Forgiving others and yourself and some beneficial reasons why to forgive.
Let us review what I presented in past postings on forgiveness:
1. Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process of releasing resentment and anger,
2. Forgiveness does not mean reconciliation; one does not have to return to the same toxic relationship or accept the same harmful behaviors of the perpetrator of the deed,
3. Forgiveness is critically important for the mental health of the victimized,
4. Forgiveness propels people forward rather than keeping them emotionally engaged in the baggage of injustice or trauma, and
5. Forgiveness elevates mood, enhances optimism, and helps guard against anxiety, stress and depression.
There are or may be certain scenarios in which forgiveness may not be the best course for an individual. For example, sometimes a victim of sexual abuse becomes more empowered when they give themselves permission to NOT forgive; and that is a decision for the victim and her/his therapist to decide.
We have discussed the health benefits of forgiveness, so let's address the elephant in the room: how to forgive someone who has wronged you and how to forgive yourself. Remember, it is an active, conscious process requiring you to release the negative feelings, whether or not the other party is deserving. The (sometimes) fantastic thing about this process is you do not have to have consent, interaction, or continued relationship with the person(s) you are forgiving. That's right, you can just move on with your life's journey, growing with a newer, healthier version of self.
FORGIVING OF OTHERS
Forgiveness of others can be challenging many times (I did not state this process is easy). This is particularly true if the offending party(s) offers an insincere apology or nothing at all. This is particularly true when dealing with narcissists. But, this process is often the healthiest road forward for you.
Psychologist Robert Enright's prominent forgiveness model defines four (4) steps:
1. UNCOVER your anger by exploring how you addressed or avoided the emotion.
2. MAKE the conscious decision to forgive by acknowledging that ignoring or coping has not worked, and forgiveness might provide a path forward.
3. DEVELOP compassion for the offender cultivating forgiveness. Truly reflect upon whether the act was malicious intent or circumstances in the perpetrator(s) life.
4. RELEASE the negative, harmful emotions and REFLECT on how you have grown from the experience and the act of forgiveness itself.
Now, resentment can linger for a long time, sometimes years. This is true even when you believe you have moved on or forgotten about it. Now here comes a hard part, especially if this process is new for some of you. To release the resentment, really reflect on why the person(s) may have committed the offense, sit with the pain, and then try to forgive the other side. Why do this? Because forgiveness can instill a sense of strength that will overpower the bitterness.
One question hanging out on the branch is "Do you have to reconcile with someone if you forgive them?". That is deeply personal decision and up to you; it also depends on many factors we are unable to get into within the confines of this blog. The short answer is that you may want to reconcile (even if it is only internally), but it does not mean you have to continue in a relationship with the other person. This answer brings to mind what my Mom used to tell me, forgive and forget, then move on with or without them.
FORGIVING OF SELF
What happens when we commit the offense? Forgiving another is one thing, forgiving yourself is totally a horse of a different color, right. It is important to take responsibility for your mistakes, while intense shame or guilt is counterproductive to our well-being over the long run. Self-forgiveness can be painfully challenging, yet richly valuable. Let's face it, the key to the whole process is standing up for our mistakes, taking ownership or owning them, critical factors in the process understanding why they occurred and aiding to rectify the situation.
You must begin by acknowledging that you are at fault and take the responsibility for the hurt and/or pain that you have caused. Next reflect upon why the event even occurred, then figure out or identify how you can avoid a similar action in your future. Then just simply forgive yourself; many times it's easier said than done. I recommend that this process involve focusing on the thought and either saying it out loud or writing it down (I find doing both very effective for me).
Next, you MUST apologize to the person you wronged and try and improve their life in a meaningful way. I have experienced mixed reaction at this point, sometimes they let bygones be bygones and forgive you, and sometimes they just stay out of your life whether they accept and forgive or not. Whether or not you wish to pursue the relationship at this point is extremely personal and totally up to you. You did what you needed to do and you cannot force anyone to remain in an active relationship with you. Remember, depending on the crime the other side may forgive but wishes not to maintain contact due to the perceived severity of your original offense towards them.
Mistakes often become attached to underlying beliefs about ourselves. Some examples of this self-talk is "I always say the wrong things", "I'll never be able to cover my bills", and the list goes on. We are our own worst critics many times which leads us to our negative self talk; you know that conversation we addressed in another posted article. Self-forgiveness may require you to identify and address these beliefs before you can begin this whole process. Self-forgiveness can be challenging because of pitfalls like this and more. Remember, sometimes things worth doing right are not very easy.
