Should We Forgive Assholes?

I was tagged in this Facebook post today and it got me thinking…is there power in forgiving assholes?

Her point regarding the energy required to “hold on to anger” stood out most to me. It’s true.

I’ve had thoughts swirling around my head day and night since my abandonment, most of which include phrases and dialogue that could have possibly “fixed” the assholes in my life.

Because, you know, that is my M.O. I fix things. I do the work to fix things. I do the research, sweat equity, and investment to fix and help and assist and, and…

But, now that I think of it…could that be why assholes appear in my life? Afterall, I do all the good work for them. Did I, in fact, enable their asshole-ish behavior? Were my boundaries never clear enough? Did I not have the same convictions I would have had with a complete stranger? Does my giving nature open the door to be exploited by assholes?

Does it really matter?

Whatever the strategy, an asshole is an asshole. Whatever the intention or agenda, still an asshole. I can’t fix that. And, as I grow stronger, I will not continue to invest in asshole life. Forget that noise.

But, the real question remains…can I forgive the behavior altogether? This video offers some guidance on that, so it’s definitely something to consider.

I am not ready today.

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  • Reply Jyl Pattee June 6, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    Hmmmm! I agree with lots of this. I love how she compares forgiveness to cutting a chain that binds us to negative energy. I agree that forgiveness does free us.

    Additionally, I think forgiveness gets messy. I mean, we’re human. It’s hard to immediately love someone who harms us. And, it’s hard to set and keep to boundaries. In one experience I’m thinking of, I thought that to have a forgiving heart, the other people involved would have to take positive steps forward. For example, I was looking to them to say they were sorry. I wanted them to admit what they had done. I wanted them to undo the wrongs by telling others that what they had said wasn’t true. And I wanted all the pain and heartache to go away along with the ripple effect it caused. And I just waited. And it never happened. I thought I needed to be patient, because I thought forgiveness had something to do with them. And because I had connected my ability to forgive to their needing to take actions, I had a hard time forgiving and the negativity became a part of me—a part that took hold and that I couldn’t get rid of for a very long time. They were no longer even in the picture, but this negativity was still continuing because of my choice to make it about them.

    When I decided to make forgiveness about me and my decision to choose love and to set boundaries (I didn’t have to ever, ever, ever agree with their behavior or allow them into my life again), I finally got the icky feelings out. And, like the video shares, I felt free. Being able to love someone as a child of God or a fellow member of the human race who by nature of who they are gives them worth but set boundaries because of their choices is liberating. But, in this specific situation I’m referencing, it took YEARS. And it was so, so hard. But in the end, I’d choose it all over again for the learning and compassion I gained.

    • Reply amy June 6, 2018 at 9:36 pm

      I am so grateful for your words, spirit, and friendship. You’ve given me a lot to think about, which is why you’re so amazing.

    • Reply Travis Hiland June 24, 2018 at 6:34 am

      Yes, thank you. I appreciate you sharing your cycle of forgiveness. It helps to know we do not walk the path alone. It’s rather an easy thing to be converted to the “idea” of letting go and exercising forgiveness not for the benefit of others, but for our own freedom. It’s another thing to do it thoroughly. Forgiveness and release does come, but in stages. I sure wish it didn’t take years…

      • Reply amy June 29, 2018 at 3:33 pm


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