I am encouraged by your statement that I can reduce my sadness and anger even if I have held these for many years. Yet, I have another question. These feelings now are part of my own identity, who I am as a person. I know that might sound a little odd, but it is scary to think of changing. Can you help me with that?

Change can be scary, especially when it breaks a long-standing pattern. We have seen that people find it hard to make a commitment to forgive because of change; the change itself is the initial challenge. Yet, my question to you is this: What might your new identity be like as you forgive and change? You might change to these kinds of views of yourself:

  • I am someone who does not harm others;
  • I can be a conduit for good in my family;
  • I can bear pain and as I stand up to that pain, I am strong;
  • I am beginning to love more deeply.

These kinds of views of yourself can assist you in a healthier identity and in aiding others in their pain. The new identity, you may find, is more friendly than the old one.

For additional information, see The Forgiving Life.

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