Interesting share Sherry, it was a great read because it relates to issues I’m going through, which I should forgive and move on.
I absolutely agree with you about the message. Letting go of resentment, anger and hate, allows us to rid ourselves of the burden and drag that accompanies these emotions. As you mentioned this is easier said than done, as it is a natural instinct and its hard to change old habits. Nevertheless it is an extreme bad habit and those that with strong self-understanding are able to break it and even exploit forgivness and happiness to grow.
Forgiveness is (in part) motivitaed in self-interest. Its more about helping yourself rather than doing the other person the favor. Though in some cases, forgiving someone might relief them of the burden that they have to live with following the action they took. Like for example, a killer being forgiven by the family members of the victim whos life they took.
What I couldnt agree on was your specific case that you referenced. We have to agree that what your father did was bad and I can imagine it happening because I have family members that would the same to me given the opportunitiy — There is a reason, I check my credit score every 6 months — Nevertheless you yourself said it, your father must have been “incredibly desperate” if he chose to take such an action. So burdened by his debt that he was willing to sacrifice his daughters credit to save himself. Misguided because he actually thought that would work and would NOT hurt you. He went as far as to fabricate reality to justify his actions.
The problem is forgivess in your case was purely self-motiviated and almost selfish. 15 years later and hes dead and you finally decide to forgive yourself. But what about him? He had to live 15 years with the burden of knowing he hurt you. He also had to live 15 years wth debt (I assume) while you ran off in anger possibly to escape any responsibility. Now I dont know the whole story so I dont want to continue speculating or attack you for something that I only know of through this article.
My point is that forgiveness should be two-sided and serve both parties. In your case, you might have been better off finding a solution like lending him money or even giving it away since he did support you for 24 years — Maybe you did this — Even if you continued to be angry at his action, you would have helped at that point and forgiveness might have come easier later when you came to the following conclusion
As I said, it doesn’t mean I think that what he did was okay. But I look at it now with a different lens. I think about how incredibly desperate he must have been. Misguided, yes. Wrong, yes. But desperate. I think about what it must have felt like to be a man who came from an era where men were the breadwinners and the providers, and to be unable to feel that he was living up to that.