BENEFITS TO FORGIVING
Now that we've had a chance to talk about forgiveness in lay terms, what are the benefits to you? It is linked to greater feelings of happiness, hopefulness and optimism. Remember, we discussed that the conscious act of forgiving many times protects against serious conditions such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. It has shown to lower blood pressure in many studies. Accommodating anger and resentment leads to our body releasing stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline whenever you think about that other person. Continuous release of these chemicals by the adrenal glands usually leads to stress and anxiety and it can hinder creativity and problem solving.
Just by engaging in the process of forgiving, many positive psychological developments happen. Who doesn't want to reduce unhealthy anger, repair potentially damaged relationships, actually grow as a person, and exercise goodness itself? The positive things all happen no matter what the other side's responses or actions. How cool is that? Here is an additional benefit, modeling forgiveness for others may even lead to inter generational and even societal improvements!!
Let us end on the following couple of notes:
1. Forgiveness requires you to confront injustice and emotional pain.
2. Forgiving requires working toward resolving unhealthy anger.
3. Forgiveness can help treat depression as a part of your therapy.
4. Hypnosis is a powerful tool in your arsenal of healing.
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Breath - Relax - Heal
Welcome to Lakes Region Hypnosis Center's information sharing blog
I would like to begin my blogging career (sounds funny for a 60-something to be saying) by just introducing myself and some of the services we provide. My goal is to introduce you all to me and the wonderful worlds of hypnosis and other alternative, less expensive (in the long run) healing modalities we provide and clearly work. My intention is to also educate the public through my blogging.
I am a 67 year old who refuses to retire. I have worn many hats in my many careers, one could say it took me a long time to discover what I wanted to be or do when I grew up. I will say it did take me a while though. I've been part of management team where I was responsible for a multi-million dollar communication budget in a large financial institution. I left the corporate world as a thirty something and became a healthcare worker in a county nursing home. This was a very rewarding vocation by the way, but the greedy corporate world began sticking their fingers in the proverbial pot and infesting that career with their greed and gluttony. But, that's a whole different blogging path for the politically inclined, and does not belong here. I finished my career as a political action coordinator for a national public employee union and was forced out to pasture. Yes folks, even the unions have their dark side. But, I've always wanted to help others along the way, a healer so to speak. Whether a human client or a pet client (Animal Reiki attuned), I have always been driven to open up my heart, mind and arms to those who need some assistance along the way.
I began seeking a healing path for myself and something to provide comfort to others. I entered my chrysalis stage, my transition to the more spiritual path, that of a provider of proven alternative healing modalities. I became a Reiki Master/Teacher, actually being attuned through a local Reiki Master from Gilmanton and another from the West Coast. and still felt there there was more. I began various training along the way, as a physical medium, a crystal worker, and so on and so forth. I rounded out my resume at the Thomas Institute of Hypnosis and the National Guild of Hypnotists becoming a Certified Consulting Hypnotist. And this is the "Readers Digest" version of how I got to where I am now.
Operating out of Tilton, New Hampshire, ergo the name Lakes Region Hypnosis Center; we also perform Reiki healing sessions under Peaceful Light Healing (or PLH). PLH was my first organization and is now a part of our Lakes Region Hypnosis Center operation. Effectively combining both powerful tools (Hypnosis & Reiki) and we have created a healing modality second to none and without OPIODS. Healing others is a love and passion for us. Continuous education in the art of hypnosis on a regular basis, as well as consuming mandatory reading material is part of our modus operandi and in our operations manual. We also teach healing techniques at various metaphysical facilities and institutions. Sharing information at community events and local libraries, schools, and other public and private venues is always on our agenda. So please, continue to watch this website for updated events. Maybe learn a thing or two about hypnosis, Reiki, or even a bit about physical mediumship. But, be sure to watch my blogs for upcoming information to help demystify hypnosis and bring it to the forefront of where it belongs. The subconscious mind is a powerful tool for healing; and remember this, "if you can think it, it CAN happen". And don't forget about the Reiki!
Future posts will include myths and phobias of hypnotism, pain management, healthy living, stress and stressors, encountering negative suggestions and negative self talk, self hypnotism, emotional trauma, mind-body spirit, subconscious mind, daily affirmations and intentions, circumstance or predetermined, deja vu all over again, breathing techniques, Reiki, chakra centers, Past Life Regression "real or not" and much much more. So until the next post,
Breath - Relax - Heal.
P.S. Please let me know how I performed in my first blog post ever.