“Forgiveness is not a single act of courage, but an ongoing act of grace. ”
– Rosalie Gibbons, MFT
This quote describes how we must be open to forgiveness … moment by moment. Life is all about relationships. Few of us get through life untouched by some degree of conflict, disappointment, hurt, regret, betrayal, or failure.
Dealing with these issues as adults may be more difficult for some of us. Unresolved painful childhood experiences may emotionally haunt us and unconsciously continue to shape how we see ourselves and others. Regardless, these hurts, regrets, and disappointments hold us hostage to the past and limit our growth, development, and success. When we are willing to reveal our pain, communicate honestly, and forgive ourselves and others, we begin to heal.
Who do you need to forgive … a family member, significant other, friend, co-worker, or perhaps yourself?
In order to move forward in relationships and in life, we can develop the skills necessary to resolve conflicts in a healthy manner including …
- Setting clean, clear boundaries that respect everyone in the relationship
Being a positive voice for forgiveness (practice in our own lives)
- Recognizing the difference between forgiveness and trust. Forgiveness is a conscious choice we make in the moment. Trust must be built over time through repeatedly demonstrated positive action.
- Forgiveness of ourselves and others presents us with the opportunity to reclaim our personal power.
Forgiveness does not make an offender right. It doesn’t mean that we put our trust in them, sweep the pain or potential for danger under the rug, or remain in relationships that are unhealthy or abusive. Speak out honestly about any situation you are seeing where another is at risk or you are being hurt. It is only through honest communication that we can resolve situations that could move from resentment to revenge to rage. As Rick Warren, pastor and author says, “what you reveal, you can heal.”
In RE-The wisdom in rethinking your life, we explain how the negative three R’s – resentment, resistance, and revenge – emotionally and physically restrict and constrain us. The reader is then taken through a powerful forgiveness process to release current and/or childhood hurts, disappointments, resentments, and regrets. This is an opportunity to be part of a solution to offset the pain and injustice around us, and something each one of us can actually do.
The heart in forgiveness begins within each of our own hearts. In order to heal, as a society, we must each look within and consider where in our lives could we shift our perception (view of a negative event) and practice forgiveness. It all starts with me … forgiveness sets me free!
Gloria Manchester is a certified life coach and incorporates forgiveness exercises in all of her work. To learn more about how you can write a forgiveness letter you can go to page 103 of the Amazon bestseller, RE-The wisdom in rethinking your life!
Net proceeds of the book support the work of STARR Life Course for at-risk teen girls. To see more about STARR go to www.starteen.org