I’ve never understood why some seem so obsessed with others’ forgiveness. Not in the sense they themselves seek absolution for wronging someone else; rather they feel the need to preach to those who have been hurt by another about the virtue of forgiveness as if their own salvation somehow depended upon it. This sort of one-size-fits-all spiritual approach just does not resonate with me; in my eyes, a decision to forgive a person who has transgressed against us is entirely personal – I’m not sitting in your shoes, so how could I possibly judge what is/is not a forgivable offense?
I think some take the old “To err is human; to forgive, divine” proverb a bit too far at times; particularly with the last round of the Jupiter/Neptune Square (exact September 21, 2019) rapidly closing in. It is entirely possible to overdo it in this regard & open ourselves up (or others, if we’re promoting the Forgiveness Gospel as the only way) to further victimization under this square. We are not divine beings; we are human beings having a human experience, so setting forth a universal expectation that we should always be able to forgive and be the bigger, better person across the board is just a tad lofty & unrealistic. What if someone murdered our child? What if someone caused us grave emotional, psychological, physical, or material harm? We don’t know the whole story, so to attempt to superimpose this kind of dogma upon the situation would seem rather misplaced/misguided, IMO. It is so curious to me that we seem to focus more on preaching the forgiveness gospel to victims than we do preaching atonement to their victimizers.
It is also important to point out how the state of being unforgiven inherently implies a need for redemption – it is this state that can motivate victimizers to be and to do better; if not for the person they’ve harmed then for others who cross their path in the future. The sadness, guilt, shame, and social isolation one can experience through the experience of being unforgiven may help them feel remorse for their behavior, cause them to make an honest apology, and motivate them to seek to redeem themselves in the eyes of Divinity; even if they are not permitted the opportunity to do this with their victim(s).
As for those who can’t find forgiveness in their heart, simply put this is not something one owes to anyone; it is between themselves, the offender, and/or Divinity (assuming one’s belief system incorporates the Divine; YMMV). We don’t have any idea what they’ve been through so isn’t it important that we have compassion for their experience rather than judge them as being “unforgiving”? A lack of forgiveness isn’t always about anger, either; sometimes it is self-protection or the protection of others. Sometimes it’s necessary the offender see the consequences of their actions; if they received a “pass” for every misdeed and there wasn’t any fallout, then what motivation would they have to seek deliverance from their trespasses? Before preaching “Love all; forgive all” as a universal mantra, please remember this. Forgiveness is a private gift of grace we give when we are able to transcend; not a moral obligation.