Forgiveness and shame

 

Forgiveness is a process not an event. In our culture we have little, if any, idea of “process.” We either have or don’t have something. I believe because of this it is hard to picture the process we often need to go through to reach forgiveness. I am going to put some steps in that can help.

  1. Identify that we are holding a grudge, resentment, judgment toward a person, or a group.
  2. Look at what that grudge, resentment, or judgment is costing us. It takes time, peace of mind, ruins relationships, causes us to avoid or isolate, makes us bitter, etc.
  3. Become more willing to forgive than to be right.
  4. Even if you don’t know how, become willing to see this differently. Anotherwords, choose peace over your need to be right and prove yourself.
  5. Notice when you are living in the judgment and be willing to turn in the direction of love. Remember, people are either expressing love or asking for love. Ask yourself what “love” would do or say to this person or group or in this situation.
  6. What this does is move one in the direction of compassion.
  7. Forgiveness is a process of reaching compassionate acceptance of self and others. I allows one to be human. It is a way of extending love.

When we reach a place where we realize what our “unforgivenesses” are costing us, we become much more willing to do something different.

Reminder: Forgiveness is a process, not an event.

 

 

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