forgiveness

How to Forgive: Breaking Free

How to Forgive: Breaking Free

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. 

How to Forgive: When it Hurts

How to Forgive: When it Hurts

Have you ever considered how giving someone forgiveness is actually a gift to yourself?   Well, it is.  Forgiveness is a choice...an active decision to let go of bitterness and resentment towards a situation or a person who has wronged you.  By choosing to let go, one of the greatest benefits is that you release yourself of the burden of caring negative feelings, such as anger, towards the person who has offended you and refocus your attention on something that is more positive and meaningful.

What is Sexual Abuse? Using Forgiveness and Spirituality to Move On

What is Sexual Abuse? Using Forgiveness and Spirituality to Move On

This week's blog is a very emotional and devastating one-- sexual abuse.  Many people grow up holding all in of the pain, shame, and fear that sexual abuse has caused them.  Our hearts go out to you if you are one of the many who struggle with the internal dilemma of disclosure and healing.  Today we will discuss Forgiveness, Spirituality and Resolution.

Forgiveness Tips 4 & Resources

  • Forgiving someone is not saying you are ok with what they did. Many people worry that forgiving someone sends the message that they are condoning a person's behavior. It is not about making a moral judgment, but about you being free from holding onto the pain. They will suffer natural consequences for their actions. It is not necessary for you to be the "punisher" of their actions.

 

  • Forgiving someone does not mean you have to be friends with them. Some people are not emotionally safe for you to be around. For example, if you or someone you love, has been abused by someone, you can choose to forgive that person. However, it would not be in your best interest to continually allow yourself to be in your abusers presence. Forgiving them does not mean you have to let them back into your world.

If you need more resources on Forgiveness, here are some that we have found helpful:

Forgiveness: The Path to Happiness by Sandra Summerfield Kozak

Forgiveness: How to Make Peace With Your Past and Get on With Your Life by Sidney B. Simon & Suzanne Simon

Total Forgiveness by R.T. Kendall

Forgiving Our Parents, Forgiving Ourselves: Healing Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families by David A. Stoop & James Masteller

How Can I Forgive You: The Courage to Forgive, the Freedom Not To by Janis A. Springs

Thanks for reading this week. Have a great weekend!

Written by: Tamara Portee MA, LMHC, LCAC

*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counseling at Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.

Forgiveness Tips 3

Hopefully you've been reading Teri & Joleen's tips on Forgiveness this week thus far. This is such an important piece to incorporate into your life. Rick Warren, Pastor & author of The Purpose Driven Life, says that, "Forgiveness needs to be given immediately, but trust will take longer to be rebuilt." Here are more tips for Forgiveness:

  • You don't have to wait for someone else to say "I'm sorry" to forgive. Many people think they have to be "asked for forgiveness" to receive it. The reality is you may never hear "I'm sorry" from someone who hurt you. They many never see that they did anything wrong, let alone ask for forgiveness. Waiting for them to make the first move will many times cause you to stay stuck and not get past the pain of the wound.

 

  • Forgiving is recognizing someone's humanness. We are all human which makes us imperfect and capable of hurting other people. Just because someone hurts people doesn't mean it was intentional. Recognizing someone's humanness doesn't make it ok that they hurt you, but it can help you accept that pain is a hard part of relationships and caring about people.

Tomorrow we will discuss the last tips on Forgivness, along with some resources for further reading on this topic.

Written by: Tamara Portee MA, LMHC, LCAC

*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counselingat Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.

Forgiveness Tips 2

  • The alternative to forgiveness is resentment.  Resentment is one of the most toxic things to relationships, and can often times cause irreparable damage.  Resentment can grow and become so large that it blocks a person's ability to have deep connections and intimacy.  This resentment spreads to relationships and people that have nothing to do with the core wound.  It can filter into our relationships with friends, co-workers, spouses, and family. Often times, resentment can become even larger than the original wound itself.  It can also cause health problems from holding in toxic feelings.  As Teri mentioned, forgiveness is for YOU, not them.  Choose to forgive, in order to let go of resentment and the impact it can have on your life.

 

  • Forgiving someone is giving up hope you can change the past.  It's easy to get stuck in the past if we allow it.  Getting to a place of acceptance of what has happened to us is a large part of forgiveness.  One thing we help clients with daily is guiding them towards seeing their hurt as an opportunity to grow and change.  When we can find meaning in our wounds, it takes the power away from our past, as well as the things we can't control (e.g., other people, the past, etc.).

Check back for more tips on forgiveness this week!

Joleen Watson, MS, NCC, is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. She enjoys doing marriage counseling, relationship counseling, couples counseling, and individual counseling.  Imagine Hope also specializes in family, child and adolescent counseling and serves Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield, and Fishers.

Forgiveness Tips

Forgiveness is powerful and necessary for the healing process. Lewis Smedes says that "Forgiveness is to set a prisoner free; and to discover that prisoner is you." I've also heard someone describe the process of not forgiving being like "drinking poison and expecting someone else to die." Many feel overwhelmed and confused about what it actually means to forgive someone, so this week Imagine Hope is going to provide you with tips to remember as you embark on the journey of forgiveness.

  • Remember that forgiveness is a process- Forgiving someone is not a one time thing. It is usually something you have to do over and over, especially when you are triggered about the wound. The biggest goal is for you to get the emotions out in a healthy way. Whether it is talking to a professional, journaling, or writing a letter to the person that you don't send.  After time you should be able to wish the person who hurt you well. This will offer you freedom from your pain.
  • Forgiveness isn't something you do for them; it's for you!- The focus should not be about offering them forgiveness. When you forgive someone, it is about freedom from the pain for YOU. If you choose not to forgive than you choose to hold the pain and not feel better.

Keep checking back this week as we share more things to remember when forgiving!

Written by Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW

Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW is a virtual licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Teri enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Teri also does family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling.  Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.

Quotes That Inspire- Joleen

One of my favorite quotes is by Lili Tomlin:  "Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past". This quote is so revealing and true, in so many ways.  In therapy, though we do focus on gaining a  better understanding of how our family system and childhood has impacted us to be the person we are today (strenghts and weaknesses, alike), it's also about learning how to change life patterns.  To stop reacting to things as though we are stuck in our past.  This quote is a great example of how, when we choose to forgive, we are accepting the very thing we cannot change-- our past-- while at the same time, creating hope for our future and how things can be different, if we only challenge ourselves to be different from this point forward.

Forgiveness means letting go-- freeing ourselves to move forward and accept what we cannot change about our history.  It truly is a sense of freedom when you forgive.  You are basically saying that, from this point forward, I am no longer allowing my past (or anyone in my past) to have control over me and my future.

How have you forgiven from your past?  Do you still hang onto hope that somehow your past will magically be different?

Joleen Watson, MS, NCC, is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. She enjoys doing marriage counseling, relationship counseling, couples counseling, and individual counseling. Imagine Hope also specializes in family, child and adolescent counseling and serves Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield, and Fishers.