I hope with this weeks blog series on forgiveness, you've been able to understand it's importance and how it frees you more than anyone else. We all struggle with forgiveness so navigating it in a healthy way can lower your risk of stress, physical problems, as well as emotional problems. Today we want to talk about how you hang on to forgiveness.
Once you move through the process of forgiving, unfortunately over time it's easy to fall back into old ways of thinking and actually forgetting the progress you have made when you forgave. It's actually quite normal for that to happen. That's why this step is so imperative.
Pledge to yourself and to the person you are forgiving that you will not re-enter the prison of unforgiveness. Agree to yourself and to them that you will not pick it back up and live in unforgiveness any longer. Talk about how if you see signs that you are not forgiving, you will commit to remembering what you did. Of course, this is only with someone who is safe to do so. If it is better to not talk with the person, you can do this on your own or to talk with an accountability partner. Some people have been hurt in a way that would be dangerous, physically or emotionally, to talk to the person they've forgiven.
I personally think it's good to create something you can see to remind yourself you forgave. Some ideas are a small token of some sort. A stone with the person's name on it or a special Bible verse or quote written on the stone can be a great way to remember. A special picture with a nice saying on it could work or even some symbol like a cross could be a great reminder. I had a friend who made a certificate they carried with them. They made it wallet-size so they could keep it in their purse. Any time she felt she was picking it back up emotionally, she would look at that certificate and remind herself she had forgiven and could let it go. Make it special and personal to you.
Just remember it's normal to pick it back up- it's actually part of the process. Putting it back down where you left it is what is important.
Thank you so much for reading today. Tomorrow Joleen will finish our series.
Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC LCAC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling. We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville