resentment

How to Liberate Yourself by Overcoming the 3 Blocks to Forgiveness Part Four

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock

 

The healing process…

 

Invariably the healing process is not linear, it isn’t a straight line on a graph. There will be peaks and troughs. During times when you are revisited by difficult feelings, return to the strategies you adopted when first trying to forgive.

 

Many people mistakenly think they cannot forgive, simply because they encounter difficulty after they have initially forgiven someone. In order to avoid this pitfall be mindful that the forgiveness and healing process can be lengthy. It is nonsensical to think there won’t be difficulties along the way. So if you experience difficulties after deciding to forgive someone, be comforted by the fact that this is to be expected and persevere.

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Why resentment is a slow burner and how to kill its flickering flame

Resentment is a slow burner, it gradually creeps up on you and often catches you by surprise. Although it isn’t as powerful an emotion as hatred, it can be a destructive force in relationships when those you harbor resentment towards are those closest to you.

 

According to Wikipedia, resentment is caused by:

 

publicly humiliating incidents such as accepting negative treatment without voicing any protest, an object of regular discrimination or prejudice, envy/jealousy, feeling used or taken advantage of by others, and having achievements go unrecognized.”

 

There have been many times in my life when I have overcome hatred for someone who had done me wrong only to discover that I was still struggling with releasing my resentment towards them.

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How to Liberate Yourself by Overcoming the 3 Blocks to Forgiveness Part Three

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock

 

How to overcome the 3 blocks to forgiveness and forgive…

 

3) Humiliation and shame

 

When we experience humiliation our first instinct is to run and hide. When we experience shame our first instinct is to lash out. Usually humiliation is followed by shame. The reason why these two feelings are particularly detrimental to forgiveness is that they impact upon our perception of self, which is linked to our self-worth. When our self-worth is threatened, our fight or flight response is triggered, and we either explode or implode, which are both obstacles to forgiveness.

 

When you are in a state of shame or humiliation try to alter your perspective and consider whether this situation will be significant ten or twenty years from now. If you believe it would remain significant, consider what you would think if this happened to a friend. Would you judge or think any less of her? I imagine probably not.

 

By shifting your perspective you will be able to step outside of your humiliation and shame and see your situation in a larger context.

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How to Liberate Yourself by Overcoming the 3 Blocks to Forgiveness Part Two

Forgiveness Article Shutterstock

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How to overcome the 3 blocks to forgiveness and forgive…

 

Initially I knew I wanted to let go of my anger but beyond talking about it, I didn’t know how. What I realised in the process of forgiveness, was that there were three fundamental blocks to my being able to forgive. These blocks had caused me to remain stuck and had hindered my efforts to forgive effectively. Initially, rather than acknowledging these as blocks to my being able to forgive, I felt entitled and chose to indulge them, thereby causing me even greater distress.

It was through trial and error, and a great deal of thought, that I realised I needed to adjust my approach if I wanted to be able to move past these blocks. Below I have outlined the approaches which helped me move towards forgiveness.

 

1) Pride

 

Our egos can be very fragile things. When someone hurts us it is natural for our sense of pride to be hurt also. Pride can make us want to seek revenge. Pride believes it is protecting us from future hurt by encouraging us to punish the other person. But there is one fatal flaw in prides logic. The person most hurt by punishing the other, and thereby holding onto pain and resentment, is us.

 

By acknowledging this truth, we can more effectively stop our pride from blocking our ability to forgive.

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How to Liberate Yourself by Overcoming the 3 Blocks to Forgiveness Part One

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‘To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you’ Lewis B Smedes

 

There have been many times in my life when my forgiveness was needed. Times when people hurt me to my core – times that caused me to feel upset, betrayed and angry. In these moments I experienced the pain caused by holding onto my resentment too long, and discovered the intense relief and freedom that followed once I forgave.

 

According to Oxford Dictionaries, forgiveness can be defined as ‘To stop feeling angry or resentful towards (someone) for an offense, flaw or mistake’. What I like about this definition is that it focuses on the psychological process of releasing anger and resentment when forgiving, a profound psychological benefit enjoyed by those offering forgiveness.  More telling still is what the definition omits; at no point does it infer that forgiveness involves forgetting a transgression or condoning it whatsoever, which are both common misconceptions about forgiveness.

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Introducing July’s Hot Topic: Forgiveness

 

I remember once when I was in my late teens and one of my friends betrayed me. It escalated to the point where she even spread false rumors about me to my other friends. I was so hurt I couldn’t see through the pain, let alone be cognizant of how holding on to my resentment was harming me more than it was her. Looking back I wish I had realized that, had I let go of the resentment – and yes – even hatred that I was harboring towards her, I would have found my equilibrium and peace of mind a great deal sooner.

 

Like so many people I spent my twenties full of pride thinking that forgiveness was the same thing as reconciliation and akin to excusing awful behavior. It was only in my late twenties I discovered how healing forgiveness can actually be; forgiveness that released all of the poisonous emotions of hatred, resentment, humiliation, shame and pride in me. I was set free from the moment I truly learnt to forgive.

 

My wish is that you too will come to know how healing forgiveness can actually be through this series and that you will realize, just as I did, that you neither have to reconcile or even vocalize your forgiveness to anyone to reap the benefits of forgiveness.

 

Welcome to July’s hot topic everyone!

 

x X x Jenny Leigh x X x

Introducing July’s Hot Topic: Forgiveness

 

I remember once when I was in my late teens and one of my friends betrayed me. It escalated to the point where she even spread false rumors about me to my other friends. I was so hurt I couldn’t see through the pain, let alone be cognizant of how holding on to my resentment was harming me more than it was her. Looking back I wish I had realized that, had I let go of the resentment – and yes – even hatred that I was harboring towards her, I would have found my equilibrium and peace of mind a great deal sooner.

 

Like so many people I spent my twenties full of pride thinking that forgiveness was the same thing as reconciliation and akin to excusing awful behavior. It was only in my late twenties I discovered how healing forgiveness can actually be; forgiveness that released all of the poisonous emotions of hatred, resentment, humiliation, shame and pride in me. I was set free from the moment I truly learnt to forgive.

 

My wish is that you too will come to know how healing forgiveness can actually be through this series and that you will realize, just as I did, that you neither have to reconcile or even vocalize your forgiveness to anyone to reap the benefits of forgiveness.

 

Welcome to July’s hot topic everyone!

 

x X x Jenny Leigh x X x