I promised Spo-fans I would write about Forgiveness. This one will need more than one entry, for it is a lofty topic.

I want to start right off hand that I have not perfected Forgiveness; I struggle with it like everyone else.  Some things are harder to forgive than others.  However, when we look at what and who has hurt us from a psychodynamic point of view, someone who beat you vs. someone who said you are a great disappointment is the of the same thing: it is a wound.

Forgiveness is one of the most difficult and disagreeable things we will do in life, yet it is the most crucial thing for our health and well-being. It is essential to healing.  We don’t want to forgive. It’s important to recognize this truism right away. It wouldn’t be so hard if we really wanted to do it, would it?

Before we learn Forgiveness we learn “An eye for an eye”.  This law is more archaic, more ‘lower down’, and more instinctual. It is a Child’s justice. Bad people should be punished and good people should not have bad things happen to them.  An eye for an eye has elements of revenge and of ‘balance’. So by the time we grow and are taught Forgiveness,  this truism is bewildering and nonsensical. It is antithesis to An Eye for an Eye.

Beside flying in the face of justice as seen by The Child Archetype, Forgiveness isn’t tolerated by The Victim.  This powerful archetype has many people in its grip. Being a Victim means you are always the pained innocent.  Your rage and bitterness are justifiable. It is safe, uncomfortable and blameless – and there always a kernel of truth to it, a legitimate hurt at its centre.  If confronted, the Victim points to the actual event and dares you to challenge this isn’t hurtful.

There are many resistances to Forgiveness – besides it hurts and loathsome to do:

1 – Forgiveness is often mistaken for the falsehoods ‘What you did was OK” and “I don’t feel any hurt from this” and “You get to get off scott-free now”.

2- Forgiveness means transcending one mode of living for another.  There is no more domination by the Child/Victim/Shadow complex alliance.  Most people haven’t a clue how Life would be without their usual mode of Unforgiveness.  To proceed with Forgiveness throws off their entire stratagem and would completely change their lives.  Many say they want this,  but the work is too vast and scary really.

3 –  Wounds are often used for power, often used for control. It’s hard to abdicate such power.

4 – There is often the superstition “If I forgive yesterday’s pain, more will come”. God/Heaven/Karma will give me more. Guess what? Holding on to yesterday’s pain does not protect you from tomorrow’s pain.  Nothing can.

In a later entry I will write about how to forgive.