Archive for October, 2019
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.
I have been carrying hurt feelings now for years. I might even say that they are a part of me now. I am kind of skeptical that I will be able to shed these. What advice do you have for me on this?
When deeply hurt by others, the resentments can last for years. You are not alone in this. For example, Mary Hansen and I have a publication in which we worked with elderly women in hospice. Some of the women had carried their hurt for 40 years. Yet, as they willingly chose to forgive and to work on forgiving those who were unfair to them, their anger faded and their hope for the future increased. This can happen for you as well when you are ready. Forgiveness, I hope you see, can aid you in getting rid of those negative emotions no matter how long you have carried them.
For additional information, see The Four Phases of Forgiveness.
Forgiveness: A Pathway to Emotional Healing
Based on his 30+ years of peer-reviewed, empirical scientific research, Dr. Robert Enright will help you discover and learn a step-by-step pathway to forgiveness in this one-day workshop. This intense learning session will enable you to develop confidence in your forgiveness skills and learn how you can bring forgiveness to your family, school, work place and community for better emotional health.
“Forgiveness is a process, freely chosen, in which you willingly reduce resentment through some hard work and offer goodness of some kind toward the one who hurt you,” according to workshop presenter Dr. Enright. “This gives you a chance to live a life of love, compassion and joy.”
Dr. Enright outlines during this workshop how to learn and use that process to help yourself and others. He explains, for example that:
- Forgiveness is NOT reconciliation, forgetting, excusing or condoning.
- Forgiveness does not get rid of the injustice but the effects of the injustice.
- Forgiveness cuts across many different philosophies and religions.
- The benefits of forgiveness are significant: scientific analyses demonstrates that considerable emotional, relational, and even physical health benefits result from forgiving.
FORGIVENESS: A PATHWAY TO EMOTIONAL HEALING
When: Nov 11, 9am-4pm (on-site registration 8:30am)
Where: Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St., Madison, WI
Instructor: Dr. Robert Enright, PhD
Continuing education (CE) hours: 6, 6 CHES® contact hours
Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Questions: Barbara Nehls- Lowe, barbara.nehlslowe@ wisc.edu, 608-890-4653
To register or for more information – Forgiveness: A Pathway to Emotional Health
If you’ve ever thought about learning a systematic approach to forgiving that will enhance your emotional and physical health, this workshop should be one that you must attend. Dr. Enright, the man Time magazine called “the Forgiveness Trailblazer,” will teach you how to harness the amazing power of forgiveness for yourself.
According to the respected health website WebMD.com, if you can bring yourself to forgive, you are likely to enjoy lower blood pressure, a stronger immune system, and a drop in the stress hormones circulating in your blood. Back pain, stomach problems, and headaches may disappear. And you’ll reduce the anger, bitterness, resentment, depression, and other negative emotions that accompany the failure to forgive.
- “Amazing amount of powerful information presented clearly and in an easily accessible way.”
- “What did I like most? Dr. Enright’s gentle, wise, and informed teaching style and thoughtful content.”
You talk about forgiveness being not only giving up resentment but also developing compassion and even moral love toward the one who has hurt you. What does it mean to love a stranger who had no relationship with you prior to his offense? There is no trust or relationship to restore to start with, but even in that case, do you think it is possible to love that offender? If you do, would you please give some examples?
Yes, we can love strangers when we realize that all people have inherent (built-in) worth. Therefore, we can serve those we do not know. We can come to the aid of strangers. When we give money to a suffering person who has her back to a wall as you pass by, you are showing that she has inherent worth. When you refuse to retaliate toward a stranger who is not good to you, you are showing that the person has inherent worth. As you show such worth to others, you are loving those people as you serve them.
For additional information, see: Learning to Forgive Others.
Some people will not forgive certain people for certain acts. Yet, other people will forgive others for the exact same kind of act. Thus, it seems to me that it is not the act itself that is out of bounds to forgiveness. Instead, the one who was injured is not ready to offer forgiveness. We have to be gentle with people under these circumstances. We are not all ready to forgive others at the same point of the injury. We have to be careful not to condemn those who need more time or who are ambivalent about forgiveness in a particular circumstance.
For additional information, see Forgiveness Defined.