There are a lot of people who see no need for forgiveness on their part. In other words, they are completely oblivious to the fact that holding grudges is causing changes in their body chemistry. Not forgiving others is built in to their mental make up. They are quite righteous in their attitudes.
The idea that holding grudges has a negative effect on their body chemistry is news to them. Once they find out what is really going on, they get interested in the actual process of forgiving.
If you want to experience the power of forgiving others...
...these are the steps to the process: Make a complete list of every person or entity that has hurt you in any way. Then pick a day and set aside about four hours or as much time as you need, to write a letter to each one, forgiving them for everything bad they have done to you.
After that you write a letter forgiving yourself, in which you absolve yourself of all the things you have done wrong and all the mistakes you have made.
Place all those letters aside for a couple of weeks while you experience the miracle as the burdens lift away from your mind. Then go back to each letter and read it and see if there is anything you would like to add or remove from the letter.
Complete your corrections. Set them aside for a couple of weeks again and experience the freedom from the burdens again. You can go back to the letters for a few times, a maximum of about five times, until you are satisfied that you have noted everything you wanted to say.
Then destroy the letters. You could burn the letters, shred them or crumple them up and cast them upon the waters. How you destroy them is your pleasure.
Finally, say the prayer shown below and heave a sigh of relief. You can repeat the prayer to yourself if and when the memory of the hurts come back to you. That is the simple process of releasing yourself.
I am now Free
And I like it!
This is how
I will keep it.
Growing freer and freer,
I am free
What does amnesty for all...
...your hurters have to do with getting out of social isolation? The habit of holding grudges by you is a way station on the path to loneliness.
What happens is that when a person wrongs you, you get angry and you stop talking to the person. You start avoiding the person. Do that a few times and you start to experience loneliness. Do that just a few more times and you arrive at your destination of permanent loneliness.
I am amazed at the profoundness of the word.
Almost all the religions of this world have a point of view about it. Religions of course address forgiveness of sins and also get into deeper meanings of the word. However, I had a difficult time agreeing with the point of view of any religion about this word even though I have no problem asking for exoneration for my faults, wrongdoings and sins.
My approach to the art has been practical.
I had a habit of holding on to grudges for decades. Then at church I thought I understood why I should absolve those who had hurt me.
I gave up my collection of long held grudges by using the method I described at the top of this page. I heaved a huge sigh of relief and I have enjoyed wonderful ripples of that sigh of relief for many years now.
So the miracle of forgiveness works. You can use the same technique to absolve those that have hurt you. It will relax your mind enough to make some phone calls and reach out to people you used to know and thus get away from being lonely.
The following quote is attributed to Gautama Buddha:
"Holding on to anger is like holding on to a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned." However, so far it has not been proven to be one of his sayings.
Even so the saying illustrates a very good understanding of anger. It also contributes to a good understanding of why you should be forgiving those that have hurt you.
Fortunately there is scientific research going on about...
...the process of forgiving. Dr. Robert Enright and his colleagues had started doing research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1985. In 1994 the International Forgiveness Institute was formed as a private, non-profit organization. The website is http://www.internationalforgiveness.com/. The institute offers a 20 step process of forgiving.
The twenty steps...
...are not provided at the website but they provide details about the four stages involved: Uncovering stage, Decision stage, Work stage and Outcome/Deepening stage.
If you want to know those twenty steps you can order the inventory at their website. A great value at this website is the books you can buy to help you learn the art and process of forgiving. Just click on"read more" under Publications at the bottom right of their home page. One of the books is by Dr. Robert Enright and Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons.
I finally reached an understanding...
...of the matter when I read the following quote: "Milosovic had done terrible, evil things. One can forgive him, but one can also call for him to indeed be tried in the Hague for crimes against humanity." - Roy Lloyd.
I read that quote in an article by Gary Thomas here: www.garythomas.com/giving-up-the-grudge. It is a long article but it is definitely worth reading. Grab yourself a cup of your favorite drink, get comfortable and read his article all the way through to get a good understanding of why you too should be doing a lot of forgiving.
Ask yourself if you understand the concept and why you should forgive those that have hurt you. If you find that you are not convinced that you should absolve your hurters, then undertake a study of the concept until you come to your own understanding of it in such a manner that you do forgive them.
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