Saturday, August 10, 2013

How do you begin to forgive the people who gave you countless nights of psychological and emotional torture? How can you forgive people who are not even sorry about what they did?

I still choke every time I say the Lord's Prayer and get to the part "as we forgive those who sinned against us.."

I've been listening and summarizing Brian Tracy's Psychology of Achievement audios as part of my work and I feel like this audio seminars were actually made especially for me.

The most significant lesson that really affected me was "The Power of Forgiveness." It struck a chord in me big time. And I realized that although I always thought that I am a person who is always ready to forgive, that I do not harbor any ill-feelings towards another person, I realized that I am actually the opposite of the thought I had of me, in relation to forgiving someone.

I am somebody who isn't afraid to admit I am wrong, and I take responsibility for any action I did and I can apologize easily if I am mistaken, if I want to.  But in as much that I can easily say I am sorry, I find it so difficult to let go of some remnants of the past, the ones that hurt me a lot.

I know that forgiving someone doesn't mean you have to like them, or go back to the kind of relationship you once had. But does forgiving someone means that the memory won't hurt anymore, that the scars would fade?

Two years ago, on this very day, I found myself begging to be allowed to sleep beside my children. That was the worst thing I had to go through, worse than standing up in court convincing the judge that I am capable of performing my duties as a mother. And that very thought will send me in a bad mood and ruin my day altogether.

I was asked by the very person who did this to me how much I hated him. His mere mention of that is an acknowledgement that what he did to me was beyond words and deserves to merit hatred. I told him that God had been so kind to me that He did not allow me to sow the seeds of hatred in my heart. I guess that somehow gave him some kind of a relief. And me, temporarily. Or so I thought.

There are times that I cannot control my emotions. My mood will turn sour by the mere mention of his parents names. It's like I would be transported back to that time and I would immediately be in a state of panic or anxiety.

Sometimes he says things that still rub me the wrong way. I find it irritating when he calls me by my name. I worked hard to put back the value to it after the degrading way I was treated. My name does not deserve to come out of the mouths of the person (s) who emotionally and psychologically tormented me. And for the bucket of tears that I shed every night, my pillow was the only witness to that.

I am amazed at how emotions can go to extremes, how too much love can go to hatred or repulsion. I agree that there is a thin fine line between love and hate, and in a blink of an eye, you can go from loving someone to hating that person so much.

Or maybe this is trauma working it's effects on me. My psychiatrist once said that trauma can sometimes manifest months or years after the event. If this is so, can forgiveness make me get past the trauma? So I can concentrate with work and get on with my life without the occasional flashbacks  my mind seem to give me.

Brian Tracy specified that forgiveness is the hallmark of a fully functional human being. So, maybe I will be half-functional or dysfunctional temporarily while on the process of moving on, before I can be a fully functional human being.

But at the end of it all, I believe that this is only temporary. Better days are coming up ahead. Like every painful memory that I have to go through to complete the healing process, this too shall pass.

Today, I decide and resolve that I will take steps to forgive everyone who needs to be forgiven. I will have my freedom. I want to be able to feel the love from anybody who is willing to give it to me. More importantly, I want to give love again even to those undeserving ones.

Should you get lost on how to take the first step to forgiving others,
the above guide may be helpful. I know I'd be referring to this soon.

Keeping the faith,

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