One Pagan’s Ethics & Forgiveness

Forgiveness requires a certain breaking open of the heart. It requires an openness, a release. Compassion is a doorway to forgiveness.

The question here becomes Who deserves forgiveness? Under what circumstances?

If we are all sacred, then I believe we are all worthy of forgiveness. Regardless of the crime people deserve to be forgiven. When someone hurts another person, I believe it damages them in proportion to the amount of hurt they caused. Often, hurting others is accidental or secondary. Forgiveness can help ease the damage to the perpetrator.

Forgiveness does not require a lack of consequences. In particular, patterns of behavior can warn of danger before more problems occur, If someone acts repeatedly to hurt others, they need to be kept from doing so again.

Forgiveness also does not require repentance. It is an act on the part of those in sympathy with someone who has been hurt toward someone who has done the hurting. Forgiveness can ease our anger and create a different kind of change than anger manifests on its own. Forgiveness holds space for new behaviors and beliefs.

How we forgive is up to us, but I believe we should forgive. What do you think? Share in the comments.


About Melissa ra Karit

I'm a queer, poly, genderqueer Witch. I'm a sex-positive feminist, an activist, and a writer. I believe that when we attend to our individual good, we approach the world with good in our hearts and change the world for the better. Opinions expressed here are solely my personal opinions, and do not represent the views of any organization with which I am affiliated.
This entry was posted in Compassion, Pagan Ethics and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to One Pagan’s Ethics & Forgiveness

  1. Sage Solsmiður’lisa says:

    Sometimes, forgiveness is very difficult; yet it matters so much. To forgive, as you point out, brings release and allow peace with joy to flow back in. For me, it is needed, yet does not get easier with time. Nevertheless, remains so very real and so very true.

  2. jainabee says:

    Forgiveness is the antidote to resentment, and has been a vital part of my own healing. It helps to look into myself to see what harm i may have caused, whether it was unintentional or not. It is a way of moving through denial to a place of total acceptance. Yes, accountability is a separate issue. True forgiveness is unconditional.

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