This week at Imagine Hope we are focusing on the topic of forgiveness. It’s not uncommon for clients to struggle with this particular topic. We often hear “I know I need to forgive (fill in the blank) for (fill in the blank) but I don’t know how.” Sometimes it seems easier to hold a grudge than it does to do the work to forgive them!
We hope that we can give you some steps this week to start your journey towards forgiveness. Remember to take care of yourself while you are on this journey. Forgiving someone is not about absolving them from what they did. Forgiveness is about freeing you from the bondage the pain has over your heart and your life.
This first step to forgiveness involves remembering what happened. One of the most therapeutic ways to do this is to write it out. If someone has hurt you and caused a wound, you deserve to acknowledge the pain you feel and to validate your own feelings. Describe what happened, and how it made you feel. Don’t hold back or minimize the situation or your feelings. Just let the words and the hurt flow out onto the paper or computer screen. Talk about how you want freedom from the pain you feel, and decide to work towards peace.
Another way to remember the pain is to describe it to someone who is “safe”. Find a trusted partner, friend, or family member and recall the events with them. Describe what happened and the emotions you experienced. Give them the chance to hear you and to validate your feelings.
Check back tomorrow as Tammy discusses the next step for forgiveness.
Written by Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW
Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist at Journey To Joy Counseling.