Being Compelled to Forgive
Often Doubles the Hurt
Pressure to forgive someone for a grievous wrong means being injured twice. The act that causes your pain is the first instance. The second is when you feel guilty for not being ready, willing, or able—at least not yet—to forgive.
Forgiveness has its place, certainly, and affords freedom, light, and beauty to replace the ugly act that inspires moving toward the gesture of forgiveness. Arriving at the place of forgiveness is a step only the forgiver can take. That step has its own rhythm—one that only the person doing the dance of forgiveness can find.
The preceding was inspired by a discussion of forgiveness and Simon Wiesenthal’s book, The Sunflower, On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness. Recounting an experience when he was imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp, Wiesel eloquently shares the deathbed incident when he was unable to offer absolution.