Considering Forgiveness; One of the roots of unwanted behavior is buried pain. Pretending that it is not there or that it does not matter will not solve problems. Failing to forgive is one main cause of buried pain and significant relationship problems.
Forgiving is not easy, it takes time and effort. Forgiveness breaks the cycle. It does not settle all questions of blame, justice and fairness, but it does allow relationships to start over. Our capacity to repent and to forgive is necessary for any quality relationship to last over time and to be attuned to another.
If you do not forgive, think about who your anger is hurting the most– IT IS YOU. As you stay with inner turmoil and bitterness you suffer. Forgiveness enables you to become free from your anger so that you can develop as good of a relationship as possible with other people.
When someone does us wrong, we feel as though they have taken away something from us-our peace, joy, happiness-and now we feel they owe it to us. If we harbor bitterness against others, that bitterness eats away at us. When we forgive them, we release them from this “debt.” As our sense of entitlement ceases, our freedom reappears. Forgiveness always involves letting go, then relationships flourish in freedom.
The process always begins with a decision. It is an act of the will, something we choose to do because we know it is healthy and right even though we may not “feel like it” at an emotional level.
Forgiveness is a process that involves freeing OURSELVES from the emotional effects of what was done to us.
The process of forgiveness is complete when what happened between us is no longer a “live issue” in the way I think of you, or in the way I live my life.
- Recognize the injury
- Identify the emotions involved
- Express your hurt and anger
- Set boundaries to protect yourself from additional harm
- Cancel the “debt”
- Consider reconciliation if it is appropriate