The Power of Forgiveness

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The Power of Forgiveness

Postby HGolightly » Sat Apr 10, 2010 2:54 am

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... "explores recent research into the psychological and physical effects of forgiveness on individuals and within relationships under a wide variety of conditions and translates it into a popular, accessible documentary film for national public television. This includes feature stories on the Amish, the 9/11 tragedy and peace-building in Northern Ireland, along with interviews with renowned Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, best-selling authors Thomas Moore and Marianne Williamson and others. The film also explores the role forgiveness holds in various faiths traditions. It provides an honest look at the intensity of anger and grief that human nature is heir to. We see in the film that there are transgressions people find themselves unwilling or unable to forgive. Through character-driven stories the film shows the role forgiveness can play in alleviating anger and grief and the physical, mental and spiritual benefits that come with it”. (“The Power of Forgiveness.” Journey Films. 2008. Web. 10 Mar.2010.)

For those interested in exploring this topic go to: http://www.thepowerofforgiveness.com/. I’ve included a few short clips, which I located on YouTube. I would recommend this to anyone who is interested, to get a copy and watch this film in its entirety! A friend of mine just happened to stumble across a copy of this at the local library, and brought it over for me to watch. It is an exceptionally well done film and very informative - it left me feeling more aware and certainly more inspired!







What does forgiveness mean to you?

In short, “forgiveness” (for me) means to step outside of ones self and the opposing emotion that is being experienced. Basically, in any given situation, I try to separate the individual from the offense he/she has made (also mentioned in the film).
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Re: The Power of Forgiveness

Postby mirjana » Sat Apr 10, 2010 9:47 am

Dear Holly,

Thank you for this topic. I am deeply touched and I think that this topic is crucial for us so that we can talk about things that really can make changes. If any, then it is forgiveness.
I gave you Kudos for this topic. I wanted to open it as this is something I pay very much attention in my life consciously, but I doubt that I would do it as well as you did it and with so many inspiring examples.
Forgiveness is for me very powerful emotion which cannot be faked or shadowed with anything. You have it or not, you are able to, or not. This emotion recognize not only the act that we judge as an injustice, which as a such raised many negative emotions in us, like anger, hate..., but it gives the possibility for personal change.
Your explanation what forgiveness is for you is very good one. It is close to my understanding and my personal trying.
What helps me in that is to identify what kind of emotion the act I want to forgive had been provoked by me, and then I find when I provoked the very same or similar emotion toward somebody else. Such realizations are very helpful for the process of detachment.
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Re: The Power of Forgiveness

Postby mirjana » Sat Apr 10, 2010 2:52 pm

PS to my last post:
If you cannot forgive, are you able to recognize the reason why not?

What does the act of forgiveness mean in the life? How is it manifested in the behavior in relation to those to whom something is forgiven?

How we can recognize that, in spite the conviction that we had forgiven something or somebody, actually it hadn’t happened?

What is the action of the person who has forgiven that shows that the act of forgiveness really occurred?
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Re: The Power of Forgiveness

Postby Sabina » Sat Apr 10, 2010 7:08 pm

To Holly
__10__

HGolightly wrote:
What does forgiveness mean to you?

The meaning of forgiveness is probably similar for all (or most) of us, however what it takes in order to forgive someone may vary.

HGolightly wrote:In short, “forgiveness” (for me) means to step outside of ones self and the opposing emotion that is being experienced. Basically, in any given situation, I try to separate the individual from the offense he/she has made (also mentioned in the film).

Holly, this last part confused me. What is the purpose of separating the individual from the offense?


To Mirjana
__10__

Mirjana wrote:If you cannot forgive, are you able to recognize the reason why not?
Yes

Mirjana wrote:What does the act of forgiveness mean in the life? How is it manifested in the behavior in relation to those to whom something is forgiven?

It depends on what that something is, what kind of injustice.

Mirjana wrote:How we can recognize that, in spite the conviction that we had forgiven something or somebody, actually it hadn’t happened?

You mean we think we forgave someone but actually we haven't?
The first question would then be if you are in the habit of fooling yourself. What do you have to gain from thinking that you forgave when you actually haven't?

Mirjana wrote:What is the action of the person who has forgiven that shows that the act of forgiveness really occurred?

I would imagine this to be different for different people, and also dependent on what exactly needs to be forgiven.
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Re: The Power of Forgiveness

Postby Ryan » Tue Apr 13, 2010 2:12 pm

I do not forgive for the sake of forgiving... to me that seems as kind of an arrogant approach... kind of like saying "Well, I see why they did what they did and I am better than that so I forgive them for they are a troubled person (people)." It is well within me to forgive when someone recognizes and understands how what they did was wrong and/or hurtful... but until then... what's the point in forgiving them?

A movie that shows what I mean quite well would be "Dogville"... except for the very end... I don't agree with the revenge aspect of it... although in complete honesty, there was a bit of a feeling of satisfaction when the revenge started...
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Re: The Power of Forgiveness

Postby mirjana » Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:05 pm

Once, somewhere else I wrote about my understanding of forgiveness. There are some things that I would eventually add today, but still, I put this as it has been written so that there are more possibilities for asking/answering .


