Monday, January 25, 2010

Why is Learning how to forgive so Hard?

We have all been there. Someone hurts us and for a moment we may wish to see them suffer as much as we are suffering now. The injury has just happened and emotions are churning within us, sometimes to the point of us feeling overwhelmed. While we may not want to forgive someone when we are first injured, nor necessarily should we, if we choose to lead a life where forgiveness is an integral part of it, our first step is to understand the meaning of forgiveness.

In past posts I have spoken about what forgiveness means and I would like to review a few of the most important points here.

* Forgiveness is about your inner healing, a release of your pain and not about letting someone else off the hook.
* Forgiveness is about changing the way we think and for most of us, this takes time. It is about changing our perceptions so we can see the situation differently, not through our anger, fear or guilt but through understanding and compassion.
* Forgiveness is the highest form of love that we can extend to others. It is the greatest gift we can give not only to others but especially to ourselves.

For the next few weeks I will take you step by step through a forgiveness process to help you heal the pain in your life. The first step in the forgiveness process is to truly understanding the meaning of forgiveness and to realize that it is for our benefit more than anyone else. Forgiveness is not something we should do to be good people. It is something that we want to do because we know that forgiveness will ultimately give us peace of mind and lead us towards richer fuller lives. When we understand this we can begin to move forward. Then we can look at the incident that has brought us pain. Remember, it is normal to feel angry and natural to want some form of revenge. Do not judge yourself if this is your experience. I often tell my clients if they are feeling overwhelmed with anger and a need for revenge to write out their revenge fantasy. This helps give our emotions voice and helps us to ultimately realize that revenge will not get us what we really want. When we come to this understanding we have just opened the door to the possibility of forgiveness and have started step one of our personal journey towards forgiveness.

To begin your journey ask yourself:
* How clear is my understanding about forgiveness and do I need to talk to someone who can help me better understand what forgiveness is about?
* Is there someone in my life that I am harboring anger and resentment towards and am I having difficulty with these emotions?
* How willing am I in wanting to forgive?

As you answer these questions you will learn something about yourself. In the coming posts I will continue taking you down the path of forgiveness teaching the steps to follow. Further information can be found in “Finding Forgiveness: A 7 Step Program for Letting go of Anger and Bitterness.”

No comments: