My, oh my, I am not qualified to write on this subject. The responses to the previous post, “How to Find Joy in Forgiveness,” made it clear that it’s not just me who has a problem with forgiving. I can see that this is a troublesome topic for others. I’ve read lots of articles, heard the sermons, and certainly have given deep thought to the subject of forgiveness. Still it’s no easier. So let me take a different approach.
Forgiveness may be nothing more than a brain shift. It may be how we think about the person we want to forgive. I say “want” because I’m making the assumption that you want to with your true self but cannot come to that point in your this world self.
Recognize first that your true self is the person you are in your deepest parts-your soul. The person you are in this world is your ego and that is the person you wants it’s way all the time. The person who can only see it their way. The person who has a personal agenda. You know that part of you, don’t you? When we are honest we all know that part of ourselves.
In 1980 my ten-year marriage fell apart and my formerly faithful husband left to be with another woman. Though my wounds have healed many of my children’s haven’t. It is incredible difficult to forgive someone who hurts your children.
Since then I’ve gone through many heartaches that hurt deeply. When your heart is fresh, young and new the pain is unexpected, unfamiliar and oh so harsh. It makes forgiveness beyond reason.
That’s just it-forgiveness has nothing to do with reason. Reason has to do with logic and rational thought. Forgiveness doesn’t.
Forgiveness is a close cousin to acceptance. Acceptance is coming to terms with something or someone. It isn’t approval. It is saying I know you are who you are and I’m accepting you as you are. It doesn’t require that you change.
Forgiveness releases you from holding the invoice that says someone owes you. It gives you freedom. It is amazing how it can work. You release the other and then they have to hold the weight of whatever they’ve done. Even if you think they won’t you have released control and that liberates you. I suggest that forgiving is changing your way of thinking about the person who hurt you.
Prayer is the best way I know of to change thinking. This is a prayer taken from Entering the Castle by Caroline Myss. The book is based on the writings of Sister Teresa of Avila. Begin the process by speaking this prayer aloud, even if you can’t do so with meaning.
“Help me to forgive because I don’t want to forgive. I feel entitled to be angry even though the anger is killing me, not them. And no one really cares that I’m angry. It’s destroying my life, not theirs. I want to punish someone, so I punish my kids or I punish other innocent people who have never harmed me because it is my way of punishing them. So I really don’t want to forgive because than I think all my hurt will be forgotten and that feels so unfair. But what is fair? No one’s hurt is fair. I just think that justice should revolve around me. So, help me to forgive, one person at a time, beginning with ______.
This is a process. Practice with this prayer daily. You may be amazed the joy it will bring!
“Heal your heart. Allow it to give up old wounds.” – Caroline Myss
I raised three children as a single mother before I remarried. I have experienced the potholes, pests, and perils of being the single head-of-household. As an educator in regular and special education for twenty years I know a great deal about child development and how to handle kids. I am the founder of SMORE for Women, a nonprofit whose goal is Single Moms, Overjoyed, Rejuvenated, and Empowered. I’m also a Certified Professional Coach and my stories have been published in several Christian books and magazines. My book, Living Learning Loving is available on CreateSpace, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble online.