Today, I wish to continue with the topics in the book, which brings us to forgiveness. This photo is entitled Tiers of Forgiveness, because, in my experience, forgiving is a process that occurs over time, in layers. It could be referred to as the process of forgiveness.
Sherry’s post is a good lead-in to forgiveness, as the ability to forgive is an ideal end- point when we deal with resentment. When we have identified the object of our resentment and have worked through it, we are ready to gain peace through forgiveness – peace with ourselves and, hopefully, peace with the other person(s). There is great freedom in forgiveness.
So, we have identified the person with whom we have a resentment, and we begin the process of looking at ourselves – our behavior and actions, our words and thoughts, and we accept responsibility for these. By that, I mean we hold ourselves accountable, make any amends necessary, which includes to ourselves, if we have treated ourselves badly. We “own up” to our bad behavior and compliment ourselves on the good.
It has been my experience that when I do such an appraisal, I see that, often, I have done the very thing for which I am angry at another. How can I be angry at someone, when I have done the very thing that brings me anger? I soften, recognizing our humanness, our woundedness, and I feel compassion, both for myself and the person I resented. Suddenly, the resentment has diminished. Done over time, this method is the process of forgiveness and can lead to peace. At least, that is what I have experienced.
Deciding to forgive is is a difficult decision to make. For me, it meant backing down from that stance which allowed me to be self-righteous, and, frankly, to play the victim. I believe I played that role in an effort to hurt and perhaps punish, the person I felt had wronged me. I find that I no longer need that role, and, again, life has been freer, and I have enjoyed a closer relationship with those I forgave.
If you went through the process of forgiveness, what improvements have you seen in your relations with others? Have you experienced peace as a result of forgiveness?