Small Steps Toward ForgivenessIt sometimes seems that those who hurt us the most are those to whom we are the closest. In close, intimate relationships we lay down our all and are honest about our fears and weaknesses. The more vulnerable we are, the more difficult it is to recover from betrayal and loss. Yet, it’s a risk that some dare to take and one that others avoid at all costs. One may choose to take the initial step to forgive but find that it may take years for the matter to resolve. As a young lady eloquently said in a group therapy session, “We may never forget the act but can eventually release the emotional agony that came with the insult.” In other words, we can come to the place where our emotions no longer have dominance. One day we’re able to face the individual who caused the hurt and honestly say “there are no hard feelings.” The following are steps I’ve taken personally in my life to walk in forgiveness:
· Forgive myself and not blame myself for the offense.
· Realize that hurting people hurt people. This is not an excuse but a way of coming to terms with the fact that the person did not truly know how to love me because of unresolved issues in their life.
· Apologize for any wrongs I may have done unknowingly even if I believe I did no wrong.
· I don’t focus on the negative but try to remember all the good things about the individual and ways in which they may have contributed positively in my life.
· Last, I find closure by realizing that some friendships only last for a season. Thereby, I hold on to the good and choose not to focus on the bad experiences.
Hopefully, these steps can lead you toward the path of forgiveness in your own life. I want to re-emphasize the fact that just because you choose to forgive does not imply that all negative feelings about the individual will cease. It may take time. Also be aware that forgiveness on your part does not always equate to acknowledgement of guilt or even empathy on the perpetrator’s end. Remember that forgiveness is for you. “The forgiveness that you refuse will be the forgiveness that you seek. When you have compassion for others when they make mistakes you will receive compassion when you make yours. And, you will continue to make mistakes.” (Williams, 2011)
Acacia Slaton Beumer, Author of Launch Out Into The Deep! http://www.launchoutbook.com
Williams, N. A. (2011). Girl’s Best Friend: Forgiveness is for You. Retrieved April 10, 2012 from http://www.essence.com/2011/08/18/girls-best-friend-forgiveness-is-for-you/
Acacia Slaton Beumer is a graduate of Oral Roberts University; she will earn her Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy in the summer of 2012. She works in the Social Service field and finds a sense of joy from helping others. Her husband John is in the United States Army. She has two daughters; Jana is 3 years old Jaci is 1. Acacia loves to interact with readers and welcomes questions and feedback. Her next project is to write an autobiography about her many life experiences. If you're interested in contacting Acacia email her at firstname.lastname@example.org . May you be tremendously blessed and continue to persevere and daily grow in your walk with Christ.
Aaron L. Slaton:
Aaron Slaton is the author of the poetry and one chapter featured in this book. Writing since the age of twelve, Aaron has been gifted with the ability to bring the Scriptures to life through rhythm and rhyme. Aaron is an aspiring songwriter and producer. If you're interested in contacting Aaron email him at email@example.com .
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Link to Tour on Main Site - http://www.virtualbooktourcafe.com/3/post/2012/03/launch-out-into-the-deep-by-acacia-beumer-aaron-slaton.html