The Hardest Forgiveness You Will Ever Do
by Susan Dunn
What popped into your mind when you read that title?
If you’re like most of us, someone specific came to mind, some event, something dreadful someone did to you once long or ago, or even just today. Maybe this occurred at work, or at a business, or at home.
Perhaps you have several things on your list. You may have even more than that. Some of us can go back to grade school.
We know it eats us up to harbor ill will. We can feel it in our gut. When you think of “that” incident “that” person did to you, you may feel a tightening in your stomach, or feel your pulse start to race, or your face flush.
We know these feelings make us ill – emotionally, physically and mentally – when not appropriately dealt with. To vent them makes us sick, but so does stuffing them down. If you shut down one feeling (resentment, grief, anger), you are shutting them all down. This applies as surely as do the laws of physics.
We know that not being able to forgive keeps US trapped in the situation while the other has likely moved on, or sadly, in some cases, didn’t even notice.
We continue to work on our ability to forgive more quickly and more completely. We are supported in this by the mental health field, coaching and faith, and if you’d like a great primer on forgiving, I recommend “Pleasure Prescription,” by Paul Pearsall, Ph.D.
He is a psychoneuroimmunologist, which is a big $10 word for someone who studies how emotions affect the immunology system, and our immune system IS our health. He is very good at showing you what anger and resentment are doing to you, your relationships and life.
But as you work your way through your list of quite justified grievances, and, yes, they are quite justified – we feel the way we feel, and that can’t be argued with – don’t forget to be, as we call it in Emotional Intelligence, “relentlessly and adamantly self-forgiving.”
“The ultimate lesson all of us have to learn is unconditional love,” wrote Elizabeth Kibler-Ross, “which includes not only others but ourselves as well.”
When you hurt someone else, you may find it a bit difficult to say you’re sorry, or make amends, or ask forgiveness, but then once you do there is still something lingering. There’s someone else you need to forgive.
As you know, Kubler-Ross studied dying and has taught us so much over the years about this time in life. I would imagine she witnessed many incidents of forgiveness at death and as people approached death. Forgiveness of others. Forgiveness of self.
But how much better to do this on a daily basis, while you’re alive. Wondering how to do this? Well, there will be no end to your opportunities for practice, because we’re all human and we all mistakes.
Practice forgiveness of yourself and others – relentlessly and adamantly. It’s the emotionally intelligent thing to do, and makes this a better world for all of us.
A Powerful Lesson on Forgiveness
Forgiveness is not an option for human beings.
Forgiveness is essential for our health as individuals and necessary
if we are to live together.
Do You Experience God?
We experience God when our deepest intention is to be loving rather than controlling. Inner emptiness is the result of not experiencing God due to controlling behavior.
To be at one with God is to be at peace. The child simplicity is the greatest
agency in bringing this full and complete realization, the child simplicity
that recognizes its true relations with the Father's life.