How to Forgive: Step One

Step One is to Tell Your Story

Our story is the view we have of a situation, whether it’s something we love about ourselves or our life or a situation that is troubling us.  No matter what’s happening, we all have a story about it. And, it takes energy to maintain a story.

Here are some of the elements of a Story:

  • What happened – or didn’t happen
  • When it happened and how often
  • Where it happened
  • Who did it. Who was involved
  • How it affected me
  • What my life is like since then
  • Why I think it happened to ME

The key to a powerfully HEALING story is to tell each part with great feeling, even exagerated feeling. Tell the story with great expression and drama, letting out all the feeling and emotion that’s been locked up in it.

Another key to a powerfully healing story is to tell it to a neutral witness, someone who can simply witness and validate your story without judgment or fixing or arguing. A good witness will simply say, “I’m sorry that happened to you.  Tell me more.”

 Are you ready to take this first step?

Ready to begin a journey down a guided path of healing? One that’s safe and likely to lead to lightness, relief and release of the energy that’s been slowing you down and burdening your life?

Click on the picture below. I took this photo on my last day on the Appalachian Trail in the summer of 2012. My future was uncertain. I was concerned about my marriage and my career. The path was wet with rain that had fallen through the night. But, when the sun came up, it lit the path before me! I thought, “Ah, there is light before me!”

There is light before you as well when you bravely take the step on this path. Tell your story and have it witnessed and validated.

There is Light Ahead

 

 

 

 

 

Are you reluctant to begin?  Here’s one of my stories, using the outline above:

  • What happened – or didn’t happen: My husband wrote an email and said, “I was hoping we would have a divorce by Thanksgiving.
  • When it happened and how often: On Thanksgiving  day.
  • Where it happened: I was at home. He’s in China.
  • Who did it. Who was involved: My husband wrote. The other people involved are my boyfriend who’s been loving me when my husband has not and my sons.
  • How it affected me: I’m afraid to take this step! I feel guilty and ashamed for having a marriage that ends. I feel guilty as a parent to be breaking up the family.  I feel angry at my husband for not loving me just as I am and for not being my companion so I needed someone else to love me and be with me like I kept asking my husband for years. I feel guilty for not trying hard enough and getting help for our marriage and for being strong enough to accept him just as he is and to stay with him just as he is.
  • What my life is like since then. Mixed up and tenuous. Pretty nice with a loving partner and away from my husband’s anger. It’s a roller coaster of good and bad of anger and sadness and joy and sorrow and guilt and self-righteousness.-
  • Why I think it happened to ME: I’m not worthy of love. I made a mistake when I was young. I lied. I gave up on myself and sold myself out. I was powerless to take care of myself and be independent. I must be weak and dependent that I can’t just live on my own.  I’m selfish.

There!  That’s MY story!  Whew!  Feels better to just tell it.  I can feel all the tension and worry that’s in my body.

Now, it’s your turn. Ready to give this a shot?

Tell your story. 

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