Forgiving Frees Us….
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” ~ Anais Nin
This is one of my favorite quotes – acknowledging the need to let go and move forward. Many of us spend far too much time carrying the baggage of the past – the hurt, the anger, and the weight. This month let’s focus on forgiveness – of others and ourselves. Much of the work I do with clients is related to their difficulty to forgive. Interestingly enough we disguise this need for forgiveness and are not aware that our pain and even rage stems from this nagging burden.
For some – forgiveness is inconceivable as it is seen as excusing someone or even one’s own behavior. Many misconstrue forgiveness with exempting – pretending it did not happen – or simply justifying the acceptance of the incident. Forgiveness need not include amnesia.
I meet with couples that carry around a litany of what their spouse “did to them” or “did not do for them” that continually resurfaces whenever tension rises. I see adults carrying blame regarding their parents – again lists of what they did not do and should have done for them. I sit with women who struggle with choices made in their lives. I experience the guilt and shame of teens riddled with angst about their behaviors. And – I have known the pain of those who have lost loved ones and hold anger around their grief.
Forgiveness is not an easy task as many books and articles would suggest. Forgiveness often requires the working through and letting go of real anger and hurt. It is a process of releasing intense – real - emotions. Often it does require help from others – someone who can help us see the forest from the trees. The timeline for this process is different, unique, and normal for each person. It is in fact a grieving – a loss – a letting go to move forward. The caveat here is a person cannot be “free” to move forward unless the disappointments of the past can be released. That said it is difficult to reach our full potential as a person while continuing to walk in the shadows of resentment.
There are various strategies that can help with releasing anger and moving towards forgiveness including writing out an angry letter that is shredded – and never sent. Once the realization occurs that forgiveness can result in freedom – it becomes more palpable and perhaps acceptable to venture on that journey.
I offer you a final quote to encourage you toward a journey of forgiveness as I invite you to phone or email me should you or someone you know need some support in making life more manageable.
Debbie Bauer, LMFT
“The most important thing you will ever do is become who you were meant to be. Blossom into yourself.” ~ Lisa Hammond
~easing life’s journey~