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Forgiveness and trust - making personal changes


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I apologize in advance that this may be a mish mash. Hopefully it will make sense as I go. More than anything, trying to figure out where I stand on this as of now and to make sense of it.


Main idea: I'm in the process of making some big changes in my life (positive ones) and again and again, the themes of Forgiveness and Trust are popping up as the central hurdles to me moving forward. They are my main struggles now.


So I'm wondering, is it even possible to move ahead when there is distrust in your heart and you have a hard time forgiving?


I've worked real hard to begin to learn forgiveness. Most of my life, I'd consider on reflection that my stance has been relatively harsh, and uncompromising, and unforgiving overall.


This is selfish, and has been unfair and even unkind in some cases. But I really want to clarify that the root of this judging and harshness has been at my own relative distrust of myself and others from deep inside from an early age.


And when you find it hard to trust yourself, it's really hard to give that out to others. At least, that has been the case for myself. The two seem very much linked for me.


In those times when I've felt most alive and happy and trusting, able to be open and real and even vulnerable - those are the times my life has had its temporary "bloomings".


New jobs. New friends. Falling in love, or a relationship going smoothly overall. Good health and attention to details. All the good things in life and an openness to receive them.


But because of how I've been operating, when I've felt "burned" or "scorned" or "hurt" - my way has been to lose all that trust and confidence in myself to handle situations, and an unwillingness to forgive, and anger, and this has led to the downward spirals in my life.


Toying with addictions. Spending time with the wrong people. Sitting in ruts. Becoming apathetic to my health and abilities.


So at this point in my life, I'm real curious about this thing of forgiving. It's been said over and over again that forgiveness isn't for someone else, it's for yourself.


So does this then all lead to mean that forgiveness really is just all about yourself then?


That there really isn't all that much to forgive - because what we are really doing is taking on things that are out of our control as our own anyways?


For example, one thing that had me stuck was that my mom had an alcohol problem.

For years, I was mad about that. And blamed her, too. And a whole slew of negative emotions and behaviors came from that. That holding that against her.


But looking at it now, was it even for me to forgive? I'd have to say no. Now, knowing that I had nothing to do with it, it was simply my child eyes looking at it and seeing it in terms of how it impacted me, and making it about me (she doesn't love me, she doesn't see me, nothing I do is ever going to be good enough to make things right).


And another example: my ex who cheated. That's another thing that hurt, and got me mad for a long time, and that I've found hard to forgive.


But again, I was making things about me.


I don't know where I'm going with this. Except that - I'd like to hear as many great suggestions for affirming one's own trust in oneself and living with a healthy sense of forgiveness (I'm really not afraid of my self becoming someone who lets others walk on her any time soon! lol just the opposite).


I'm finding that my own unwillingness to let things be and to put mistakes, and even blatant hurts, into a context that isn't so black and white is holding me back.


So if you can help me along this path with a nudge or a poke or an encouragement or even a tale of your own, that would be appreciated.


Just thank you for listening to my ramble. I appreciate having a place to do it.

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I don't think you can learn forgiveness.... it's something that you earn for yourself over time. Forgiveness is not to forget but to move on in a better light, to learn form your mistakes, from holding on to tight. And no it is not for someone else, it is only for you. You have to deal with what goes on in your own head. While never easy, over time you will see it tends to just happen... you slowly becaome less bitter.

I know for me the more I hold onto to it, or want to speak it the person... the worse I feel... meaning it ends up making me sick... in all ways. Even worse sometimes when I talk to the person it can get so bad... I take 1000 steps back.

As far as trusting yourself... Not sure what you don't trust about yourself?

I don't trust very many people... even worse now after having my heart chewed up and spit out... but I know not every woman is the same... and you have to read the cards before you bet your whole worth. But I also just don't trust people in all aspects of my life... as nobody seems to keep there word anymore... and that's alll we really have, is our word.

When you find yourself doing something or hanging with the wrong crowd, you need to make your mind up... are you going to go down the wrong road.. or are you going to stand up for yourself and say... I am doing this my way... a different way... and stick to it, As it is your word to yourself. And if you can't keep a promise to yourself... your in deep do-do.

Start small in trusting yourself... enlist very close friends you trust to help you out.

I know my very close friends.... everyone of them I would trust my life with... and I do trust with my emotions and what They have to say in return.

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First of all, all the credit to you for such effort at your own growth! I've just recently come to the conclusion (though it was my modus operandi anyway) that one of the most important things to me is self-knowledge. Kudos to you for making so many positive inroads and looking to make more!


I'd really have to think a while to post a proper answer, as this is a really thoughtful post with different facets (and sub-questions) that are interconnected...


And I think I'd like to know more, if you could elaborate, on what you feel the relationship is between mistrust of yourself and forgiveness towards others. Because while I think there is some sort of relationship there for sure, maybe I'm missing a more direct one. Or do you see these as related problems you're working on, but not necessarily tandem issues?


Are you saying that when you are presented with what feels like an injustice, something that hurt and wronged you, that you both feel unable to forgive and at the same time you can't forgive youself? How does someone hurting you translate into feeling you can't trust yourself? And how does that emotionally manifest? Berating yourself? Beating up on yourself? Feeling protective and defensive?


And do you also feel you can't forgive yourself, or are the forgiveness difficulties (so far as you're aware of) more directed at others?


What's the relationship between not trusting yourself and not forgiving yourself, if any?


And what's the relationship between not trusting others and not trusting yourself?

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Are you saying that when you are presented with what feels like an injustice, something that hurt and wronged you, that you both feel unable to forgive and at the same time you can't forgive youself?




When something like that happens, I feel like I've made a huge mistake, and I lose trust in myself for not being able to protect myself from it.


Which really helps to clarify, thank you TOV.


The central thing is control.


When the outside hurts me, be it a circumstance or a person or whatever, I take that onto myself.


Have done that since early on. Oldest child in a family, took on a lot of responsibilities early. Much too much adult responsibilities too early.


Not just with mom's drinking but also later. Doing triple duties taking care of my brother who had been in a serious accident, coping with the loss of my father, and trying to help mom run a household and make ends meet, going to school, and later, trying to hold * * * * together after being sexually abused.


Wow. Life story there.


But all in all, the reason that when someone else feels untrustworthy to me and hurts me, I lose trust in myself is - because that was how things worked for me before.


It worked that if someone screwed me over, I'd become overwelmed with responsibilites and it was on my shoulders to make things right dammit.


The little adult who tried to do everything for everybody.


And of course, I failed. Hey, looking at it from me now - I did a real great job! I really did great.


But in my life, it was never enough to make things work. So that made me feel inadequate.


And then I'd start acting as though I were inadequate. And lose my own trust.


Damn! Thank you. I see the pattern now. Now I can do something to break it.


My self trust DOESN'T have to be wrapped up in how things are going. Just my own choices and behavior.


Sounds idiotic. That I didn't even know that.


Oh well. No wonder I've never been able to understand how someone could have complete trust in themselves yet be looking at others with weird eyes.


They simply don't connect the two - they don't figure they have play into what others do to that degree. separate.

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I've had myself a rotten 5 years most of which dealt in the current themes of forgiveness and trust. I've come to two conclusions. #1-Trust-You need some bit of trust do function with others, but as Reagan said verify." #2-Forgiveness-

ain't my thing anymore; you want forgiveness...talk to God.

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I think that you need to find forgiveness in order to move on.


What's done is done - the perpetrator has moved on (or not) with their life. But you are left with that moment in which you were wronged frozen in your heart, and that stunts your spiritual growth, your potential as a person. If there are many such moments, there are many blocks. And also, I believe it depends on the person (your disposition, sensitivity, perceptiveness) your age, and your learned behaviour (whether there was dependency or 'learned helplessness' from one or more parents). It's a really complex mix.


Forgiveness (I imagine) is the ability to thaw out those frozen wrongs in yourself and let them go. Most religions would teach that the most visible sign of that is feeling love and concern for the person who wronged you - but 'agape' disinterested, detached love (not dependency or 'eros' or any of the other types the Greeks distinguished). Really wishing your enemy well in your heart. I have to say I struggle with that, even while I admire it as a spiritual ideal, and can well imagine that someone who feels that way must indeed be very spiritually healthy.


I think that's linked with forgiving yourself also - I can empathize fully with the notion of punishing yourself severely for having made a 'wrong' decision - ask any self-injurer, anorexic, or anyone who has struggled with addiction problems - I believe at the root of all of these things is a restless resentment against the self, a lack of self-acceptance, and a real self-loathing. Sometimes forgiving YOURSELF for having made a mistake, for not being perfect, is the hardest thing to do. It's more difficult for people who have been raised in a strict and punitive environment, since they have introjected the voices of condemnation more efficiently.


You have to break that cycle, forgive yourself (especially your younger self) and try to act as if you were your own friend.


And that is SO much easier said than done. I think you are clearly working through your issues in a very mature way (she says, enviously

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