Is it easier to forgive a person if you understand their past or might this just make you angrier? I find that sometimes, the more I know about a person, the angrier I get. In other words, I do see their own hurts from the past, but I still find their behavior toward me unacceptable regardless of what they have suffered.
When you look toward the person’s past, do you slip into the error of excusing what the other did? If you see that you are trying to excuse, that could make you angrier. After all, past hurts are no excuse to hurt others. If you can resist excusing and from a position of truly calling the other’s behavior wrong, what happens in your emotions when you see a wounded person, a confused person, perhaps a person manipulated or mistreated in other ways by important people in his or her life? Does this stir in you a little compassion, as long as you resist the conclusion that he or she just couldn’t help it?
Categories: Ask Dr. Forgiveness
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