There’s so much healing, joy, pleasure, gratification, and peace of mind that comes with being loved unconditionally and loving completely that I wish everyone WOULD experience it. We intentionally use the word “would” because we KNOW it’s possible and realizable if you’re willing to put in the work. Unfortunately most people won’t put in the time and energy to experience the phenomena of TRUE LOVE because it’s “hard work”. Well…. like we’ve said before, anything worth having is worth working hard for. One way of working hard in your relationship is demonstrating your ability to forgive. FORGIVENESS should be a key ingredient in your recipe for relationship success.
By: Alan J. Butler
1. Forgiveness is a healing process
Often we cannot start this process alone. It depends on a number of factors. How and when we were hurt and by whom. How did we react at that time. What did we come to believe about ourselves because of this. Remember that forgiveness is a process and the healing can take time. There is no quick fix.
2. Forgiveness is an act of the will
Many think that forgiveness is an act that comes out of a felt emotion. Certainly, there is an emotional dimension to healing and forgiveness. But at it’s basic level, you must choose to forgive. It may not be easy but you must decide to take this course it is a choice.
3. Forgiveness is a sign of positive self esteem
Sometimes the most difficult act of forgiveness is to forgive yourself. This opens the door to be able to forgive others. It is often said that forgiveness boosts your self esteem. When we no longer want to see ourselves in the light of our past hurts and injustices, and come to believe the truth about ourselves, we feel better inside and out.
4. Forgiveness is letting go
Forgiving is not forgetting: It is letting go of anger and hurt and moving on. It doesn’t change what happened. Letting go means that the pain from our past no longer has a hold on us. This makes a way for us to set new plans for our future. Forgiveness means letting go so that we can move on.
5. Forgiveness is an internal process
Forgiveness is an internal process. It can’t be forced, and it doesn’t come easy. It brings with it great feelings of wellness and freedom. But we experience this only when we want to heal and when we are willing to work for it. We claim the right to stop hurting when we say, “I’m tired of the pain, and I want to be healed.” At that moment, forgiveness becomes a possibility-although it may take time and much hard work before we finally achieve it.
6. Forgiveness is recognising that we no longer need our grudges
Dante used the phrase: “The wrathful travel in a cloud”. Their outlook on life is distorted because their inner condition is affected by hate. It doesn’t make sense to remain unforgiving. Nursing grudges works like acid on the soul. We are not able to see straight, literally and spiritually.
7. Forgiveness is no longer wanting to punish people
The anger we feel towards them is hurting us more than it hurts them. The anger was stopping the healing. We feel that inner healing and the peace that goes with it. Forgiveness is accepting that nothing we do to punish the offender will heal us. Forgiveness is freeing up the energy that was spent in anger and chanelling it into our present and future.
8. Forgiveness offers a chance at reconciliation
It was mentioned in a previous article that forgiveness is not reconciliation. Reconciliation is restoring a relationship to a positive state. This is not possible if the perpetrator has died, or a former spouse has remarried. Reconciliation goes beyond forgiveness and may generally not be possible if forgiveness has not taken place. If someone says that they have forgiven a person yet they avoid that person at all costs – it is likely that some deep seated resentment is still there.
9. Forgiveness is the only way to heal the pain
We make a decision to say that we are sick and tired of this pain, we do not want to be a victim any longer, and need to deal with the pain in a positive way. Then we know that the road to to recovery is possible and forgiveness is taking place.
10. Forgiveness is freedom
Forgiveness is freeing up the energy. Forgiving someone means that you have released them from the consequences of their action to you so that you can be free. Those who hold resentment in their heart are in no position to withstand any of the storms of life. Your own personal vision of inner peace and what you want your life to become is available when you forgive.
Alan Butler is a Recovery Coach having worked for the last 10 years with men recovering from addiction. Three years of this were invested as a House Parent on site at the Christian run Ovis Farm Project in Devon, England. He has a Diploma in Coaching and Mentoring from the Institute of Counselling, Glasgow. He is currently taking time out with his children and granchildren in Australia but would welcome comment through http://www.therecoverycoach.co.uk