Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a point of contention in many Pagan circles.  There are those of a hard line, who say that we are within our rights to cast judgement, which may result in vengeful action against those who would wrong us.  Some even say that when a person loses themselves to revenge, that it is the Universe casting ultimate judgement in their (the vengeful party) favor.  This couldn’t be farther from the truth, in my opinion.

We are such selfish creatures.  How could our desire to have (questionably) unsuitable situations rectified, be anything but selfish whims, made more volatile by our overreaching emotions?  We formulate our opinions based upon what we experience, and upon the experiences shared with us by our trusted friends, and in some instances, from hearsay or by reading incendiary materials about whatever subject (or person) that happens to be in our line of fire.  This is not healthy.  We need to let go of vengeance, because it does not belong to us.

When a person allows themselves to be carried along in life with hateful and/or vengeful thoughts striking out at everything that irritates us, we’ll soon find that there is nothing in existence that does not irritate.  We will always be surrounded, to some extent, by the things which we would prefer not to have contact with.  For myself, it is the pure, unhindered emotion of other people that I try to avoid.

Control over myself is paramount, and being near people with little to no control over their own thoughts is excruciating.  And that’s just me.  I can not imagine what it feels like to be that person who can not think past their own hurt, or embarrassment.  What a lonely existence it must be, because the people they may have loved or trusted, will eventually become sick of their behavior, and then what will be left?  Burnt bridges and broken friendships? None of that is necessary.

Our Gods will always keep the measure and the balance of what is just, and what is true, in this world.  Vengeance is Theirs, wholly and completely.  We need not bother our own piece of mind by carrying on in such dishonorable ways.  If you have a problem with someone, give it over to your Gods.  They will rectify the situation, if it does indeed need to be rectified.  Meddling in the affairs of the Gods will, at best, earn you a strong scolding, and at worst, afford you some very specific punishments.  I speak from experience here.

I have been hurt, harmed and damaged over the years by a variety of sources, both human and non-human, and yet, my Lord always tells me that vengeance is His.  He will defend my honor, and I need not worry about what is under His control.  And I do not worry.  Not anymore.

Now, I forgive, for it frees my thoughts of the wrongdoing.  I forgive, not so that my enemy may be forgiven, but so that I may move on in life.  I have much more important Things to do than to allow my focus to slip, even for the briefest of moments.

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9 responses to “Forgiveness

  1. Pingback: Forgiveness | Queen Without A Court | Loki's Bruid

  2. moonfire2012

    Reblogged this on Tried by Fire and commented:
    It’s especially hard if you’re an empath.

  3. ladyimbrium

    This is a very powerful argument, especially since forgiveness in general is something I struggle with. I am not entirely convinced that one must always forgive. I hold to the idea that some offenses are simply too great to be allowed to slip away.

    That said, and on a very serious question, how do you feel about the idea that sometimes the Gods will allow (or even encourage) us to seek vengeance ourselves for our own closure, growth, honing, whatever else? Can vengeance be a holy task? Yes, I understand that that could be a steep and slippery slope, so I would never advocate plunging after someone screaming “my God says so!” unless extreme circumstances exist. Very extreme.

    • Well, it depends on the God, for one. Some may have different views on what Their devotees are allowed to do, in terms of revenge. We always have to consider Their tastes and preferences, along with what type of path a person is walking. My path is one of compassion, so vengence does little to serve me. Now, on the other hand, I also believe there is a difference between vengeance and justice, and while they may often be congruent, they are not always equal, or interchangeable. I would ask myself, “Where is the root of my desire? Does it come from a place of justice, wherein my ultimate goal is the righting of wrongs, and a fair outcome? Or, does it come from a place of vengeance, wherein my base needs are put above all else, because I feel hurt or exposed?” I have the ability to control how I will react to most situations, and I can choose to take a high road, or a low road, or a road in between. Much of it is subjective, and we all must struggle for our answers.

      • ladyimbrium

        Ah, thank you. I had not considered that difference, oddly enough. I guess that because I try so hard to keep my emotions and reactions in line with what I perceive as just that I had actually failed to consider how the question could apply to either aspect of seeking reparation or punishment. I shall add your well phrased reply to my collection of “trying to figure this justice thing out” information.

  4. I do agree very much with your sentiments about vengeance and revenge, especially that it often does more harm to hang onto it and act on it than to find a way to let it go. I don’t feel like “forgiveness” is necessary though. I think there are things you should move on from, or as you say, hand over to Them, but there are times when I don’t feel forgiveness is necessary or helpful in moving on, unless you are trying to continue whatever relationship you have with the person in question afterward.

    • Since I can only speak for myself, all I can tell you is that the process of letting go, for me, has to come with forgiveness, because if it does not, then I will never really let it go. I can carry a grude, and for a long, long time if I feel I’ve been wronged to that degree. It will simmer until I reach the point of either needing to act upon my vengeful desires, or forgive. I have chosen to forgive in 98% of all scenarios. I know that I personally can not move on fully without forgiving. Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting, though. And if an offensive action is repeated after I have already removed myself, then I will begin to not care about the offender, or their humanity. A potentially dangerous prospect for the recipient of my apathy.

  5. Reblogged this on Wytch of the North and commented:
    This is so very well said. I think there is a tendency in polytheist circles to regard forgiveness as somehow “wimpy,” but in my experience, it is a way of taking back one’s power (to borrow slightly new-agey terminology). If I feel someone has wronged me, certainly I could go on a vendetta of revenge, and Odin would not fault me for it. (Since He is not exactly a “turn the other cheek” type of deity.) However, that vendetta would also consume a lot of time and energy I would almost always rather spend elsewhere. So instead, I usually choose to forgive the person; this does not mean that I grant them absolution or decide that what they did was okay, and certainly not that I would allow them to do it again, but that I cut myself off from them energetically and move on with my life, while giving the situation over to Odin (or sometimes some of my spirits). If He (or They) feels the situation needs to be rectified or punished, I can always rest assured that His solution will be more efficient and appropriate than anything I could ever do to them, anyway…

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