Forgiveness: What is it?


Many people have a hard time with the concept of forgiveness. Forgiveness means many things to many people. For some, forgiveness means the prospect of facing a painful past. For others, forgiveness means the idea of having to “pretend” as if the “perpetrator” is back in the good graces of the one who has been victimized. Other times, I've had clients say to me “I know you're going to tell me I have to forgive such and such”...or “If you're about to make me forgive such and such, you've got another thing coming!” The reason why most people have a hard time forgiving is because they have an improper definition of what forgiveness means.

Before pointing out what forgiveness is, I think it proper to first talk about what forgiveness is NOT.

1. Forgiveness does NOT mean that I CONDONE what the perpetrator has done.

2. Forgiveness does NOT mean that I am letting the perpetrator “off the hook”

3. Forgiveness does NOT mean that I have to FORGET what the perpetrator has done to me.

Actually, forgiveness has absolutely NOTHING to do with the perpetrator. Forgiveness is an act that I, the victim must choose. Forgiveness is mainly for the victim.

So what is forgiveness?

The word forgiveness in the Greek language is pronounced (SEEN KO RES SEE) and it simply means: “RELEASE” or “LET GO.” So forgiveness is actually the process of RELEASING the energy of pain, the energy of shame, the energy of injustice. As long as I hold onto the pain, the energy, the shame, I am frozen in that particular moment of time---as long as I continue to hold onto these things, I AM CONTINUING TO BE VICTIMIZED. It is very possible that the perpetrator has NO IDEA that they have even hurt me---so my pain, my anger, is not affecting them in the least. This is all the more reason why it makes sense that forgiveness is a choice that I have to make, to release stagnant energy, to release me from mental and emotional bondage.

So how does one undergo the process of forgiveness? Well, there are a myriad of ways and techniques. The common factor, however, in all those techniques is that they involve staying focused in the NOW, in the present. The past AND the future are both ILLUSIONS.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapies (CBT) are very effective, but so is energy work, such as meditation or REIKI. Many times I employ Reiki energy work in my therapy, because sometimes energy has to be dealt with via direct manipulation as opposed to simply talking things out. Sometimes the mind has to be bypassed altogether if a painful past is too deeply rooted.

For more information on How To Forgive, or for more information on Reiki, and how it works, please do not hesitate to reach out to me by clicking here.


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