Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Art of F & F

A very loyal reader of this blog commented on my dream Titled "Needed."
He asked for advice regarding an issue that he has been faced with. After thinking about it for some time I've decided to show my readers the art of Forgiving and Forgetting.

Take of it what you may, but take something from it. We've all hurt and we've all been hurt before. I hope this helps my fellow UD!! The UD that was extremely considerate to think of my Bigdogg and wish him a wonderful Passover.

That to me is INCREDIBLE!! We all do those special things in life that make people feel warm and fuzzy inside. The trick is to understand that everyone shows love, remorse and forgiveness in different ways.

What is forgiving and forgetting in a relationship?

1. Forgiving is allowing another person to be human for faults, mistakes, or misdeeds. Forgetting is putting these behind you; they are no longer brought up and no longer remain a barrier to your relationship.

2. Forgiving is letting another know that there is no grudge, hard feelings, or animosity for any wrongdoing. Forgetting is the lack of further discussion, with no ongoing negative references to the event.

3. Forgiving is letting the other person know that you accept as genuine the remorse and sorrow for actions or words that hurt or disappointed you. Forgetting is promising that this deed, whether of omission or commission, will not be brought up again.

4. Forgiving is accepting the sincerity of penance, sorrow, and regret expressed over a grievous personal offense; making it sufficient to clear the air. Forgetting is your commitment to let go of anger, hurt, and pain over this offense.

5. Forgiving is giving a sign that a person's explanation or acceptance of blame for a destructive, hurtful, or painful act is fully accepted. Forgetting is the development of a plan of action between the two of you to heal the scars resulting from the behavior.

6. Forgiving is the highest form of human behavior that can be shown to another person. It is the opening up of yourself to that person to be vulnerable to being hurt or offended in the future, yet setting aside this in order to reopen and heal the channels of communication. Forgetting is equally as high a human behavior; it is letting go of the need to seek revenge for past offenses.

7. Forgiving is the act of love between you and a person who has hurt you; the bandage that holds the wound together long enough to heal. Forgetting is also an act of love; in rehabilitation therapy, helping the wounded return to a full, functional, living reality.

8. Forgiving is the G-d like gift of spiritually connecting with others, touching their hearts to calm the fear of rejection, quiet the sense of failure, and lighten the burden of guilt. Forgetting is the G-d like gift of spiritually touching others' hearts with the reassurance of a happy and full life with no fear of recrimination, remonstrations, or reminding of past offenses.

9. Forgiving is the act of letting go of temporary ill will, disappointment, or the disgust that arises from the break in your relationship. Forgetting is bridging this gap in the relationship, eventually strengthening it against such a break in the future.

10. Forgiving is an act of compassion, humanity, and gentleness by which you let another know that they are indeed a child of the universe upon whom a variety of graces and blessings have been showered and that current or past offenses need not be a barrier preventing goodness and worth to shine through. Forgetting is the act of encouragement, support, and reinforcement by which you assist the other person to rebuild, reconnect and re-establish a loving, caring, healthy relationship with you, others, and the world whereby gifts, talents, and skills are freely appreciated and shared.

Negative consequences of the absences of forgiving and forgetting? Keep reading, you'll get the answers that you're seeking:
In the absence of forgiving and forgetting, the partners in a relationship run the risk of:
Continuously being hurt with pain and suffering going unresolved.
Unresolved guilt and remorse for offenses committed.
Chronically seeking revenge and paybacks from one another.
Being caught up in unresolved anger, animosity, and bitterness.
Defensive, self-protective, and distant behavior.
Blaming, negative and non-growth oriented behavior.
Being stuck in a battlefield stockpiled for future offensive attacks.
Being lost in a festering wound that never realizes the revitalization of healing.
Secretive and non-communicative behavior.
Fear over making a mistake or of having the mistake revealed.
Being overwhelmed by fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of non-approval, low self-esteem, fear of conflict.
High stress.

Signs of the absence of forgiving and forgetting
Lack of forgiving and forgetting in a relationship can result in:
Irreconcilable differences between people
Indifference toward one another
An emotional vacuum in which little or no emotions are shown or shared
Chronic attacks or angry outbursts
Addressing or interacting with one another disrespectfully
One-upmanship: competition as to who can out do whom in terms of eliciting sympathy, compassion, or understanding from outsiders
Seeking revenge from one another
Pitting the parties in the relationship against one another through coalitions and taking sides
Chronic recalling and reminding of past hurts and offenses
Suspicions about the others' motives, behavior, attitudes, beliefs
Chronic depression
Chronic hostility
Name calling, belittling and demeaning one another
Responding to present behavior as if they were past behavior
Unwillingness to change and/or unwillingness to seek the help necessary to change

Beliefs shared by people who refuse to forgive or forget:

