Archive for April, 2016
Busy….busy….busy. No time to just sit and abide in each other’s presence. With all of our labor saving devices it is hard to believe that we have so little time for each other on a deep, meaningful level.
This can be corrected by willing a change.
We at the International Forgiveness Institute suggest a 10 minute (or more if the conversation develops) couples forgiveness retreat once a week. Set the day and time and will to stick with it. In that time, discuss your hurts from the past week. Who hurt you and how were you hurt? What did you do about it? Is forgiveness on your radar now or are you perhaps planning to put it on your radar for discussion and work toward forgiving? Support your partner in his or her struggle to forgive. Be a forgiveness motivator and even a forgiveness inspiration.
It takes a strong will to do this. The rewards may themselves strengthen your will to pursue this little weekly retreat on a regular basis.
I was wondering has anyone read “Forgiveness: A Catholic Approach,” Father R. Scott Hurd? I am looking for a good book on Forgiveness that is from a Catholic perspective as long as some of it isnt written contrary to your Institute’s advice. Thanks.
Yes, we have read parts of Fr. Hurd’s book on the topic of forgiveness. We would recommend it as a Catholic source. Also, if you are interested, Dr. Enright has a short paper (8 pages) on this same topic. If you request this from us, we will send a copy by email to you. Click this link for a review of Fr. Hurd’s book “Forgiveness: A Catholic Approach.”
When someone is deeply hurt by others’ injustices, some critics claim that forgiveness now puts the burden for change onto the victim. The claim is that this is unfair. If someone damages a knee while working out, does the surgery and subsequent rehab put the burden for change onto the victim of the injury and is this so unfair that we should ask the person not to visit the doctor, not to undergo surgery, and not to engage in rehab? Asking a victim of injustice to forgive is not a burden, but a setting-free of the pains of resentment.
In the process of forgiveness that we have outlined in two different books (Forgiveness Is a Choice and The Forgiving Life) there is one part of the process in which we ask the forgiver to “Do no harm” to the one who has been unjust. This idea of “Do no harm” is actually transitional to the even more difficult challenge to love the one who has hurt you. Yet, “Do no harm,” even though an earlier and supposedly easier part of the process, is anything but easy.
To “Do no harm” means three things: 1) Do not do obvious harm to the one who hurt you (being rude, for example); 2) Do not do subtle harm (a sneer, ignoring at a gathering, being neutral to this fellow human being); and 3) Do not do harm to others. In other words, when you are angry with Person X, it is easier than you think to displace that anger onto Persons Y and Z. If others have to ask, “What is wrong with her (him) today?” perhaps that is a cue that you are displacing anger from one incident into your current interactions.
It is at these times that it is good to take stock of your anger and to ask, “Whom do I need to forgive today? Am I ‘doing no harm’ as I practice forgiveness? Am I being vigilant not to harm innocent others because of what I am suffering?”
My challenge to you today: Do no harm to anyone throughout this entire day…..and repeat tomorrow…..and the day after that.