Skye Thomas

Skye Thomas
Writer, Rebel, and Soapbox Ranter

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Forgiveness is not always easy - Looking Up Newsletter

October 1st, 2014
Looking Up Newsletter

Good morning,

I have to write a paper about the psychologist William James today. He was a fascinating guy. You should check him out sometime.

Many of us have heard of Freud, Jung, and others, but there are so many people that helped to launch the field of psychology that ought to be remembered. It is fascinating to read the heated debates over whether we are predestined by biology and automated learning processes to be who we become or if we actually have free will.

“My first act of fee will shall be to believe in free will…” – William James.

take care,
Skye Thomas

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This Month's News of Interest:

October 2014 Monthly Horoscopes

The new October horoscopes were posted to the website a couple of weeks ago. Here are the links...

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The free (generic) annual astrological overviews have been posted to the website...

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Who is Skye Thomas?

Skye Thomas is the CEO of Tomorrow's Edge, an Internet leader in inspiring leaps of faith. Her books, articles, and astrological forecasts have inspired people of all ages and faiths to recommit themselves to the pursuit of happiness. To read more of her articles, previews of her books, and her astrology forecasts, go to To read more about Skye and to read archives of this free weekly newsletter, go to

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Quote of the Week:

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. - Albert Einstein

You will know that forgiveness has begun when you recall those who hurt you and feel the power to wish them well. - Lewis B. Smedes

Forgive him, for he believes that the customs of his tribe are the laws of nature! - George Bernard Shaw

Feature Article of the Week:


It is easy to forgive an adorable child that had no idea they were doing something wrong. It is easy to forgive little things when they do not occur very often. And it is easy to forgive those that are out of their mind with grief, heartache, or pain when they say or do something that is out of character. I have already addressed forgiving big things like infidelity, rape, genocide, and war in another article. But what about the stuff in-between really easy and really hard to forgive? How do we forgive when it is in our own best interest, but the actions of others still annoy us? How do we forgive when they are not sorry or they only say they are sorry because society expects them to but you know that they do not feel real remorse for what they have done? What if they do not even acknowledge that they did it? How do you forgive the person that goes through life wreaking havoc on other people’s lives without even caring enough to notice that they are doing so?

Let me start by saying that I despise the fake apology. I hate when someone crushes you with their choices, words, or behaviors and then when you call them on it, they offer a flippant apology and then simply demand that you “get over it” without any real remorse or real awareness of the pain, discomfort, expense, or humiliation that they may have caused you. I hate the “I’m just a stupid guy” form of apology, the “We’re all just doing the best that we can” non-apology apology, and the “I’m sorry if that bothers you, but ____” apology in which they then go on to restate why you deserved being treated the way you were or they go on to defend their actions in a way that has nothing to do with actually being mindful of what the effect of their actions had on you. And above all else, I hate the repeated and meaningless apology of the habitual behaviorist that always says they are sorry, but never stops doing whatever it is that they are apologizing for.

I know that we are taught to apologize and society is correct to encourage such things. But a fake apology can often do more harm than good and it does nothing to mend the situation. I wish that parents would spend more time teaching children the value of a real heartfelt apology and why we should be mindful of how our actions, words, and behaviors affect others. But this is not an article about how to raise children that rarely need to apologize. It is about being on the receiving end of a jerk’s bad behaviors and trying to forgive them for it.

Sometimes, it is easier to simply put space between you and the perpetrator. This is especially true if they are dysfunctional, destructive, or in any way dangerous. Sometimes, that means getting a restraining order but most of the time, it means creating boundaries. It is common with relatives to feel that it is easier to love them from afar. “You stay in your town and I’ll stay in mine.” Sometimes, it means not having anything to do with each other for days, weeks, months, or even years without technically stating that you are severing all ties. Both sides just stop making an effort, but the door is still open for future healing. Time and space can help to take the edge off of whatever they did and that is all it takes for us to be able to enter a forgiving state of mind. Sometimes, with time and space, we are able to realize that we played a role in what happened and that maybe they were not completely at fault. Sometimes, we realize that we were being overly sensitive and that we should not have been so offended at what they did. Sometimes, we find out new information that we did not know at the time and it turns out that they had good motivations but poor execution or they were actually out of their mind with pain, fear, anger, or stress about something else and they simply took it out on us. Sometimes, we find out through the grapevine that they later did grow to become truly sorry but they are afraid to approach us again. And sometimes, we miss them so much that we are willing to cast aside their flaws in order to enjoy what is good and joyful about spending time with them. Time and space apart is one of the best ways to allow for healing and for an attitude of forgiveness to grow.

But sometimes you come back after a time apart and they are still exactly the same and they are still not sorry and they still make you feel awful, and they accuse you of living in the past because you are cognizant of their inability or unwillingness to change. Seeing a long-term consistent pattern of behavior from someone is not living in the past or holding on to the past. It is simply being an observant person. Do not let them guilt you into feeling as if you are the bad guy here. If they are still a negative force in your life after you have taken time away from them, then maybe you need to consider taking more time away from them or even permanently severing all ties with them.

It can be painful to cut ties with someone that has meant a lot to you, like our parents, offspring, or even a best friend. Although, sometimes after you come back from spending time apart, you look at the person with a fresh perspective and you wonder why you ever put up with their antics in the first place. “Why did I allow this jerk to create so much pain and suffering in my life?” Other times, it is heart wrenching, such as when a loved one has a substance abuse problem and they need professional help but refuse to seek treatment and you have to cut ties knowing that they will probably suffer dearly as a result of you removing yourself permanently from their life. If the person you are considering cutting all ties with were not so hurtful towards you, then you would not be considering kicking them out of your life, so it is not as if you are a cold heartless person once you hit that point. Do not beat yourself up for considering leaving someone that metaphorically beats you up.

Sometimes, it helps to study the person in order to forgive them. What kind of childhood did they have? Has life kicked them around a lot? Have they been hurt by others? What did their generation teach them about how to treat others? What kind of social skills were they taught? Do they have untreated emotional problems? Sometimes, knowing someone’s background, philosophical views, and/or mental health status helps to make it easier to forgive them. That does not mean that you will not still want to put space between you, it just means that the forgiveness part of things becomes a little easier. For example, a father might not be very loving and attentive, but later as the child grows into an adult, they are able to understand that the father was raised in a generation that frowned upon such behavior from men. So, then the adult child can forgive their father for not being more demonstrative when the child was younger.

Sometimes, they simply are not sorry and they think you deserved whatever it is that they did. And then it is up to you to forgive whatever percentage of it that you can and then forgive yourself for not being able to forgive more than that. You may have to come back and emotionally re-evaluate your feelings and over time you may be able to forgive a bit more.

What you should not do is to allow someone to continually make you feel awful without ever changing the paradigm between you. If it cannot be changed, healed, or resolved, then you probably need to walk away from them. Sometimes, you should run and not look back.

Need someone to talk to about life's challenges?
Skye Thomas is available for life coaching.

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