I was hurt so much; how could you ever expect me to forgive and forget that.
I never deserved the treatment I received, and I do not believe that forgiving and forgetting is deserved in this situation.
I am sick because of that treatment; how can I ever forgive or forget that?
There are people who are inherently evil, and they are despicable. No forgiving or forgetting will ever change that.
People are vicious and cruel, and you always need to protect yourself because of that; so why try to forgive and forget what they have done.
It is a sign of weakness to forgive and forget.
It is just "giving in'' to the others' power and control to forgive and forget.
There are some things you can never forgive and forget.
I never forgive, I just get even.
Revenge is the best way to heal wounds.
Don't cross me and I won't cross you; but if you do cross me, watch out!
Only G-d can forgive and forget, though at times I don't believe He does either.
What has happened in my life is G-d's seeking revenge for all the evil I have done in the past.
I have done nothing for which I need to be forgiven.
You are just seeking my forgiveness so that you can come back and hurt me again.
You do not deserve any kindness, compassion or forgiveness for what you have done to me; I'll see to it that you are never able to forget it!
All people who do wrong deserve the worst life has to dish out.
I resent everyone who has hurt me, and I believe that this makes me a stronger person so that I will not be hurt again.
Anyone who could treat another person that way is undeserving of being forgiven, loved, or cared for.

The behaviors that you'll need to display to be able to forgive and forget-
In order to forgive and forget, you need to practice:
Letting go of past hurt and pain
Trusting in the goodness of mankind
Trusting in the goodness and mercy of G-d to take over for you
Letting go and letting G-d lead you during a hurtful time
Believing in G-d's infinite justice and wisdom
Letting go of fears for the future
Allowing yourself to be vulnerable to growth
Taking a risk
Letting go of hostility and resentment
Working out your anger
Reducing competition
Overlooking slight relapses or steps backward
Developing a personal spirituality
Developing an openness to the belief that people can change
Developing trust in others
Facing conflict head on, resolving it on the spot
Open, honest and assertive communication with others concerning hurts, pains, and offenses experienced
Recognizing your part or role in setting up hurtful experiences
Identifying and replacing the irrational beliefs that block your ability to forgive and forget

Steps to develop forgiving and forgetting in a relationship

Step 1: In order to increase your ability to forgive and forget, you need to recognize what this behavior involves. Perhaps by creating a journal for yourself with the following questions may help. Just remember to answer them honestly. After all, you can always burn the pages later.

a. What do you mean by "forgiving and forgetting in a relationship?''
b. Have you ever been forgiven in a relationship? How did it feel?
c. Has anyone ever brought up something from the past to remind you how you hurt a person? How did that make you feel?
d. What role do you feel forgiving and forgetting has in your relationships? How could you improve?
e. How has the absence of forgiving and forgetting affected your current relationships?
f. What are the signs of the absence of forgiving and forgetting in your relationship with your: (a) current family, (b) significant others, (c) spouse, (d) children, (e) parents, (f) relatives, (g) friends, (h) co-workers?
g. What beliefs block your ability to forgive and forget? What would be necessary to change these beliefs?
h. What new behavior do you need to develop in order to increase your ability to forgive and forget?
i. What role does the existence of spirituality play in your ability to forgive and forget? The lack of it?
j. Who do you need to forgive? What do you need to forget?

Step 2: Now that you have a better picture of what is involved in forgiving and forgetting, you are ready to extinguish blaming behavior.
Letting Go of the Blaming finger:
It is easy to point the finger of blame at others for the pain you have suffered.

This activity is intended to get you to point the finger of responsibility at yourself, to be better able to forgive and forget when you feel hurt by another's behavior. Answer the following questions in your journal:
(1) List an incident for which you are unable to forgive a person, and therefore are unable to forget.
(2) How much energy, creativity, problem solving capability, and focus on growth is sapped from you whenever you recall this hurt?
(3) What feelings come to your mind and body as you recall this hurt?
(4) How would you describe your role in this event? In what ways were you the victim, perpetrator, enabler, martyr, bystander, instigator, target, scapegoat, distracter, peacemaker, people pleaser, or rescuer?
(5) Why do you feel strongly over what happened and how you were treated?
(6) What did this event or happening do to your self-esteem?
(7) How dependent on others were you (or are you) to help you feel good about yourself? How positively self-affirming were or are you? Why do you need this person's affirmation to make you feel good about yourself? What beliefs about yourself were threatened by what happened to you? Reinforced?
(8) How willing are you to declare yourself independent of the need for others to reinforce you and make you feel good about yourself? What blocks you from declaring this independence? What fears do you have of letting go of the need for others to make you feel good about yourself? How does this relate to your inability to forgive or forget in whatever incident you're presently being faced with?
(9) What value is there in blaming the person listed for the hurt and pain experienced? How responsible are you for the feelings of hurt and pain? How do these feelings relate to your dependence on others to make you feel good about yourself? How do you control your feelings of pain and hurt? What would change in your feelings about this past incident if you accepted the responsibility for your own feelings and perceptions? How do your irrational beliefs interfere in your ability to resist blaming others for pain and hurt you experience?
(10) Look back at the past incident and the person involved; reframe your thinking and feelings about it:
Who was responsible for my reaction to the incident?
Who was responsible for my feelings about the incident?
Who was responsible for my inability to forgive the person involved?
Who is responsible for my inability to forget this incident?
How can I forgive the person involved?
How can I put this incident behind me?
How can I forgive myself for being dependent on others for feelings of being worthwhile and good?
How can I avoid being so hurt when something like this happens again?
What do I gain by blaming others for my feelings?
What can I do when I feel hurt and pain? Where does the finger of responsibility need to be pointed?

