December 24, 2011


Image by cheerfulmonk via Flickr
To some people, forgiveness means a complete victim-offender reconciliation without offenders' efforts, which gives offenders opportunities to hurt victims again, and victims should no longer whine over the pain (basically a task of Saint!); to some people, forgiveness simply means victims' giving up the ideas of revenge, shifting focus from the past to current, moving on with their own life.

Forgiveness = X - Revenge (X is a "variable" defined by different persons).

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  1. This is a deep personal journey for me - I have much to forgive, and many offenders. It has been described to me in this way - forgiveness releases the offender from your hook; it leaves them in the hands of a Just God who alone can judge with integrity and justice. It frees me from holding the line to the hook so that I can live again. It means agreeing to live with the consequences of what they have done - I was living with them anyway, but my surrendering to this principle releases them from my life. Full reconciliation is dangerous and unacceptable in many circumstances. But forgiving allows you to be you and God to be God, and creates a separation from the offender that shame or pain linked in the first place. You seem to be able to say things with few words - I need many!

  2. thanks melody.
    "forgiveness releases the offender from your hook" - i think that's a good way to express. life is short and we should have so much more to enjoy other than dwelling on miseries that no longer take place.

    the "reconciliation" part i was refer to asian culture which put the relationship above individual freedom. under this culture, break relationship is something terrible so that people (victims) have to suffer the offenses that come from their relatives, or friends. i think this is very wrong. we each of us should have choice to protect ourselves from being harmed, regardless who harmed us. offense is offense, it doesn't change the nature just because it comes from our parents, friends, or spouses.

  3. You are right. Setting good and safe boundaries is so important. I have a break in my family right now because I have had to set difficult boundaries - and it makes people very angry and upset. This is even more difficult for you with your heritage of filial obedience. It will take a lot of wisdom to set the right kind of boundaries to keep you safe, and yet honor where honor is due. This is a very deep and difficult task for you and I.

  4. yes, it is very hard in a culture that has set everything for the parents' good, not children. i did a whole lot of thoughts on this, also wrote lots of articles to criticize this tradition (in chinese). and many online friends sent me supports. there are so many chinese people had this experience, yet many of them didn't even realized it. (maybe that's even better?)

    thanks melody for you understanding. yes, it is a difficult but i am sure we both can make it. i think, the first step is learning to be "selfish" - not concern how family members think.

  5. Great insight, Yun Yi. "Selfish" in this case sounds like focusing on self-love and acceptance instead of others' love and acceptance.

    In psychology this is called "differentiation". According to Bowe's theory, people cannot hope to be actualized and whole unless they differentiate. I love this concept. It is so freeing.