Tagged: “Forgiveness Landscape”

If we all use psychological defenses such as denial and repression, how do we ever come to realize who hurt us when that hurt occurred many years ago when we were children?

As people see that they are carrying deep hurt at present, this can be a motivation for examining who did the hurting in their lives.  One exercise that I recommend in the book, The Forgiving Life, is what I call the Forgiveness Landscape.  In this exercise, people slowly start to make a list of those who have actually hurt them, starting from early childhood and progressing up to the present time.  As people do this exercise, they can begin to see areas of hurt that are long forgotten (but still subconsciously can be affecting a person’s well-being at present).  For example, as people reflect on their past life, they might recall being bullied at age 11.  This then breaks the repression that might have been present with regard to the bullying.  This breaking of the psychological defenses can occur particularly when a person knows that forgiveness is an effective response to the past injustices and to the current hurts still present from those past offenses.

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My mental health professional seems to think that I have a genetic predisposition to psychological depression.  If this is true, then biology and not past trauma is responsible for my current condition.  Can I just forget about forgiving then under this circumstance?

Even if you have a biological predisposition to depression, forgiveness can help with the medication you might be taking.  Think through your history of being treated unfairly from childhood to the present.  You can do this by consulting the Forgiveness Landscape from my book, The Forgiving Life.  If you identify certain people toward whom you still have considerable anger, then it would be good, if you so choose, to forgiven them.  See if this aids your recovery from depression.

For additional information, see Why Forgive? 

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