Monday, April 30, 2012

What Forgiveness really means

This subject really interests me because I have had several people continually wrong me in my life with no thought that they had ever done so and no hope of apology or any kind of change in them. Dr. Fred Luskin talks about Forgiveness being for the abused; not the abuser. It's a way for us to move on with life and have a more positive attitude and circumstance. It is surrounding ourselves with safe people, and realizing that repeat offenders will most likely make us angry, sad, hurt or dissapointed again. It is not expecting anything, but HOPING for what you would like, and realizing it is not always within our power to grasp. Hope and change are always possible.
 He encourages healing through forgiveness. He states that forgiveness is not condoning or making excuses for bad behavior, or accepting that your circumstance is unchangable.You can leave! You can file a Protective Order, Restraining Order, TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY!
However, sometimes the person who hurts you is a parent, sibling or old friend. It may be hard to control when you see them or not, and how they act. But, you can control your emotional and verbal responses to their innapropriate behavior. This is Chris William's journey of Forgiveness.

 The person who has deeply hurt you; emotionally, physically, mentally or phsychologically will one day have to answer to a Higher Power. We cannot try to be God, Allah, "The Great Spirit" or the Master of the Universe. He has all control we do not. I really like the way that Dr. Luskin talks about Forgiveness and trying to enforce UNENFORCABLE Rules.We need to let go and let God and realize we cannot make a person behave a certain way.

The Nine Steps to Forgiveness
1. Know exactly how you feel about what happened and be able to articulate what about the situation is not OK. Then, tell a couple of trusted people about your experience.
2. Make a commitment to yourself to feel better. Forgiveness is for you and no one else.

4. Get the right perspective on what is happening. Recognize that your primary distress is coming from the hurt feelings, thoughts, and physical upset you are suffering now, not from what offended you or hurt you two minutes—or 10 years—ago.3. Forgiveness does not necessarily mean reconciling with the person who upset you or condoning the action. In forgiveness you seek the peace and understanding that come from blaming people less after they offend you and taking those offenses less personally.
5. At the moment you feel upset, practice stress management to soothe your body’s fight or flight response.
6. Give up expecting things from your life or from other people that they do not choose to give you. Remind yourself that you can hope for health, love, friendship, and prosperity, and work hard to get them. However, these are “unenforceable rules:” You will suffer when you demand that these things occur, since you do not have the power to make them happen.
7. Put your energy into looking for another way to get your positive goals met than through the experience that has hurt you.
8. Remember that a life well lived is your best revenge. Instead of focusing on your wounded feelings, and thereby giving power over you to the person who caused you pain, learn to look for the love, beauty, and kindness around you. Put more energy into appreciating what you have rather than attending to what you do not have.
9. Amend the way you look at your past so you remind yourself of your heroic choice to forgive.

A Church Parish Pastor Shares his thoughts on Luskin's Forgiveness Technique;

Busted Halo-An Online Magazine for Spiritual Seekers;

The Power of Forgiveness:
                                         Stand in the Other's Shoes

Everett Worthington talks about our tendency at times to “ruminate” over our grievances, bringing them up every once in a while and chewing on them again, as it were. “Ev” is working on ways to measure unforgiveness - the amount of grudge and resentment we hold over an event.
He has developed some techniques that prove useful. One of them is the two-chairs technique. Someone with a grievance sits in Chair A and addresses a real but absent offender sitting in Chair B, telling him how he feels. The subject is then asked to move to Chair B and respond as the offender might. Sitting in the offender’s place to explain why they acted as they did, the offended subjects are forced to think “outside the box,” to put themselves in the other’s place, perhaps seeing for the first time circumstances they had previously overlooked. This can open the way for seeing both sides of the story, and, eventually, to forgiveness.(More at;

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