Friday, October 26, 2007

Forgiveness: How to Make Peace with your Past and Get on with Your Life

Sorry it has been so long since I’ve posted. There have been some personal issues that have been taking up much of my spare time.

I am reading an amazing book that I can’t put down titled Forgiveness: How to Make Peace with Your Past and Get on with Your Life by Dr. Sidney B. Simon and Suzanne Simon.

It discusses how forgiveness isn’t a gift that you give to someone who hurt you, but a gift you give to yourself. Many physical stressors in our lives occur due to the fact that we are holding onto grudges and other heavy baggage that weighs us down because we feel that by forgiving we are somehow giving in or letting them get away with it or that we are not validating our feelings.

I haven’t finished it yet but I feel like I can relate so well with the words so I thought I would share with you a quick summary and some of my favorite entries so far.

What Forgiveness is Not

  • Forgiveness is not forgetting.
  • Forgiveness is not condoning.
  • Forgiveness is not a form of self- sacrifice.
  • Forgiveness is not absolution.
  • Forgiveness is not a clear cut one time decision.

What Forgiveness Is

  • Forgiveness is a by-product of an ongoing healing process.
  • Forgiveness is an internal process.
  • Forgiveness is a sign of positive self esteem.
  • Forgiveness is letting go of the intense emotions attached to incidents from our past.
  • Forgiveness is recognizing that we no longer need our grudges and resentments, out hatred and self pity.
  • Forgiveness is no longer wanting to punish the people who hurt us.
  • Forgiveness is accepting that nothing we do to punish them will heal us.
  • Forgiveness is freeing up and putting to better use the energy once consumed by holding grudges, harboring resentments, and nursing old wounds.
  • Forgiveness is moving on.

No matter what the wound was caused from or who caused it, the healing process has stages that we all go through:

  1. Denial
  2. Self-blame
  3. Victim
  4. Indignation
  5. Survivor
  6. Integration

This book goes into all these stages in more detail.

The author talks about her battle with forgiveness and why she chose to forgive. She said it wasn’t because that was the “Christian” thing to do, but rather “…because that is what I needed to do to feel whole, to like myself, and to rid myself of the excess emotional baggage that was weighing me down and holding me back. I wanted peace of mind, and I could not have it as long as I was stymied by unfinished business from my past and expending most of my energy nursing my unhealed wounds. I was not happy with myself or my life. I thought that maybe, just maybe, I could do more and be more than I was. And so I chose to heal.”

I highly recommend EVERYONE to go rent it from their public library because EVERYONE has been hurt at one time or another by someone whether it is parents, children, spouses, lovers, friends, or kids when we were little, the list can go on. We have all felt disappointment, rejection, abandonment, ridicule, humiliation, betrayal, deception, and abuse in one form or another. We all deserve to do it for ourselves so that we can be whole, and we can be healed.

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3 comments:

SA D. said...

Sounds like an interesting read. Excellent review.

Dave

Lauren at Faith Fuel! said...

Yes, forgiveness isn't condoning or forgetting or even saying that it doesn't matter anymore. It always matters when someone is hurt. But forgiveness is the key to walking onward- not chained to the one who hurt you- because the One who heals you is calling you out of that pain.

Debaser said...

Great post.

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