Learning To Forgive For Our Own Well-Being
I’ve been thinking a lot about forgiveness as it is something I have had to deal with plenty in my life; I’ve been hurt deeply by people very close to me.
To deal with the aftermath of the hurt, I have gone through many thought processes such as:
- Denial– It didn’t happen. I’m making it up.
- Superiority – I’m better than they are. I don’t need them
- Victimization – Why does this always happen to me? Why do others feel they can treat me like that?
- Punishment – It’s all my fault. I’m an idiot.
- Martyr – It doesn’t matter. I can take it.
- Ego – I’m never apologizing for this. I’m right and they are wrong.
Needless to say none of these lines of thoughts are satisfying. They all leave one still upset and in anger and actually reveal more about our own flawed psychology than about a solution for betrayal and forgiveness.
After going through all these different processes I realized the only way to forgive is by recognizing, accepting, and letting go. It is only after that last phase (letting go) that love and compassion will then replace anger and resentment. And why is it so important to do that? Because anger and resentment hurts us and nobody else.
In recognizing and accepting that something bad or wrong has happened to us, we get to validate the feelings we are having. They are real feelings and we should give them space to exist. Not as a tantrum but as a hurt. So denial, victimization, punishment, martyrdom, and superiority are out.
In letting go we accept that others sometimes cannot see us or deal with us in a loving way. We simply don’t have control over them. When we let go the hurt stops and when it stops we are then able to see others with love and compassion. That is not to say we will be open to be hurt again. That is to say we are in touch enough with ourselves not to let anger towards others poison our own existence. In this phase we can communicate without our ego getting in the way and we can say how we feel without expecting anything in return. At that point we are able to move on.
Please read on.
How to Forgive Anyone—and Why Your Health Depends on It
By Harriet Brown
What, exactly, does it take to move past a lifetime of hurts? Harriet Brown goes on a mission to discover the true meaning of forgiveness.
Fred Luskin wants me to forgive my mother. And, while I’m at it, my father, my third-grade teacher, my passive-aggressive coworker, the woman who cut me off on the highway, and the guys in Washington who’ve made such a mess of things. Not for their sake, but for mine: Luskin is convinced I’ll be less anxious, more upbeat, and healthier if I do.
After studying forgiveness for close to 20 years, he should know...Continued