Forgiveness Continuum

False Forgiveness:

True Forgiveness:

False Forgiveness:

Forgetting: “Let’s not talk about it.”
Understanding: “I will help you when you need me.”
Obsessing: “Let’s talk about nothing else.”
Excusing: “It’s OK—I’ll just cope with it.”

Enduring in love: “I will help you bear this burden.”

Condemning: “I forgive you for being hopelessly sick.”
Absolution: “Don’t worry about it.” Accountability: “Understand how you have hurt others.” Blaming: “Your problems are the cause of all my problems.”
Repression: “I’d rather not think about this.” Managing conflict: “Let’s deal with this positively.” Escalation: “You cross me again and you’re dead meat.”
Denial: “Change is easy, no problem.” Discipline: “Change requires hard work and concentration.” Despair: “For you change is virtually impossible.”
“I forgive you, since I never trusted you or anyone else in the first place.” I forgive you and will give you a second chance. Earn my trust with consistency.” I forgive you, but I will never really trust you again. I never give second chances.”
Future fantasies: Good intentions are not enough. Present duty: A way of living and perceiving here and now. Past fixation: Endless worry about past problems.

Copyright © 2002 Vivian Ellis Zabriskie

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