Forgiveness Doesn’t Mean Pitching Self-Respect
Do you ever feel like forgiveness makes you into a doormat? It can if we let it, but I hope that a new look at forgiveness and moving forward in life will make that a thing of the past for you.
The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous says that “acceptance is the answer to all my problems.” Acceptance, however, does not mean approval. In the same way, forgiveness does not mean allowing people to continue abusing us.
When Jesus said to “turn the other cheek” he was not suggesting that the left hook felt so good we should turn our face to accept a hard right hook. No. What he meant was to turn away from the problem and look toward the solution. In this way we not only remove ourselves from the situation, but we also maintain our own self-respect and dignity.
As Jo Dee Messina says in her classic song, “My Give a Damn’s Busted,” we really do try to care. We really do want to dig a little deeper to understand. But at some point, when we are not getting anything in return but more heartache and disappointment, it may be time to cut ties. When or if that is necessary with someone in your life only you can know.
Ask yourself how hard you’re trying in any given situation, be it with another person or some other circumstance. Ask yourself exactly what it is you’re trying for; and, are you the only one putting in the effort?
You’ll have your answer. Forgiveness is a foundation piece of experiencing a life worth living, a life of happiness. Forgiveness is not, however, an invitation for being less that you are and being recognized for it by the people around you.
In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Copyright © 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.
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