An Exercise in Forgivness…

A Definition of Forgiveness That We Can All Live With

Forgiveness. It’s such a hard thing to do, but it can be so liberating to the soul. What makes it difficult for most of us to do is the way we define it. We think of forgiveness as meaning that we should say all is forgotten and things will go back to what they were. This Biblical definition of forgiveness is very hard for most of us to swallow. How can you forget the unforgettable? How can you forgive the unforgivable? To enjoy the benefits of forgiveness, however, we needn’t go that far. All that’s really required is that we make the decision to move forward, to let go of the old hurts. We don’t have to condone what’s been done. What’s wrong is still wrong. We don’t have to invite the person back into our lives or even be friendly with them. What we do have to do is allow ourselves to release all the negative emotions associated with that person. As long as we hold onto the pain, we are choosing to allow that person’s past actions to continue to hurt us. We can also choose to stop letting them hurt us. That’s a definition of forgiveness that’s more doable for those of us who are less than saintly.

Here is an exercise you can do right now to let go of pain and begin to regain your life:

Make a list of those who have hurt you and how:

________________ hurt me by___________________________________________.

Now, go to a quiet place where you can be alone and think of each of these painful situations. Think of these in detail, allow yourself to feel the hurt. Then place yourself in the other person’s shoes. What do you think motivated them to behave the way they did? Were they abused themselves? Do they suffer from a mental illness? What fears and insecurities motivated their behavior? Now, think of how they are stealing your personal power. Does this make you angry? Do you want that to stop? Yes! Now, fill out this part of the exercise for each person on your list. Speak the words out loud as if you are speaking directly to them.

________________, I now understand why you behaved the way you did and I am sorry that you are so filled with pain that feel you must inflict it on others in order to regain your own power. I refuse, however, to let you hurt me anymore. I am choosing to let go of the pain you have caused me, for my own sake. I realize that letting go of this pain does not minimize or condone your bad behavior. It does, however, validate my own worth as a person and my right to finally be free of your abuse. I am choosing to take back my personal power so that I may heal. I now release all the hurtful emotions I feel regarding your behavior. I am now free to heal and move on. Only you will know when you have truly forgiven someone for the hurt and pain they have caused you. But this is something to think about.

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8 Responses to “An Exercise in Forgivness…”

  1. I needed this so much! Thank you for posting. I shared it on my Facebook page and Twitter. Regaining the power of ourselves is a long road but this forgiveness piece of the puzzle sometimes eludes us due to the driving power of our hate. Aaahhhh! This is great!

    • Thank you for showing so much love to my blog! I have had so much hate inside that it is just time to release it and let it go. no matter how much I hate him it wont change what he did or how he lied and used me. Its better to let it go because that hate becomes like a poison to our soul and we become different. I want my happy self back and it starts with letting go of this and never thinking of him again. So that was my goodbye letter that I will never send. I have sent so many i love you-i hate you emails to him that i just have to let it go, because truthfully I do miss being in love, but now that I have had a chance to reflect about our time together, It was me in love not him he was just acting out the motions and i was blinded by it, for the life of me I don’t know why.
      Thank you for re-blogging . 🙂

      • Tammy Thomas Says:

