Posts tagged ‘hurt’

June 1, 2008

Forgive before it is asked? Are you not encouraging poor boundaries….?

by Rod Smith

“You often mention ‘forgiving’ or ‘forgiveness.’ Is this blanket advice even to follow when the person who has perpetrated the wrong has not apologized or asked for forgiveness. If you forgive someone who has not asked for forgiveness, are you then not letting that person get away with their bad behaviour and thus not putting a boundary in place? Surely the person will repeat the behaviour if they have not requested forgiveness?”

I do encourage people to forgive and sometimes include “even before it is asked of you” and “forgive, but don’t forget.” The act of forgiving is essentially for the person offering the forgiveness, and not one receiving it. When I forgive you for a real or perceived wrong against me, I am doing something good for my inner being. I am acting in a manner that extinguishes the emotional toxicity from within me. That you too are made free is a mere byproduct of mutual benefit.

Wanting another to ask (or beg, or plead) for forgiveness is to be somewhat punitive, which lacks the essence of authentic forgiveness. That I am able to forgive you and not allow myself to be similarly hurt by you in the future is where “forgive but don’t forget” comes into play.

March 4, 2008

There are “injustice collectors” in every group….

by Rod Smith

There are “injustice collectors” lurking in every organization…

He or she is very easily offended. Being offended (hurt, bruised) is a permanent condition.

His or her emotional life is akin to an over-ripe peach. Thus, the slightest disagreement, or your failure to smile (or thank, or praise) leaves him or her with a lingering bruise.

You’ve got to appreciate injustice collectors in exactly the manner in which he or she has trained you, or the fine for offending will be repeatedly demanded. And, even if he or she says he or she does forgive, injustice collectors are not big on forgiveness.

Injustice collectors enjoy being “best friends” which is another way of saying, “you’re mine, I own you, you will love me just like I train you to love me, or I will be offended, depressed, lost, hurt!”

And when “best friend” fails to conform, passive-aggression enters, and alas, best friend becomes “worst enemy.”

Work with one? Keep it light. Sing ditties around them. Don’t fall for it. When he or she tells you, with an accompanying martyr sigh, that he or she is hurt, tell him or her to put his or her feelings away, and get on with the tough job of living.

(I’ve used the bulky “him and her” and “he or she” so as not to offend!)

November 29, 2007

The power of human love…. is in you…

by Rod Smith

It is in us to love. It’s human. We have the capacity for it. Even hurt and rejected people can love. Once a person accepts that love has more than romantic connotations, as powerful and valid as these of course are, he or she will be able to see its broader power.

Love is unleashed through simple, but not easy, human acts of seeking the highest good both for oneself and for others. Acts of offering unearned forgiveness, of reaching out to the estranged, of welcoming a stranger, of letting go of all prejudice, of rejecting dishonesty – all begin within the individual human heart.

When a person intentionally facilitates others toward finding and enjoying and exercising the full range of their humanity, he or she will know and see and experience the powerhouse love is.

Even people with reason to reject others, having themselves been rejected or treated inhumanely, have it in them to love, if they dare to muster the courage for it. It comes quite naturally to the courageous person, and when it is unleashed, the purposes and the meaning of life surge into the heart of all who have the courage to hear and respond to its powerful call.

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