Step 3:Once you have learned how to let go of blaming in that one incident, repeat Step 2 addressing all the past or present incidents of hurt in which you need to forgive the people and forget the incidents.

Step 4: When you have exhausted your list of people you need to forgive and events you need to forget, you will be on the road to forgiving and forgetting in relationships. If you have problems in the future, return to Step 1 and begin again. Or, just send me a comment and I'll help you along without being triangled in the middle of it. Or do what crusty does, and seek professional help. Sometimes just talking with someone not related helps open up the eyes to growth and understanding.

Welcome to crustybeef~
As my lil sister said on Easter Sunday during our "EGG Therapy," the importance of having a forgiving nature is utmost.


Anonymous said...

Great Blog and so much information. Forgiving is so important in all aspects of life and forgetting is the hardest thing to do. Well written and very enjoyable. Makes you think of all the things that have gone on in the past and how important it is to forgive even though you will never forget..


Forgetting is also important too.


So very very true Gaunt Irene...
I'd LOVE to have a reunion..have shirts made, have fun times and more importantly fun memories to carry us through the times that are the darkest.

texmire said...

My main issue is grudge holding.....guilty as sin.
But pain is what made me what the hell I am.
Forgiving is easy, forgetting isn't, nor will I let it be easy.

Anonymous said...

If you busted this into chapters, and filled it in with real life examples, I'm sure you'd have a very successful self-help book!

To be honest, the whole concept is still confusing to me. Do you believe there are certain acts that are impossible to completely forgive? you know, the extremes? Because I think if someone did something awful to one of my children (or like what happened to my nephew about 5 years ago), I wouldn't even have any desire to forgive. I would definitely have every desire to heal my own feelings, but as far as the other person, the 'offender', that's up to himself and his God. I haven't forgiven Coach F, and I have no intention to change my view that the actions he took were in any way acceptable or understandable. However, if he was starving I'd give him food. And the reason for that is because I'm a compassionate person. It has nothing to do with him. I wonder if the most important forgiveness is the one you give yourself.

G Aunt Irene said...

Dear Elizabeth,
I think you are very talented and insightful. Your writing when considered thoughtfully as it applies to our lives individually would bring blessings to many relationships within the family at large. It seems the forgive and forget theme has been running through the B* family for many years. Having lived away, I suppose we didn't focus on the day to day relationships as you do when it is a part of your life almost daily. Plus the fact that we had a large family and just trying to provide the necessaries took most of our time and attention.
I have sent Michael your blog address. I know he would enjoy reading your blog. As you know, he travels to Israel and has some dear friends who have visited at our home. And as for living in an area where there are more churches per capita than most, we live in the Bible belt and have found so much kindness and understanding. Sunday Michael's Jewish neighbors' three boys helped our little boys hunt Easter eggs.
More and more, it occurs to me that a reunion of as many members of the family that could attend would be incredible. Michael and Stephanie have two little boys, Matthew and Braly, and they would be great pals with your little guys. You said in one of your postings that Sullivan seemed to have his own little language. Our Mark didn't talk hardly at all and Michael and Christy interpreted his every want and need. At about three, he started just joining in the conversation. I think l's and w's were still difficult.
Bill and I are so blessed to have all of our family in communication and in loving relationships with each other. I don't think I could get up each morning if it were otherwise. There is so much of their Dad in each of them and yet their personalities are quite different...except for the willingness to express an opinion LOUDLY.
Keep on bloggin'
Love and hugs,
Aunt Irene

The love in your heart wasn't put there to stay
Love isn't love 'til you give it away Oscar Hammerstein

Thursday, April 12, 2007 11:07:00 AM


anon-I believe that if you really try, you can forgive. Look at all those people that have forgiven the murderous criminals after robbing their life unjustly. It's all just a matter of trying. We're not perfect, but if we at least attempted to forgive and with the Coach F..sure it was wrong, sure it wasn't justified, however, maybe if it hadn't happened, your nephew wouldn't be where G-d wanted him to be. We're all met with challenges to learn from...could be one of those more attempt at following in the eyes of your faith.