Posted by: Elizabeth Turrentine | August 29, 2013

FORGIVENESS = PEACE

“How do you expect me to forgive a horrendous, possibly life changing, attack by another? Wrongdoings, such as blatant defamation of character, rape, fraud, and the like do not deserve forgiveness!” Many say, “I don’t get mad, I get even.”

Think about this: Forgiveness is NOT saying, “Oh, that’s OK,” then moving on. That is called denial. Such an infraction is not OK. Forgiving is a process.

One needs to acknowledge that it happened. All the emotions this engenders must be felt. The anger, pretense that it didn’t really happen / doesn’t matter / wasn’t that bad, guilt/remorse, sadness/grief, the bargaining (“If I do this, or that, the pain will go away”), have to be experienced and dealt with. Sometimes we think we are finished with one or more of these feelings, only to have it return with a vengeance. It can be daunting, to be sure. But it is what it is, and it takes as long as it takes. Professional help may be required during the process. Whatever it takes to go through this healing is what one must do. IT IS WORTH IT.

One can then arrive at ACCEPTANCE. This is when we can say to ourselves, “Yes, this happened. It was painful, inexcusable, and devastating. But now I can let go of it and move on with my life. That this happened does not define who I am.”

Trust me on this: You will have peace. A greater peace than you can imagine.

An added bonus is that the person(s) who committed the wrongdoing will no longer have control over you.

Consider Cory tenBoom, who was the only survivor in her family of the WWII Holocaust. She spent some years in a Nazi prison camp. After the war she returned to Holland and opened her home to other survivors. She found that the ones who recovered quickest and best were the ones who were able to forgive their captors.

Forgiveness is not only necessary for huge events, as the ones mentioned above. Small day to day annoyances inflicted by others can eat away our peace of mind and ruin a perfectly lovely day as well, if we let them. Remember Forgiveness = Peace, no matter how big or small.

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