I've been thinking about this question and it prompted me to create my latest Mindset Mojo message (on the left) for my book "Your Daily Mindset Mojo". As I reflected on her question I divided it into two parts. Part 1) Is there such a thing as too much forgiveness, and 2) Is there such a thing as being too forgiving. First, I thought about the meaning and value of forgiveness.
In, Love is Letting Go of Fear, by Gerald Jampolsky, he says this about forgiveness: "Inner peace can be reached only when we practice forgiveness. Forgiveness is the letting go of the past, and is therefore the means for correcting our misperceptions. The unforgiving mind, contrasted with the forgiving mind, is confused, afraid and full of fear. It is certain of the justification of its anger and the correctness of its condemning judgment. The unforgiving mind rigidly sees the past and future as the same and is resistant to change. It does not want the future to be different from the past. The unforgiving mind sees itself as innocent and others as guilty. It thrives on conflict and on being right, and sees inner peace as its enemy."
I agree with Mr. Jampolsky's thoughts about forgiveness. I learned many years ago that an act of forgivness on my part was essentially about me remaining free and connected to loving myself and extending healing to others. With forgiveness we are able to accept our own healing and extend healing Love to anyone who has wronged us.
So, in addressing the first part of my friend "S's" question, "Is there such a thing as too much forgiveness," I would have to say no, there is no such a thing as too much forgiveness. That would be like asking is there such a thing as too much love or peace, or joy. However, the second part of her question, "Is there such a thing as being too forgiving," has some truth to it.
The phrasing of her question, "Is there such as thing as being too forgiving," has within it an insinuation that the person doing the forgiving has created a habit of trusting someone who has already proven themselves to be untrustworthy. If you find that you are repeatedly forgiving someone for the same or similar actions than the fault lies within you and not within them.
We're not supposed to use forgiveness as a default of protection for our own dishonorable behavior or the behavior of others. The act of forgiveness does not give us license to repeatedly abuse others or ourselves. When I say abuse, I'm referring to the willful act of doing or saying things that are in conflict with what we know is right. In addition to practicing forgiveness, we are also called to trust and listen to our intuition or discernment and oftentimes the plain evidence that may be right in front of our faces.
If you find that you are caught in the web of "being too forgiving," and you want to be free, you'll have to examine what are you accepting into your life. You have the right to say "No" (even to yourself) to behavior that you don't want to be a part of your life experience. You do not have to accept everything that comes your way.
Remember, time is precious. Do your happy dance. Enjoy Life!