3 Paradoxes of Forgiveness That Confuse Many

3 Paradoxes of Forgiveness That Confuse Many

Sometimes it’s pointless to forgive those who hurt us. People say, “Why should I reach out to someone who hurts me deeply? Why don’t you just move on with life? This question tends to arise because the person thinking forgive she doesn’t seem to understand what i’m saying forgiveness paradoxes. A paradox is an apparent contradiction that is not a contradiction at all.

I think forgiveness can be difficult to understand and somehow easily leads to the above question because it does not center justice as a moral virtue or finding a just solution to our problems. Instead, it focuses on moral virtues such as forgiveness, compassion, and love, or giving to others above and beyond what is deserved. When we forgive, we do not seek justice and we do not neglect justice. Forgiveness and justice can and do exist side by side.

But when we look at forgiveness alone, there are three areas of paradox that can confuse people. Let’s take each one in turn and show how plausible these qualities of forgiveness are, even if they are not always well understood.

Source: KuanShu Designs, used with permission.

Paradox 1: When I’m in pain, shouldn’t I focus on myself and not on those who abused me?

When we forgive, we focus primarily on the person who hurt us, not on ourselves. This doesn’t seem logical because when we’re physically hurt, the focus is always on ourselves. For example, if you sprain your ankle while running, the doctor will focus on you, your ankle, not other people.

Yet by forgiving, we shine a light on those who hurt us. We do this to better understand them. We are trying to see the past of those who have wronged us. Who hurt these people enough to victimize others, including us now? We try to see their humanity and the common humanity we share with them. The point of focusing on those who hurt us rather than our own broken hearts is to broaden our story about them so that over time we can develop some compassion for them, a softer heart.

KuanShu Designs, used with permission

Source: KuanShu Designs, used with permission.

Paradox 2: It would be unfair if I put up with the other’s pain and my pain could continue.

The second paradox arises from the first. If one of our important tasks in forgiveness is to expand our story of who our offenders are and not harm them, then part of forgiveness is to endure the pain of what happened by avoiding what happened. revenge. The paradox here is: Why should I be asked to endure the pain of those who dumped their truck of pain on me now? Not only does this seem unfair, it also seems wrong from a sanity standpoint. After all, the task should not be to endure pain, but to eliminate it.

Yes, it may seem unfair to endure pain, but we must once again understand that forgiveness is not part of justice or fairness, it is part of compassion. When we show mercy, we give people more than they deserve. From a mental health perspective, this is what we find when people deliberately make a commitment to endure pain and then fulfill that commitment: Pain actually starts to take off.

sometimes in therapy, we use the image of sponge moistened with water. That sponge is so saturated it’s like the water will never come out. However, when we put the sponge filled with water on the counter, the water gradually evaporates, leaving the sponge dry. As people endure the pain, that pain gradually goes away. Also, as a person endures this pain, he realizes that he is resisting this pain and that it does not destroy them. As a result, the forgiving person begins to form a more positive view of the self: I am stronger than I thought.

KuanShu Designs, used with permission

Source: KuanShu Designs, used with permission.

Paradox 3: If I focus on the other and endure their pain, I may never recover psychologically.

The third paradox of forgiveness is the worry that if I focus on them, it will put me in a dilemma. anger and confusion. I’m stuck in a negative version of who I am as a person. After all, how valuable am I to others and myself when I always carry a big sack of discontent? Therefore, I will not recover psychologically.

Yet our research shows time and time again that as people engage in the process of forgiveness, it is those who experience significant psychological improvement, such as the reduction of anger – those who forgive. anxietyand depressionand increased self respect and hope for the future. See, for example, Freedman and Enright (1996), Reed and Enright (2006), and Yu et al. (2021).

Forgiveness Essential Readings

in a nutshell

A quick glance at forgiveness can lead to hesitation in trying it and distorted thinking about what forgiveness is and isn’t. Yet a careful look at forgiveness reveals that much of the hesitation and criticism of forgiveness lies in paradoxes that have not yet been carefully studied. When we look at the paradoxes, when we focus the light on the offender, when we endure that person’s pain, we see that we forgivers are those who have experienced significant psychological healing that has been empirically verified. Examining these paradoxes can clear some people’s hesitations and open the door to this emotional healing.

#Paradoxes #Forgiveness #Confuse

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