9 thoughts on “10 Steps on the Path to Forgiveness

  • September 23, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    I have been talking to my therapist for a while now about forgiveness, and this information will really help in getting moved in the right direction…I will be talking this article over with my therapist tomorrow…thanks.

    • September 24, 2012 at 11:44 am

      I am so glad that you find the information helpful.

  • September 24, 2012 at 8:37 am

    I can absorb my suffering from hurtful people but when I see a pattern of this behavior, I have compassion for myself and distance my self from this kind of person. I do think it’s wrong to forgive people who will only exploit it for their own evil purposes.

    • September 24, 2012 at 11:45 am

      The choice of who and when to forgive is always yours. It is great that you are creating safe boundaries and recognizing destructive patterns of behavior so you can take better care of yourself.

  • September 24, 2012 at 10:02 am

    I would like to forgive, but have no idea how. It is difficult to be betrayed by ONE person, but 200? On my birthday (9/29 eight years ago) I was voted out of my church with my name up on a big screen, followed by the words, “Conduct Unbecoming a Child of God.” Called to a meeting of deacons, not allowed to have a woman with me and asked:”Are you still having sex with your ex?” This happened because I got a divorce after 31 years of abuse and then let the ex live in my house for awhile afterwards. Fortuntely, I had a fabulous therapist who taught mme the most valuable words I have ever heard: “Restorative Justice”–This is what you did; this is how it made me feel. SO empowering to someone abused for a lifetime (except for 3 years in the army). See a clergy? That is who hurt me. A lot of divorce recovery groups are held in churches, of course the irony there is obvious. So, my life was changed forever; because they did this to me on my birthday, I can never forget, but something positive came from the ashes: My website: http://www.churchabusepoetrytherapy.com with almost 21,000 hits.

    • September 24, 2012 at 11:47 am

      Abusers come in many forms–sometimes they are clergy, sometimes therapists, sometimes our family members. Thank you for sharing with the readers about the concept of restorative justice–it is a very powerful tool in healing.

    • October 1, 2012 at 10:01 am

      I read your comment and all I could think of was “You’re well out of it … the marriage and the church you belonged to, and I hope you stay out of both.” Why waste time now worrying about whether you can forgive and how to forgive these people? I think the pressure to forgive the abuser/s is just an additional and unnecessary problem for the abused person to worry about. In fact many abused people sometimes become more obsessed about whether they can forgive than they do about the abuse itself. Allow yourself to put the whole lot behind you. Thank your lucky stars you had the strength to get out and that you have the strength to turn your back on those abusive church members too. If they cared a jot for you they wouldn’t have put you through that disgusting ordeal. Just get on with your life knowing you’ve done what IS RIGHT FOR YOU.

  • October 1, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Okay, keep it simple peg….After many years of verbal abuse and oppression, my spouse left me and our son without a word. My home burned down, I rebuilt it alone, raised my son moved across the country and then became very, very ill. I kept forgiving and forgiving and forgiving, thinking it was the only way. And to some extent it is…However the problem lies when you are unable to remove yourself from the circumstances. I must live with my spouse because I cannot care for myself. He believes this gives him the right to treat me so poorly that he has almost caused my death on two occasions by neglect. His actions are so arrogant and oppressive that it has set the tone for the rest of the family. He has painted himself the victim, but victim to what? I am an invalid bedridden and isolated. He doesn’t want or need my forgiveness because he holds all the power and threatens me on a constant basis. Even a terminal diagnosis doesn’t phase him. My conclusion finally came to me that in some circumstances you can forgive past hurts, but you cannot trust, or believe in the core decency of this person as long as they continue to abuse you without regard for forgiveness or not.Every demand I met only encourages them to demand more. I really could never have imagined that some people don’t care if you forgive them or not and will continue their actions because they have judged you as not worth their consideration. For me, my biggest loss was the loss of consideration. peg

  • October 6, 2012 at 6:09 am

    Forgiveness is a very powerful to apply. Whether right or wrong for you, you have to face the person with whom you had the problem.


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