Do I Really Have to Forgive? Part 1Sep 30, 2021
The short answer? YES.
But it's truly for YOUR. OWN. GOOD. Truly. I didn't want to believe it either because I was raised with the belief that forgiving also means forgetting and pretending everything is just fine. When I went through my own counseling experience having healed from old traumas, I started to believe that forgiveness wasn't necessary in order to progress and move forward in life. And when I became a therapist, I vowed not to push the forgiveness agenda onto my clients.
But a very fascinating thing started to happen.
Clients were actually and organically arriving at forgiveness...without my direct help. When clients healed from their past traumas (usually with EMDR Therapy), they were able to see their perpetrators with eyes of compassion and empathy. They knew it wouldn't be wise to continue a relationship with their perpetrators, but they no longer held a grudge. The chip on their shoulder fell off. Resentment and Fear gone. And it helped folks get to a higher level of freedom....a safer level of vulnerability & intimacy. I was amazed. How could this happen without the intent to forgive? Maybe this is the reason: Jaak Panskepp, author of Affective Neuroscience: The Foundations of Human & Animal Emotions, wrote that Love is a primary, hard-wired emotion. In other words, we are born to love. So... the brain, the psyche, the soul needs to forgive in order to be fully open to love.
Isn't that beautiful? We are hard-wired to love, therefore we are hard-wired to forgive.
Maybe you're thinking "If I don't stay angry and guarded, then that person (and others) will be able to hurt me again." Understandable. But as valid as your anger may be, if you don't let it move through and out of your psyche, it becomes poison to your psyche and soul. It is keeping you stuck in the past. It is keeping you from developing deep, intimate relationships. It is keeping you from FULLY L I V I N G ! Give the gift of HEALING to yourself....and begin the letting go process.
More on this process in my next post....
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