"It was nothing"
Posted by Helen on September 24, 1997 at 09:41:58:
In response to Forgiveness etc, written by Hil on September 23, 1997 at 16:35:01
] ] ] Sometimes I think the language is at fault. Saying "That's all right" has become syonymous with "You are forgiven"
] ] I agree wholeheartedly with this Amy. Saying "That's all right" lessens the original offense and can lead the offender to believe that it was really no big deal, what he did wasn't so bad after all.
] But it can also be the first step.. sometimes the only one... that enables communication again, and paves the way for real forgiveness. And isn't there a very fine line between forgiveness and just deciding to understand and forget, let go?
] ] Some of us were speaking of guilt and shame in chat the other week. I put forth the notion that we have lost a great deal of our ability to feel shame and guilt ("it's not my fault") and that we are the lesser for it.
] But I've always found too much guilt and shame is paralysing. I think we usually inflict plenty on ourselves...usually a surfeit... without help from other people. Being made to feel ashamed and guilty when you are already feeling that, or have a different perspective on the situation, makes people defensive, and is not useful if you are trying to solve a conflict.
Actually, this is what I end up feeling guilty about: that I want people to admit there was something wrong, but society puts pressure on me to say that it was nothing, really. In an ideal world, I guess, the person at fault would be able to confess - and want to make reparation - and the wronged person would forgive, accepting what was their due. Thus instead of saying "it was nothing" we would be able to say, "it did matter, but it's all right now". Then the slate would be wiped clean. Unfortunately it seems that some of us have all the guilt, and others do all the wrong things :-(
But for one's own well-being, it is necessary to forgive someone even though they show no signs of repentance.
The Ramble board (or was it P&P, I forget) had a long discussion about whether we're too unassertive in voicing our opinions: I think that it is unassertive not to be able to say that one feels wronged - but in tandem with the assertiveness one needs the maturity and the generosity to forgive.
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