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Forgiveness 101

forgiveness on Articles - Forgiveness is the feeling of peace that emerges as you take your hurt less personally, take responsibility for how you feel, and become a hero instead of a victim in the story that you tell. Forgiveness is the experience of peacefulness in the present moment. Forgiveness does not change the past, but it changes the present.

Forgiveness is a choice. This choice allows you to suffer less. It is for you and no one else. Forgiveness comes about by reversing the steps of the grievance process. You learn to balance the impersonal aspects of the hurt with the personal, allowing you to loosen the hurt’s grip on you. You take responsibility for how you feel when you are hurt, discharging the blame that has made you a victim. You change your grievance story into a forgiveness story in which you become a hero, because you have forgiven.

Luskin cites three preconditions necessary to forgive: (1) Know what your feelings are about what happened; (2) Be clear about the action that wronged you; and (3) Share your experience with at least one or two trusted people.

There may have been a variety of feelings that arose from the event. Those feelings may have varied over time and in intensity. But you have to acknowledge how you felt to overcome any tendency to deny or minimize the event’s impact on you. It is equally important to know exactly what occurred that was unacceptable. You must be able to articulate the act that caused you pain, so that you don’t deny or minimize the consequences of that act. Finally, by sharing your experience with trusted friends, you are able to clarify your experience, your feelings and the event itself. It helps you cope and provides you with resource for guidance and support. Having satisfied the three preconditions, according to Luskin, you are ready to forgive.

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