Dr. Janis Abrams Spring writes in her book, How Can I Forgive You? “Cheap forgiveness is a quick and easy pardon with no processing of emotion and no coming to terms with the injury. It’s a compulsive, unconditional, unilateral attempt at peacemaking for which you ask nothing in return. When you refuse to forgive, you hold tenaciously to your anger. When you forgive cheaply, you simply let your anger go. Cheap forgiveness is dysfunctional because it creates an illusion of closeness when nothing has been faced or resolved, and the offender has done nothing to earn it.”
Can you identify with any part of “cheap forgiveness?”
“Forgiveness is a choice that you will make when you are ready. It must not be approached quickly or with trite clichés. It is a conscious choice that you will make and more often, more than once, to let go. It does not mean that you have to reconcile with the addict. Forgiveness and reconciliation are different. Forgiveness can take place without opening yourself up to being wounded repeatedly by an addict who chooses not to do the work of recovery and transformation. Reconciliation will involve hard work, which you may or may not be ready ready for at this time. Forgiveness isn’t a one-time event. It may be a daily choice for a period of time. Having the pain of the past stirred up doesn’t mean you haven’t forgiven. It means that it hurts. Events of the hurtful past are stored on the hard drive of your brain, it does not simply erase its memory. As healing takes place, the “down-time” from the wounds will lessen.” (SOSA p. 91)
What has been the most difficult area of this journey for you to process?
Can I Forgive You? Janis Abram,Harper, 2004, p. 15.