Dr. Laura Schlessinger (dr_laura_) wrote,

Don't be so quick to forgive!

It is definitely unhealthy for people to be so quick to forgive. It is often undeniably unhealthy for the individual and potentially dangerous or destructive for the family or community. And I'm tired of folks trying to split hairs with me about the "definition" of forgiveness.

From what I have gleaned over 56 years of life – and a little less than half of them on radio – it is one of the most overused concepts in dealing with so-called "wrongdoers" or folks who perpetrate outright evil. It depowers the innocent and empowers the not-so-innocent. The basic premise of "forgiveness" is always explained by a listener as a means of "letting go" of the pain and rage so that one can have a serene life. Well, my friends, I have a real problem playing with fire just because it makes one "feel better."

Forgiveness is defined first as "absolving" or "granting pardon" for an offense. When one pardons another, he or she basically releases them from obligation or penalty. When one absolves another, he or she frees the other from guilt or blame or responsibility or consequences.

When someone commits an illegal act involving you – battery, theft – it is not an offense solely involving you, it is an offense against society and the civil and moral rules that govern it. Therefore, I always push folks to file reports with the police. Look at it this way, if the person has to deal with the righteous consequences of their actions, they have the opportunity to cleanse their soul, and psyche, and lives from self-centered, thoughtless or immoral tendencies.

The enormity of the betrayal and the lack of true remorse beg for no forgiveness. The strength gathered from standing up to a blase attitude about evil-doers would help one stronger in their life in general.

What too many people aren't told by the "therapists" and "clergy," who urge knee-jerk forgiveness, is that not holding people accountable, not telling and showing them that their actions have severe consequences, will likely make you feel less important and make your pain feel inconsequential.

Yes, there are things that are unforgivable. Don't let folks bully you into forgiveness when, indeed, it is likely to be a further assault upon your well-being.
We have to accept that there are some things you mustn't forgive and that love is earned. Only when you have accepted these ideas could you truly come to peace with your past.
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