The Courage to Face Ingratitude VII

To realize that he who once lived in the sanctuary of our affection, in the frank confidence where conversation seemed but our soliloquy, and to whom our aims and aspirations have been thrown open with no Bluebeard chamber of reserve, has been secretly poisoning the waters of our reputation and undermining us by his lies and treachery, is hard indeed. But no matter how the ingratitude stings us, we should just swallow the sob, stifle the tear, smile serenely and bravely, and—seek to forget.” ~ William George Jordan

The stings of ingratitude lead many otherwise balanced and sensible people astray. It seems odd, but many have abandoned a stance of radiance and gratefulness in reaction to the lack of gratitude in others. “That thankless so-and-so…after all I did for him…I’ll show him!” And the poisoning begins.

If a friend leaves you because times got hard or because your patterns of relatedness changed due to larger shifts in the world around you, you are likely better off without them. Blessings often come disguised and you are wise never to judge by appearances alone. Many blessings are deemed curses and discarded unnecessarily. Wise is the man, therefore, who refrains from snap judgments about the changes in his field of influence and gives space in his mental and emotional approach to the matter for the elements to reveal themselves over time.

You cannot forget effectively without first forgiving completely. You cannot move from “I’m trying hard to forget” to “I had totally forgotten about that” without having had your heart cleansed by the purifying waters of forgiveness. The best way to maintain your momentum in living after being betrayed or abandoned by a trusted friend is to forgive with all of the immediacy, depth and absoluteness you can summon and then move on.

There are always brighter days ahead of you if you meet all that comes your way with gratitude, even if the only thing you can be thankful for in the circumstance is that it came to you instead of another less prepared than you to handle its intricate challenges. To abide in gratitude you must apply a liberal amount of the grease of forgiveness to the wheels in your heart and mind, for if there is one thing that is certain in a world governed by human nature, you will be let down by others on occasion.

Don’t take it so personally. Rise up, move on!

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11 Responses to The Courage to Face Ingratitude VII

  1. DeeDee Miller says:

    Surely heeding these points has the power to change one’s world by bringing their energies where they should more fully be, on what is right and what is in the present to be thankful for. Thank you!

  2. Kelli Lorentzen says:


  3. Suzy Barnes says:

    Poignant post – I really enjoyed it. It reordered my priorities this morning!

  4. Ricardo B. says:

    Good call, to not take it so personally, really.
    I see your point, where how can you let that person go from that situation consuming a bunch of your attention and energy to the point where you are really not even thinking about them without cutting those ties through forgiveness? Makes sense. Forgiveness releases people. Grudges bind people – and in such unhealthy, destructive ways. Given the circumstance, I know it’s easier said that done, but really there’s no other way and thank God there’s a way out of what otherwise would be an unrelentless chain of destruction – like a tornado gone wild destroying everything in its path that just keeps getting bigger and bigger.
    Forgiveness is the master medicine, and wise is the one who knows how to use it.

  5. TW says:

    It does take quite a bit of courage to stand in the midst of pain, abandonment or loss and allow forgiveness to override those intense and often intoxicating emotions. I have found that it is something that must come from the heart, it’s a process and the end result is freedom. To forgive only on a mental level is just self deception, as those insidious feelings of hate, hurt, pain will tend to leak out into all areas of life. The best way to know is to stay alert to your internal conversation or to your external expression during times of intense pressure. Being able to appreciate and bless all relationships as they move in and out of our lives takes awareness and a deep desire to learn and grow as a person. Practice the process of blessing those who have “wronged you” everyday, it works wonders!!! Thanks Gregg for shining a light on a principle of living that brings nothing but wonders!!

  6. Melissa Hake says:

    True forgiveness will never leave you cold or lonely, for your light heart will keep you warm and your integrity will keep you company!!
    Then in forgiveness what was right about the past remains and what is right about the future is illuminated.
    Judging another’s life or choices is a fickle business, and taking their choices personally is a sure way to stop living yourself.
    Thanks for so much wisdom in one post!

  7. Coco says:

    I don’t think you can arrive at fifth grade without having a “friend” who has secretly worked against you. I don’t see it as a right of passage but as a human trial that does exist. Learning to forgive, truly, deeply and without reservation is the only answer. As adults we are faced with this on varying scales of intensity, career or job changes, membership in clubs etc, divorce. Learning to let the past go and move forward graciously is the mark of maturity. The most important thing to preserve is your radiance as that is what insures your dignity. Thanks for your thoughts.

  8. Doug says:

    This happens to most everyone. If you have any type of public face or have a business you are a target. When criticism or lies come my way I will give it as little of my time as possible. One consolation is that I don’t derive my selfwoth from those I don’t even consider a friend. In today’s society acrimony is commonplace but it is still a choice. By choosing not to participate you can avoid the bitter pill. Great post, thanks.

  9. Beth C says:

    So true. Why be chained to someone who is ungrateful? Forgive, forget, and move on. By the way, I’ve noticed with forgetting that while sometimes I may remember the incident or even the details of a betrayal, the feeling is gone. That’s when I know I have moved on.

  10. David R says:

    Wherever there is ingratitude or betrayal of a close relationship, there is damage, and damage hurts. Hurt does abate, however, and damage heals if there is the deliberate willingness to give thanks for what IS, for the opportunities and relationships that remain.

    Often, as you indicate, the ones who breached the relationship did us a favor by doing so in the long run. In a sense, if people can go, they should be allowed to do so quickly and cleanly rather than in a long drawn-out process. A clean wound heals more fully and more quickly! And when not too much attention is paid to the residues of hurt, how quickly things can move to a healthy place!

  11. brigitte says:

    It’s sure folly to lament about the past, even past friendships. Those who are true friends, will always be with you in spirit regardless of shifts in proximity or relatedness. And, even if you are let down, the answer is forgiveness and gratitude for what IS, not what isn’t.

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