Did you happen to see the last scene of the latest episode of “The Good Wife?” It was a perfect example of using pseudo forgiveness as a hurtful weapon. Her mother-in-law, lying in her hospital bed, calls her over with a “sweet” smile, gesturing for her to bend down to hear, and says “I forgive you.” The problem with that? There was nothing obvious to forgive, so those words constituted an accusation to which there is no easy response.

It’s a lot like the memory I re-tell of the fight my best friend and I were having when we were somewhere around 11 years old. I mean, a knock Mona’s glasses off her face fist fight. When her mother approached us with the potential for a scolding, my friend bent down, picked up my glasses, and said to me, “I forgive you,” thereby making me the guilty party. I don’t know that she was smart enough to know what she was doing, but I remembered it for years, and understood it only when I was working on “When to Forgive

Posted April 19, 2012 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

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  1. Oo false forgiveness is such a nasty attack. In A Course in miracles it is called “forgiveness to destroy.”

  2. Good, accurate description. Thanks for it.

  3. I didn’t see the episode, but the description made me queasy. What a manipulative thing to do. Yuck.

  4. I guess I’m doing good work if my description made you queasy. I wished at the time that I had people present to share my “icky” reaction with. I guess the actress did a good job too.

  5. Interesting examples of how the “good” – i.e. forgiving someone – does great harm and is actually self-serving when the forgiveness has no context (first exampl) or when it’s used to point the finger away from oneself. I like leelotcha’s comment a lot. “Forgiveness to destroy.” There’s nothing like righteouness to drum up war and destruction. Thanks for the post. Got me thinking. I think I’ll forgive Kay for doing all the cooking 🙂

  6. Blessed be Kay!

  7. Some more thoughts that I nedeed to share The act of ‘letting go’ or ‘forgiving’ does NOT mean that you have to continue a relationship with that person (or people) nor does it mean that you have to tell them to their face. You simply need to do it for yourself, releasing yourself of the negative, painful emotions.I also truly believe that everything we experience, especially a bad experience, leaves us at the cross road of choice do you continue to hold onto the negative emotion or do you ‘let go’ and overcome it and allow the experience to make you a better, stronger person?

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