The Power of Forgiveness

By: Betty Dangler
Thursday, July 12, 2018

~~I have been conducting Bereavement Support Groups for a few years now.  What I have come to understand is that some relationships with loved ones have not been easy and may have involved much pain. This conflict with another person could have been caused by legal, financial, health issues, money issues, or even addictive or abusive behavior. When one person feels that another has caused their emotional pain, it is very easy to hold onto the feeling of being a victim with all the anger and hurt that accompanies that feeling.


If you are feeling like a “victim”, ask yourself, who suffers? Is it the person who caused the pain? That person may be either unaware or will deny that they have done anything wrong.  They many not even care that they caused you the pain.


What choice do you have if you are still living with this emotional pain?  You can either hold onto the emotional pain forever or take back your power of being in charge of your own happiness. There are a couple of steps involved:


First, you need to understand that you can make the choice to be either happy or miserable. Very often you will hear someone say, “so and so made me mad!”  In reality, the other person may have given you reasons to be mad, but ultimately that decision to be mad was your own choice. How much power do you want to give to others regarding your own happiness?
Secondly, the best action that you can take to move forward is to learn how to forgive others.  It is about acknowledging that those things that the other person did or said caused the pain. Then make the decision not to let it hurt or control you anymore.


Forgiveness can be very empowering. It will give you the chance to be free of another person’s emotional control. It is not said to the person directly. It is something for you and you alone.


What does forgiveness involve?
• Forgiveness is an action taken by you.
• Forgiveness means that you acknowledge the pain caused by someone and that you are not going to allow that pain to hurt you anymore.
• Forgiveness is about you, not the other person. You do not need the apology of the other person.
• Never forgive someone directly. It will only make the person more defensive and angry.
• Forgiveness does not mean you excuse the behavior.
• Forgiveness does not benefit the person who caused you the pain.
• Forgiveness rids you of the resentment that you feel toward the other person.
• Forgiveness sets you free.
• Forgiveness allows you to take charge of your happiness.
• Forgiveness is empowering.


Forgiveness is an action that you are taking on your own. This is not something you do “with” them, but something that you are doing for yourself.  If you try to involve them directly as part of the process, it can often lead to more problems and arguments.
Forgiveness can be very empowering. It can give you the chance to be free of another person’s emotional control. It has nothing to do with the other person. Remember,  it is something that is for you and you alone.
 

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