        I am really struggling with a few of these comments to this blog, I came across your site by accident when feeling alittle down and as reality was kinda having its moment with me concerning a relationship that I am struggling with. I immediatally fell in love with you and every word you said reading everything in one day while I was home alone. And for the most part agreed with most of the replies to you….but I am anxiousally awaiting for the judge to sign my divorce papers (not with the problemed relationship, that’s just a guy I am dating) but with my husband that has been in prison for the last 4 years. This is where my problems with some comments made come in and as you said you healed by blogging I do the same and ramble much longer than I mean to so I will try to not take up to much of your time. In 9 years I was verbally, mentally, emotionally and physically abused daily. I did not come from that type of background and my dad was a wonderful highly respected man in our community that provided very very well….but my dad didn’t care much for me, his first born and only girl in a very sports minded family and the men in our family did not think woman should be involved in sports so I couldn’t even get him to love me and call me daddys little girl by impressing him with home runs, 50 yard dashes, or throwing a 3 pointer in the last 15 seconds of the game to take us to the state championships. My mom tried as she could to pick up his slack and keep my self esteem at a level where she thought I wouldn’t suffer from it but all little girls want to be “daddys little girl”. So looking back now I realize that I was willing to take what I had to in order to have a man like my daddy and for him to love me….well, it all started as it does in all domestic abuse households, controlling me, name calling, saying I was ugly or useless,etc. This made me feel worse which made me take more just to hear the words “I love you” or look in his eyes while he wiped the blood from my face saying to me, “I love you, why do you make me do this to you? Let me clean you up and hold you till you can calm down and sleep…all this crying is because you are tired.” He told me 3 times in that 9 years that he was going to kill me….the first time, my 2 month old granddaughter was in my lap and I was rocking her to sleep. My 7 year old daughter whose dad had passed the previous year, was in her room. He came out our bedroom screaming that if I didnt let him have one of my Xanax that he was going to kill me on the spot and the next thing I remember was opening my eyes, my 7 year old holding her 2 month old niece, standing over top of me, crying saying, ” mommy,please don’t die mommy, please don’t die like my daddy, they are coming mommy I promise I called them and the are coming to help you.” I don’t remember a lot over the next 3 days as I wasn’t released from the hospital until then and that’s when I found out that I no longer had a cell phone, he had crushed it and that poor child ran four houses down the street carrying a baby asking to use the phone to call 911. I fell for the I am sorry I love you it was the Xanax I had already taken that you didn’t know about, I was high on your nerve pills. My daughter asked me not to be with him because she didn’t want him to hurt me again….I promised her he wouldn’t. Same ole’ same ole’ every day, by then the abuse in my mind was well worth the love he said he had for me, I couldn’t take care of myself as the docs had told me I had to apply for SSI and he told me that if I left he would kill himself, well I didn’t want the only man that had ever loved me to do that…..but he loved me and my own daddy didn’t even do that!!! Somewhere in the middle of the 9 years he told me again he was gonna kill me….to make along story short I was in ICU for 6 days and again all he could so was cry saying he loved me. In Dec. 2009, he for the 3rd time said I was gonna die, he made my by then 14 yr old daughter and my then 3 1/2 year oldgranddaughter come sit on the couch and it all started, do you know what your mom is, do you know what she does for men and you are going to be just like her, do you see you grandma? You better take a good look because I am going to rearrange her face and your not gonna recognize her…..etc., when he went to the bathroom I called a friend from about 2 miles down the road and told her to come there immediatally, that the kids would be outside behind the barn, get them and get away as fast as she could and once she was off the property so that he couldn’t get to them or hurt me in front them to call 911….I was gonna try to find my keys and get to the car and meet the police on the main road….well, she got the kids, I got to the car and looked up and there he was. He grabbed the keys and then drug me to the bottom of the hill, he had me by my hair and head and my body was dragging all the way down the farm road, when we got to the cattle guards which was also a bridge over a river…he jumped out kicking and kicking me and then he beat me unconscious and threw me over the bridge into the river and left me for dead. When I came too I had to crawl on my hands and knees down the road trying to get help, finally I did get help….my nose was crushed and now has a plastic bone in it, my jaw had to be wired shut for almost two weeks, my eyes were so swollen I was pretty much blind for about 10 days, they were black for almost 2 months, I had 3 broken ribs and 2 fractured ones and I have had 2 plastic surgeries. Sorry told you I ramble……But I really needed to let you know I am so very happy that you were able to find that peace through forgiveness….but a few of your readers that have never been where I have been made me feel like theres something wrong with me because I cant and will not forgive or forget, I don’t care if he was beat, sexually assaulted, neglected I don’t give 2 cents if he walks out in traffic right now and dies the most horrible death to ever hit history. He set out to kill me 3 times, he put something in my childs mind about men that she would have never learned about men had her daddy not passed because he loved me and her more than life, he made it so my granddaughter still 4 years later asked me last week why her paw paw made my eyes look like that….he made it so that when he was released from prison 3 weeks ago I never opened my blinds or walked outside until yesterday, my poor pup that I got to keep me company when my daughter leaves for college in two weeks was flipping out not understanding why I spanked him for going on the floor but all of a sudden wouldn’t even take him out….people really need to not voice an opinion about subjects that they really have not lived in, especially something like forgiveness or forgetting…..no harm directed….I am no longer a victim I am a survivor, but people making comments that make me question myself after what I have been through are only causing me to be a victim to their ignorant remarks.

  2. Beautifully and clearly stated! Wonderful post. It’s all about the healing power of forgiveness. Forgiveness is about letting go.

  3. Reblogged this on thefrontwindow and commented:
    Many times I’ve spoken and written about forgiveness. These are some more helpful words on the topic.

  4. Great post. I know how hard it must have been for you to get to the point where you can write this, but I’m sure it must feel good. I remember when I wrote my post on forgiveness, I don’t think you were ready to accept that there could be forgiveness in your situation. So to see you come this far makes me very happy for you 🙂

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