What Everyone Should Know About ForgivenessDec 04, 2017
Here’s a statistic that will grab your attention: “1 in 4 girls are sexually assaulted before the age of 18. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1999)”
That is a horrible thing to read and because sexual abuse is so prevalent, it is absolutely necessary to focus on it.
Here’s another one: “In a study of 1,000 women 15 years of age or older, 36% had experienced emotional abuse while growing up; 43% had experienced some form of abuse as children or adolescents; 39% reported experiencing emotional abuse in a relationship in the past five years (Women's College Hospital, 19958).”
Why start an article about forgiving with statistics on victims of sexual or emotional abuse? Forgive the perpetrator? How can one actually do that? And why bother? It doesn’t make practical sense. Or does it?
I’ll tell you why I think it makes sense and I speak from personal experience and have watched many people reach the same conclusions as I have. Nothing else works to free us of the emotional and spiritual effects of that kind of abuse as forgiving the person who did it. But first let’s be perfectly clear on what I am defining forgiveness as.
Forgiveness is “giving love as before”. That does not mean in any way that any abuse is acceptable. NEVER. But great spiritual teachers have been trying to get us to see this concept for eons. Whenever we stay in anger, hurt, sadness, shame, guilt, pain about those horrendous experiences and keep holding the perpetrator as hateful, it keeps us as victims and it keeps us attached to the person as if by emotional leg irons.
I experienced both kinds of abuse for many years in my life. And for many years I lived my life as a victim lives their life – everything happened to me. It’s a kind of soul sickness. The effects are many and varied. Amongst them are:
- Low self esteem
- Poor self image
- Body issues
- Addiction issues
- Low performance issues in school and work
- Poor relationships
- Poor parenting
- A general inability to cope
Lucky for me when the pain got big enough, I left the bad marriage and I found some places to heal and learn and grow. What I learned was it felt much better to forgive then not to forgive. It felt much better to learn how to rid myself of the old pain then to hold onto it. Believe me. It takes work but the results in my life are phenomenal.
- I feel good about myself.
- I think I’m quite cute.
- I love my body and care for it because I really get it is the only one I have.
- My eating addiction is much more peaceful.
- I cannot believe my prolific talent in writing and coaching.
- My relationships are spectacular.
- I feel a little down occasionally but never depressed and I have learned so many tools to help with the down times.
I cope so well, I amaze myself.
So I think the that forgiving grave error is the work of the soul but the benefits are right here on Earth where we live. Does it let the person responsible for your abuse off the hook? Only so far as your energetic connection to them. They have their load to carry but you are free.
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