MY UNDERSTANDING OF FORGIVENESS


No matter how I approach to the Forgiveness, I have always come to the same conclusion that Forgiveness is a long process and not a simple act.
We are born with the idea of forgiveness like with all other ideas whose discovering gives the sense to our life.
According to my understanding there are three main levels of Forgiveness on our way from the seed of the idea until the moment of discovering the unconditional love, where no forgiveness is needed.

URGE TO FORGIVE


It is a need to forgive somebody for something that caused our emotional problem. I would call it, urge to forgive. So, after analyzing the act that had caused us a problem, we come to the conclusion to forgive the person with the idea to let it go.
In this case the stress is on the object that is analyzed.
This kind of Forgiveness is very often a part of some healing processes or spiritual techniques.
The main actor is ego who plays the game with the object of analysis, as it puts us over the object and the whole quilt is on somebody else shoulder.
This urge belongs to people who have just started to feel the whisper from their Heart.
It is the beginning of the process and one plays Ego game.

USE OF THE FORGIVENESS AS A SELF IMPROVEMENT LESSON


It is a need to consider forgiveness as a mirror lesson in order to learn about self and actually forgive ourselves for that what we judge by somebody else.
It is introspective way with a stress on both, the subject who analyzes and has been analyzed.
This kind of Forgiveness is already healing process for itself.
The main actor is subject who has been releasing his personality from the illusion’s layers.
This introspective way belongs to people who have been consciously working on their spirituality following the messages from the heart.
It is the middle part of the process and one plays the Mirror game.

ONENESS, NO FORGIVENESS IS NEEDED


It is a state where no forgiveness is needed. It is complete acceptance of self and everybody else without any judgment, just like it is. There are no doubts in the order of Life, or complaining on the destiny. It is about taking the Life like it is.
The subject is healed and full of Joy.
Ego game is over, Illusion game is over. There is no game anymore.
There is no one who analyzes or one to be analyzed; subject and object are the same.
This Oneness state belongs to people who have found everlasting Unconditional Love in their hearts.
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Re: The Power of Forgiveness

Postby Sabina » Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:27 pm

mirjana wrote:No matter how I approach to the Forgiveness, I have always come to the same conclusion that Forgiveness is a long process and not a simple act.
We are born with the idea of forgiveness like with all other ideas whose discovering gives the sense to our life.


I think forgiveness can be super-simple. Not a long tedious process, but truly a simple act.
For me, the only reason why there may even be a need to forgive is an injustice.
If the person who committed the injustice realizes this, then forgiveness is automatically given and the process is done - completely.

There may be rare exceptions to this, if the injustice was something huge. and something that cannot be rectified... but in most cases when people talk about forgiveness it is not about things that concern life and death.
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Re: The Power of Forgiveness

Postby mirjana » Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:46 pm

Sabina wrote:
mirjana wrote:...
For me, the only reason why there may even be a need to forgive is an injustice.
If the person who committed the injustice realizes this, then forgiveness is automatically given and the process is done - completely.

There may be rare exceptions to this, if the injustice was something huge. and something that cannot be rectified... but in most cases when people talk about forgiveness it is not about things that concern life and death.


Suppose a situation like this one:

There are person A and person B.
Person A did an injustice toward person B according to the understanding of the person B. Person A doesn't see that any injustice was done; contrary considers that injustice is done toward Him/her from the person B, because of assuming injustice. And the chain of mutual idea of injustice is there.
Nobody of two realizes injustice and persons A and B do not have anything with each other anymore expecting the other one to realize injustice done.
There are many situations like this one in life. If nobody moves in the direction of forgiveness, things do not change. If any of two would forgive, there is a chance personal mistake and not repeat it anymore. If not, the energy is stuck in the negative point and the wave around it can only be negative.
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Re: The Power of Forgiveness

Postby Sabina » Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:05 pm

Well, in order for anyone to forgive there must be an incentive to forgive, right?
If that doesn't happen, then there can really be no forgiveness, there can only be ignorance, as in deciding to move on regardless of what happened in the past.

In that case the probability of the same thing happening again is very high, if nothing has been learned and no understanding reached from the previous experience.
I have personal experience with such a case, so I really know what I'm talking about.

I think we all agree that if you don't learn your lesson, then the lesson will not only repeat, but repeat with more serious consequences.
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Re: The Power of Forgiveness

Postby mirjana » Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:17 pm

Sabina wrote:Well, in order for anyone to forgive there must be an incentive to forgive, right?
If that doesn't happen, then there can really be no forgiveness, there can only be ignorance, as in deciding to move on regardless of what happened in the past.

In that case the probability of the same thing happening again is very high, if nothing has been learned and no understanding reached from the previous experience.
I have personal experience with such a case, so I really know what I'm talking about.

I think we all agree that if you don't learn your lesson, then the lesson will not only repeat, but repeat with more serious consequences.


I also have some experience in my life with similar cases.
There was injustice done to me or at least I considered it like that. It happened from the very close member of my family. Many around me consider that act the same way. Between two possibilities I have chosen forgiveness. My lesson from that experience was not to contribute myself to things to happen the same way in the future, but I didn't stop the relationship with that person. What actually happened over the time is that I realized many aspects of that act that I haven't been aware at the beginning and it helped me to put the whole thing into another perspective. With a time and life, so many other things happened that I was part of and I wouldn't be that if I had chosen other option to safe myself of repeated experience. From today I know that it was a good choice and I have never regretted that.
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