The Forgiveness Process – Part 2

So a client posted that in her case the person had FULL awareness and acted badly anyway.

In this case – it’s a bit harder but not impossible to reduce the damage to your own life.

1) Analyse fully – if you are able:
What was the person’s context at the time? ie what things may have pushed them into this act if anything (for an extreme example a person may choose to be a kamikaze type terrorist/bomber knowing many will die but choosing that over the death of their loved ones held hostage at home)
What was that person’s background, upbringing, mental state, emotional state. How able and informed were they really? What psychological wounds might he or she be nursing? What extra pressures or stresses was the person experiencing at the time he or she offended you? 

If you don’t really know the full facts to 1 above maybe you could extend your thinking to include the fact that indeed if they had known better (or were able) they would have done better?

If you are SURE you have the full story then continue:

2) The next step is not about them it’s about you – be honest with yourself about your anger and hurt, and assess the full damage the injustice has caused in your life. If a parent made you feel inadequate growing up, does your self-esteem still suffer? Do you look for love and validation in unhealthy ways? Grow self- awareness and look to how you can shift these unhealthy patterns and become a more healed, powerful person instead of staying in a victim mode.

3) Decide to put the past behind you – yes that was bad – but it is OVER. The past cannot be changed. It just IS (mentally take the event and put it in a mental box, lock it up tight and archive it – like the ark of the covenant in Indiana Jones). Learn from it and make the adjustments needed – so it cannot happen again – and move on.
some might say – ‘oh well it is easy to say so’ – but i’m living proof that you can do exactly this – in a healthy way and once the issue has been processed – with some pretty big stuff . . .

4) If you have guilt or shame yourself that is a separate thing to deal with – and we will do another article on that that later

5) Help – as counter-intuitive as this might seem – helping others through something similar will actually help you process and heal. This way you can find meaning and purpose in what you have been through. In the emotional relief of this helping and healing, you might discover the paradox of forgiveness.

Good luck – forgiveness and healing is so important – not to the perpetrator but to the recipient . . . you may be walking around crippled by pain and suffering (and maybe hate or anger) and the person who did the thing may be merrily waltzing through life with not a care in the world. It is not about them – this is about YOU and how you can lead a happier life . . . and the only way to do so is to heal and LET GO . . .

All rights reserved © Melanie Harvard – the uncommon coach TM