How to Encourage Forgiveness
For example, Luskin encourages the practice of gratitude -- the active effort to acknowledge what's good in your life.
"Gratitude is simply focusing your attention on the positive things that have happened," he says. "That creates a biochemical experience that makes it more likely that forgiveness will occur."
Stress management, whether through meditation, deep breathing, or relaxation exercises, also helps quell the stress of anger and resentment, he says. So does "cognitive reframing," which fosters acceptance of the facts of your situation.
"You may wish you had a better mother or a better lover," Luskin says, "but the world is the way it is."
Finally, Luskin encourages people to change the story they tell themselves so they appear more like survivors who are hopeful about the future rather than victims with a grievance.
"You can change, 'I hate my mother because she didn't love me,' to, 'life is a real challenge for me because I didn't feel loved as a child,'" Luskin said. "That makes forgiveness so much more possible."
Two Types of Forgiveness
Everett L. Worthington Jr., PhD, a professor of psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University and the author of Forgiveness and Reconciliation: Theory and Applications, divides forgiveness into two types. Decisional forgiveness involves choosing to let go of angry thoughts about the person you feel has wronged you.
"You can tell yourself, 'I am not going to seek revenge,' for example, or, 'I am going to avoid that person,'" Worthington says. "You could choose decisional forgiveness and still have a lot of emotional unforgiveness."
The ultimate goal, however, is emotional forgiveness, in which negative emotions such as resentment, bitterness, hostility, hatred, anger, and fear are replaced with love, compassion, sympathy, and empathy.
"Emotional forgiveness is where the health action is," says Worthington. "Emotional unforgiveness causes a chronic stress response, which results in obsessing about the wrong done to you. Rumination is what gets people into trouble. Rumination is the mental health bad boy. It's associated with almost everything bad in the mental health field -- obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, depression ... probably hives too."
Essay on Forgive But Never Forget - Personal Narrative
749 Words3 Pages
Forgive But Never Forget - Personal Narrative
There he was standing in the doorway of our house, a stranger to my mother and I, his shadow looming over me. His face, distraught and lonely, faced my mother who sat there crying on her chair as she had done for many nights for many years. In his right hand a black worn suitcase with a 'RAF' badge on it, in his other a briefcase. A black hat was trapped beneath his armpit. He was a well-dressed man with a pitch-black suit without one crease in it, a matching tie and a pearl white shirt underneath. A tear now ran down his face too. I looked from behind my bedroom door, I had opened it just enough to see him, but not enough for him to notice me. I had…show more content…
I have to tell you now that no such undertaking has been received, and that consequently this country is at war with Germany."
My mother's face twisted in anger
"BASTARD!" she shouted, I didn't know who she was saying it to, the radio, Our Prime Minister, Hitler or me? My Mother quickly snatched my hand and led me to our shelter in the garden. My Father soon followed, she was expecting bombs to come rain down on us straight away, we laid there on the damp floor for many hours until we finally realised that there was no threat.
The second event that I remember happened one month after.
My parents had been arguing for quite some days. Today was worst than ever. The war had put a lot of pressure on my parent's relationship.
"Please don't go!" my mum said as she collapsed on the chair crying. He looked at her with a stern look.
"I have to do this!" he replied. He was wearing the same suit that he did ten years later. In his right hand the same suitcase and in his left hand the briefcase and his hat on his head.
My father than left disappeared into the night.
One week ago.
I had long forgotten my father. My mother explained to me that my father had left her for another women but I didn't care that much I was