sin’ concept is not a power within the human mind, even with the training of being a priest! No one can stop another person receiving their own retribution. A priest can belief he can, or make people belief that fact, but it is not so, whatever the teachings of their church. Hurt someone and you are responsible and will receive back that which you have given. This applies to all humans, of whatever race or creed and in whatever country of the world. An example – those older men who take young girls as ‘child brides’ against their will and subject them to sexual actions or the damage of pregnancy in a too-young body, and those who rape children, will, after death, get back the pain they have caused.
The sooner people realise that this life is but the beginning not the end and that true justice happens in the hereafter, then the sooner this world will be a happier place in which to live. When people realise that every action is known to the spiritual planes, that they are responsible for every action and that nothing can be hidden, the sooner cruelty will stop.
Three years ago I nearly died – I arrived at a ‘gate’ but was not allowed to stay. I was told to go back and write what you know. Hence I am writing - poems, books and articles which gradually tell what I know.
The Old Testament preached ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’, in a revengeful manner. The New Testament has evolved a ‘forgiveness’ code of practice, but that is wrong too. Christ never spoke ‘forgive them Father, they know not what they do’. There are old gospels not in the bible which state that Christ did not speak on the cross. And, in any case, what would make say that? He knew that those who murdered him knew exactly what they were doing – they were killing a young man – deliberately. ‘Why’ they did what they did is a different matter altogether.
The code of the world is ‘You will reap what you sow.’ What you give out, so you will receive back.
Christ did not ‘take away the sins of the world’. No one takes away the sin of harming another person, when that harm is inflicted for the sake of harming. If someone does an evil deed they will eventually have to accept the pain back.
I write because when more people know this truth, then those who hurt others will think first and desist, as courage is not one of the attributes of those pathetic individuals who hurt the weak and frail.
Many will, I am sure, want to disagree with what I write. I have no problem with that, they can wait to know and understand. Everyone has choice.
You may ask, how do I know to write this? The answers will be given, hidden in my books – the first one was published in 2009. It is called ‘Beyond Mercy’- it chronicles events which happened in 1497 to three young women, what happened subsequently and links to the present and the future. The book challenges current beliefs but I believe that the ‘book within the book’ will be found. I have stuck out my neck and said it will be found in 2012, giving credence to what I write. Read the book to find out more.
Find details and buy the books via the website www.plppublishings.com or www.buybeyondmercybook.com