Forgiveness as a tool !

forgivenesss , emotions , relations ,psychology

When someone hurts us or deal with us in such a way that we don’t like , we often feel humiliated ,shocked , bad ,disappointed ,hurt , broken or betrayed .

But that action is for one time only and What we do ?????????????

we keep on re- enacting , reuminating that scene for again and again so many times like an audio cassette which plays the same song again and again .The full episode revolves like a movie ,where each word is heard very clearly ; Who said ? Why said ? To Whom said ? What was the plot and how it went ? 

Under the sway of these emotions ,painful incidents linger in the mind ,snapping our ability to find peace and happiness .

The 18th century English poet Alexander Pope  said

“to err is human, to forgive divine.”

But to work on forgiveness is not an easy task ,We all are work in progress and to walk on the path  of forgiveness and how it will help us in living a peaceful and happy life is what I am going to explain further and how it can be implemented .

Forgiveness is needed in our daily life in context to our friends ,family ,sustaining relationships and in the work place too ,whether with our Seniors or juniors or may be with our buisiness partners . Actually Forgiveness is a journey ,a process , not a feeling and it takes its own due course of time .

In my daily practice , I come across different types of clients and with their different problems . But after listening to clients who went through such dark phases like childhood abuse , traumatized realtionships and much more  ,I too get shaken away for a while that being upset ,angry or feeling broken is very normal to feel after any traumatic incident . It takes time to work with these clients and make them understand that STILL LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL AND FOR WALKING INTO THIS BEAUTIFUL PATH , FORGIVENESS IS SUCH AN IMPORTANT TOOL 

I came across these strategies while working with my clients and they are :

* Forgiveness is not forgetfulness

We often have heard this advice many times in our lives ,that forgive and forget now ,move on ! But if something traumatic has happened to anyone ,how can anyone forget that incident ? Doesn’t it sounds nonsense . Yes ,it is !

So what to do ? we can’t control to which memories and incidents we should remember and which we can’t . But we can control where we can focus our attention .Ruminationg over those incidents which bring pain and hurt is not a good idea . We can put boundaries to our memories. Whenever any trigger comes and that memory becomes alive ,instead of stretching it ,it’s better to acknowledge what is happenning and then re-directing your attention somewhere else . So that YOU will say thank you to yourself !

You can’t control your memories but you can control to redirect it !

** Don’t sympathesize yourself

There is a thin line of difference between sympathy and empathy . Whatever has happened whether it was a small incident or a big it was enough to create  hurt and trauma for the person and it’s normal to feel anger towards the offender but keeping that anger for a long time can create mess in the persons life . If we keep on sympathesizing ourselves for a certain incident, we will keep on focussing on the problem rather than the solution and we feel ourself as a victim . But on the other hand, if we empathesize ourself and understand our anger , we can shift our focus on the solutions . Changing the feeling of angry to annoy will help us understand ourself and this is a survivor strategy .

We can’t control the feelings but we can control our thinking and chnaging our thinking can help to change our feelings and actions too ! validate your feelings .don’t feed it .


***Acknowledge and Acceptance

Many clients  have been given the advice that accept what has happened as it was in the fate and somehow it is assumed that the person who has sufered was also responsible for the incident .

But Acceptance doesn’t means justification of what has happened was correct or justified , Absolutely NOT !

But Acknowledging  that whatever happened was not in our control and we don’t have any power to control the situations or events that has happened ,that is ACCEPTANCE !

**** Forgiveness is not Accord

Forgiveness doesn’t mean that after acceptance the person should keep harmonious relations with the doer . In many cases it has been seen that after rape cases ,the person getting abused is asked to marry the person who has done the abuse  or in some relationships the person is asked to maintain a cordial relationship with the doer but infact that is not a correct idea . According to some religious beliefs we are often given the advice to maintain a reconciliation relationship with the people who have wronged them but according to psychological perspective ,I would rather say it’s healthy to maintain boundaries ,not to spend our time and energy on those people making them acknowledge of their errs and then hoping for that everything will be fine after that . its totally depend upon the person if they want or not ? after all its a client’s own decision

Maintaining Accord is a choice and totally depends on person to person .

***** Forgiveness is not an Event

Forgiveness is not a feeling or an event that you cane across and its over . It’s more of like a journey or a road which is travelled along . A series of steps which are taken the whole life .

Acknowledgement  qnd taking the decision to forgive is the first step but its a series which will continue till the healing is done . As the memories can pop up from time to time , You can meet the wrong doer in your neighbour ,as a relative in holidays or some special gatherings . So one decision is not enough . The client is tarined to prepare for the journey of forgiveness in and out ,day and night . Its like a ritual which if practiced firmly ,its FOREVER .

Forgiveness is not only a decision it’s an Attitude ,it’s a habit .

Most Importantly after all it’s one’s own FORGIVENESS journey and each one has the right how to choose how to go through ! There are so many Emotions attatched to one incident but ignoring all the emotions aside  We keep on holding the grudge and anger emotion more . If you choose to feel other emotions apart from the predominant one ,it will help you to choose your own road to forgiveness .

REBT in psychotherapy is an effective way to release the trauma attatched with the wrong doing .

Do take help if you are going through any of the traumatic events or had been . If you know anyone who needs help ,kindly suggest them to take help as WE CANNOT FIX THE PROBLEMS BUT WE CAN FIX SO MANY SOLUTIONS ATTATCHED TO IT !

“The psychological case for forgiveness is overwhelmingly persuasive .Not to forgive is to be imprisoned by the past ,by old grievances that do not permit life to proceed with new buisiness “

Lance morrow