Tagged: “Anger”

What does it mean to accept the pain of the other’s offense?

To accept the pain is not to put up with abuse. One first has to protect oneself by seeking justice from abuse.  To accept the pain is not to live with this pain for the rest of one’s life.  To accept the pain is to stand with that pain, to not run from that pain (because the injustice did happen).  To accept the pain is to make a commitment not to pass that pain back to the one who offended or to anyone else.  As one stands this way and commits to not passing the pain to others, the paradox is that the one who accepts the pain begins to notice that, over time, the pain begins to lessen.

For additional information, see the Four Phases of Forgiveness.

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I want to reach out to a former good friend.  We have not talked in about a year.  I fear being humiliated.  What can I do to overcome this fear of humiliation?

You are showing courage to consider approaching the former good friend. I would suggest two things.  First, try to cultivate a sense of humility which may counter any harmful humiliation if the person rejects your overture of a renewed friendship.  In other words, cultivating humility gets you ready for a rejection.  Second, realize that the other person may not be as ready for a conversation as you are.  Even if you make the approach, please realize that the other may need time to adjust to this new overture.  A hesitancy on the other’s part today does not mean that this will continue indefinitely.  Humility and patience may help you in this case.

For additional information, see Learning to Forgive Others.

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I know you talk about secondary forgiveness, or forgiving someone who hurt a person you love.  My question is this: Do you think it is legitimate to forgive the family member who is being hurt, who just lingers in the relationship without standing up for his own rights?  This is making me very angry.

Yes, if you are angry with your family member for not seeking justice, then it is your choice whether or not to forgive that person.  I realize that the one you are forgiving is not the victim in this scenario, but the person, in failing to exercise justice, is frustrating you and making you angry. This is sufficient to begin the forgiveness process if you are ready.

For additional information, see Why Forgive?

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My brother was hurt at school by a harsh teacher. He has not forgiven that teacher. Now I am having a hard time forgiving the teacher. Should I wait until my brother forgives before I start the forgiveness process?

It is perfectly legitimate to forgive someone who hurts a family member when you have been hurt by that action.  You need not wait until your brother forgives because you are free to offer forgiveness whenever you are ready.  Your forgiving the teacher may show your brother that it is possible.

For additional information, see Learning to Forgive Others.

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New Desmond Tutu film – “The Forgiven” – Addresses Segregation, Apartheid, Forgiveness

Screen Africa, Johannesburg, South Africa – Unflinchingly accurate in its depiction of South Africa’s tumultuous  political history, The Forgiven is a powerful film that one critic described as “the ultimate testament to the power of forgiveness and finding common ground in our humanity.”

While it has been two decades since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission focused international attention on South Africa’s violent history of racial segregation, director Roland Joffé’s new film returns to that time to grapple with the terrible truths of apartheid and its legacy.

Based on Michael Ashton’s play The Archbishop and the AntichristThe Forgiven is a fictionalized account of Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s efforts as the head of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in an attempt to heal and unite South Africa. It was released worldwide in October.

Explaining the reasoning behind the film, Joffé says: “This is a subject that’s both social and political but also rather personal, because let’s be honest, we’ve all done things in our lives that we need forgiveness for, that we haven’t come to terms with. We’re all prisoners of our history, whether it’s social, cultural or family.”

The drama follows Archbishop Desmond Tutu, masterfully portrayed by Forest Whitaker, and his struggle – morally and intellectually –with brutal murderer and member of a former apartheid-era hit squad Piet Blomfeld (Eric Bana), over redemption and forgiveness. The film was shot completely in and around Cape Town, including at one of the world’s most dangerous prison facilities, Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison.


“The film is a tribute to the remarkable and healing power of forgiveness and the outstanding compassion and courage of those who offered love and forgiveness as an antidote to hate and inhumanity.”
Desmond Tutu


The Archbishop himself has given the project his blessing, saying: “This timely, compelling and intelligent film, movingly, and above all humanely, captures what it felt like to be working with those selfless members of the TRC who strove, often against the odds, to help bring both truth and reconciliation to the ordinary people of South Africa.  This is not only a film about a certain time and place, it is a pean of hope to humanity at large.” 

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VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR RESEARCH PROJECT

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