If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
Can I forgive somebody but still be hurt? I want things to be better between us, but they just aren’t, and I can’t move on. How am I supposed to trust someone who has shown me over and over that they end up being the same person even though they swear they’re going to change?
My dear, forgiveness is not for the person that needs to be forgiven. Forgiving someone who has wronged you or hurt your heart should be done so that you can heal from the pain you have felt. So often folks think that being forgiven means that they are absolved, or that they are receiving a pass for bad behavior, when that’s just not the case.
Likewise, I’m not sure that all of what you’re asking is one and the same, so let’s break it down, shall we? You can certainly forgive someone and still be hurt by what they did. Forgiveness is part of the healing process, and can simply mean that you are freeing a person from your own punishment. You are giving up resentment against someone or ceasing to punish a person for an offense.
Now, you might’ve forgiven… given up resentment, ceased your wanting to punish a person for something. But especially in the case of repeated hurtful behaviors, giving up resentment does not mean that the pain you’ve been caused simply vanishes into thin air. It merely means you have no will to punish them.
You’ve written to me, so you obviously want my opinion, and my opinion is this: someone who hurts you time and time again but swears they are sorry isn’t sorry for hurting you. These people are simply sorry they’ve been called out. They are sorry that you noticed their actions, but if they have done it time and time again, their apologies can’t mean much, can they? You don’t have to trust a person who has shown you that they don’t deserve it. Plain and simple.
What do you say to a family member that’s been diagnosed with a terminal disease? I want to sit and have coffee with them but I don’t want everything to be a pity party for them. I just want to take advantage of the time we have left. How do I take in these final times without it being terrible for either of us?
One of the most important things to remember about a loved one who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness is that they are facing their own end. This is not a time to impose your will on a person, or your grief. It is perfectly reasonable to be sad, and it is absolutely understandable to be confused… but whatever you might be feeling, recognize also that they’re feeling these emotions about themselves, and about facing the end of their own life.
Is this a person you’ve spent time with before? Is this a family member that you see often? If it is someone you are close to, someone that you already often spend time with, then the best way to enjoy and appreciate the final times you’ll get to spend with them is to spend those times in a way that is as close to your previous activities together as you can.
Tell stories. Remember better times. Laugh at bad family photos and reminisce about gatherings. Don’t be afraid to tell your family members that you love them, and cherish them.
If this is not a family member you would normally spend much time with, but you’re feeling the need to make up for that, do try not to insert yourself in their world. Remember again that they’ve been handed probably the hardest diagnosis imaginable, and they have that immense trouble to face.
Above all, approach this person with grace. Do not expect that they will do for you, expect that you might offer to do for them. Show them kindness and compassion, with a little more kindness sprinkled in. Follow their lead, and you’ll both be alright.