The Fine Art of Forgiveness

forgivenessWe all experience emotional pain in our lives.  Someone close to us will die; A friend, lover or family member will betray us.  We will lose our job or not get the one we really wanted.  Many of us have been victims of physical, emotional and/or sexual abuse.  We experience racism, sexism and other forms of hatred.  Many of us have difficulty processing these feelings.  We are reluctant to face our emotional pain because:
  • We are afraid that what is uncomfortable now will become terrifying if we open emotional doors to our feelings and memories.
  • We are taught that we are not supposed to spend too much time or dwell on events that have been painful.
  • We are taught not to burden others with our problems.
  • We believe that dealing with our emotional pain is an impossible task.
We can break through these roadblocks by learning that the energy invested in pushing the pain away is not worth the price of becoming physically ill, drug-dependent or devoid of any feelings.  This energy can instead be used for recovery, awakening, self-direction and confidence-building activities.  Facing emotional pain can also be a redemptive and exciting journey. I believe that the most effective way of dealing with emotional pain is learning the fine art of forgiveness. Why forgive?  Studies show that people who forgive have improved relationships, fewer health problems, reduced depression and greater confidence and feelings of hopefulness. Forgiveness is giving up the hope of a better past. The forgiveness process is difficult and tedious.  It requires commitment and dedication to resolution.  When my husband of 12 years left me over my decision to keep our unexpected twins, I thought I would never forgive him.  The atrocities he’s done since were seemingly unforgivable.  But the truth is, wishing ill on him is like me taking a spoon full of poison every day and expecting him to die. Learning to forgive was the first step in my healing.  It wasn’t easy but there were three tenants that I used to help me.