Tagged: “Perseverance”

I have tried every solution and still I am angry.  Even when I forgive, I am still angry.  Do you have any advice for me?

We are all imperfect forgivers and so once you forgive, you still may have some anger left over.  A key question for you is this: Is your anger strong and consistent or has it lessened and is not continually present?  As long as the anger is not controlling you, then you are doing well.  If, however, the anger continues to be strong and stays within you, I would recommend going back to the forgiveness process regarding this particular person.  Practicing forgiveness and persevering in this can reduce the anger even more.

Please follow and like us:

Becoming Forgivingly Fit

Because forgiving others is a moral virtue, we cannot reduce the act of forgiveness to a psychological technique.  For example, we cannot engage one time in “the empty chair technique” and have a deeply hurt forgiver sit in the chair of the one who acted unjustly and then gain full insight into that person’s wounds with a resultant overflowing compassion toward that person.  To clarify, there is nothing wrong with this technique, but we cannot think of it as complete.  As an analogy, if you will take out a gym membership to get into physical shape, your goal is not reached as you go on the treadmill one time or do 20 bicep curls only once.  To become physically fit, you need repetition, for a long time. 

It is the same with becoming forgivingly fit.  Your task is not accomplished by engaging in one set of actions, in one psychological technique.  Growing in any of the moral virtues takes time, perseverance, and a strong will to keep at it.  As Aristotle reminds us, we need three things to grow in the moral virtues: practice, practice, practice.

We can even engage in our forgiveness practice when we do not have a particular person in mind to forgive today.  Here is an example: As we forgive, we struggle to see the inherent worth in others.  So, as we interact with people today, even those with whom we are getting along, we can say to ourselves, “This person probably has a history of being wounded in some way by others in the past.  This person has built-in worth that cannot be taken away.”  As you pass by strangers in a store or on the street, you can say the same about them.  The key here is to train one’s mind to see the inherent worth in others so that you can then apply this learning toward those who hurt you, as you decide to forgive.

Here is another idea for growing in forgiveness fitness: Make a list of as many people as you can remember who have hurt you, from your childhood to now.  List who the person is, what occurred that was unjust, and your degree of hurt on a 1-to-10 scale.  Then order all of these people from the least hurtful (but still a challenge for you now) to the most hurtful.  Start with the one person who hurt you the least and go through the forgiveness process with that person.  When you think you have accomplished forgiving this one person, and it might take weeks, then go to the next person on the list.  Continue until you reach the person who wounded you the most.  You then may be ready to forgive this person because you have engaged in practice, practice, practice in forgiving and so your forgiveness fitness likely has increased.

Becoming forgivingly fit takes time, perseverance, and a strong will.  As in becoming physically fit, you will notice a difference inside of you that includes well-being and even a sense of wholeness.  What do you think: shall we hit the forgiveness gym now?

Robert

Please follow and like us:

I have a question about what I am calling “angry crying,” or crying every time I am mad at someone. Is “angry crying” something good or to be avoided?

“Angry crying” can be a catharsis and this release of the negative feelings is good, at least to a point.  A key issue to consider is the intensity, duration (at any given time), and how long over time you cry.  In other words, when you look at your pattern, is it very intense and long lasting?  If so, then the cathartic benefits are not necessarily leading to a cure of the anger.  Forgiveness has as one of its goals the cure of deep resentment so that it goes away or is reduced to very manageable levels.  So, “angry crying” is not necessarily good or bad in and of itself.  If it is intense and the release is only temporary, then you need more, such as forgiving those who are  making you cry.

Please follow and like us:

I find it increasingly hard to forgive a person who keeps on being obnoxious. So, what can I do?

A key here is to first forgive from your heart so that you can approach the person without a lot of anger inside of you. Then try to have a civil conversation with the person so that there is opportunity for insight and change. A key here is for the other to change. Your forgiveness can play a part in that, but even if it does not, you will be free from the inner resentment that can compromise you if you forgive.

Please follow and like us:

Can I be perfectly fine without forgiving a person who acted unjustly against me? In other words, can the anger just vanish?

The answer depends on how serious the injustice was and who hurt you.  For example, suppose a colleague was supposed to meet you for a luncheon meeting.  You are busy that day, under pressure, and the colleague never shows up at the restaurant.  You may be annoyed, but the annoyance likely will fade in a day or less.  Now suppose that a loved one betrays you.  It hurts deeply.  This kind of emotional wound likely will not go away on its own.  It likely will need the surgery of the heart—-forgiveness.  Deep resentments rarely fade quickly.
Please follow and like us:

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR RESEARCH PROJECT

x