Monday, July 6, 2009

Forgiveness

Posted by Terry McNichols

A good friend of mine recently wrote on forgiveness. Here's a quote from her blog:
Recently, a moment leapt out of nowhere and grabbed me by the throat, reducing me to those irrepressible tears that leave me shaky and sick to my stomach – because my feelings got hurt.
I have been wanting to write about a process I have used for many years when just such a feeling comes over me and "grabs me by the throat." That is such a great description. For some of us it's the throat, for others the sick feeling in the pit of the stomach. Another person might break out in a sweat, or get a migraine. But however a hurt, a slight, a misunderstanding, cruel words, affect us, how we respond is the part that matters. For many years I had a pattern: I would get hurt, draw inward, pout for several days and eventually either "forget about it" (only to have it rear its ugly head at a later, inappropriate time), or I'd try to fight it out with the person in question, usually "winning" as said person would usually give in just to keep the peace. (You know who you are :-) We do all within our power to keep those uncomfortable feelings at bay.

As I became more aware of the feelings that accompanied the hurt, I began to pay attention. This link is to an exercise, called Body Talk, that I learned to use at the outset of the feelings, working through the pain to see if there was something else going on. I have been surprised at how often I can come up with a memory from early childhood or my teen years that have effectively sideswiped my ability to behave in the ways I would choose. Now, instead of doing everything in my power to ignore or get rid of the uncomfortable feeling, I acknowledge its presence, thank it for reminding me to pay attention, and work through the process.

I plan to post next week on some other forgiveness processes, so stay tuned.
(Photo by gurdonark, shared via Flickr)

1 comment:

gurdonark said...

very interesting exercise. It's so important to hunt ways to break the cycle, and to forgive. Thank you for using my picture as part of your post.