Forgiving the Unforgivable May Be Easier Than You Think!
This website is all about a simple self-help process that often dramatically erases your strong emotions related to a traumatic event or upsetting situation you can’t forgive. The process can bring you peace about something that happened many years ago, something you assumed would upset you the rest of your life. I just worked with someone who was able to completely relieve a bad memory in a few minutes that had been bothering her for over 25 years. Most people, including psychologists, counselors, and psychiatrists, don’t realize this is possible.
Since this process can work rapid emotional change in minutes instead of months or years, don't you think lasting emotional relief might speed you on your way to true forgiveness? I realize if you haven't experienced this kind of immediate relief, you're probably skeptical. Who wouldn't be? More about this breakthrough process in a minute.
The subject of Forgiveness is a broad topic. You may have wondered about questions like these:
1.) Can I forgive somebody who doesn't want to be forgiven?
2.) Can I forgive somebody for terrible abuse or atrocities?
3.) Can I forgive somebody who is dead?
The answer will be obvious after we talk about what Forgiveness means. There seems to be general agreement from many sources that forgiving means deciding to stop your negative feelings and negative attitude, including anger, resentment, and bitterness, directed at a person or group that harmed or upset you. That may come as a surprise if you always thought forgiving was only something you did in response to an offender’s apology.
My favorite definition of forgiveness is one that makes you think about the word in a new way. I've seen this attributed to different people including: John A. MacDougall, Lilly Tomlin, and Jack Kornfield, so I don't know who said it first. At any rate, here it is:
"Forgiveness means giving up hope for a better past."
See what that phrase does? It suggests that not forgiving is really not rational. Forgiveness is for you, not the person who offended you. Author, Max Lucado, says this: “Forgiveness is unlocking the door to set someone free and realizing you were the prisoner!” Forgiveness is unlocking the door to set
Now, returning to those 3 questions: Wouldn't you have to agree that forgiving doesn’t appear to have much to do with either the offender or with what
happened no matter how bad it was?
The question is: Will you let go of the event and move on with your life? Or will you continue to allow the past to control your feelings and thinking?
Since you're reading this page, you might still be having a hard time getting over something that traumatized or upset you. As I said at the beginning, the good news is there's a simple process that can help you forgive somebody because it changes how you think and feel about the event. It removes the emotional intensity. It erases the bad feeling. The process is called Emotional Freedom Techniques, usually referred to as EFT or Tapping. If you've never heard of it, start by reading "What is EFT?" and then "EFT History" for starters. You can download a free EFT manual at EFTuniverse.com that teaches the basics. You might also contact me and schedule an EFT session or two. I teach the process and answer your questions, and help you get some immediate emotional relief that might surprise you. And this can all be done over the phone. (a common practice of EFT practitioners worldwide)
The brilliance of EFT that sets it apart from advice you read on other websites about forgiveness is that EFT changes your emotional state in minutes. EFT is not traditional counseling, and it doesn't require a lot of willpower. You don't have to reason your way out of emotional pain over a long period of time.
Dr. Fred Luskin is the co-founder of the Stanford Forgiveness Project and an author of several books on forgiveness. He's a fascinating speaker. I recommend his videos. Nevertheless, Dr. Luskin apparently does not know about EFT and that it can speed up the release of negative emotions which prevent forgiveness. In this article, he says, "At the most basic level, forgiveness is on a continuum with grief. The way I understand it now is that when you’re offended or hurt or violated, the natural response is to grieve."
EFT empowers you to erase the emotions you associate with grief. When I started out to write this page, I reviewed some material on other websites, and I also read Dr. Luskin's book, Forgive For Good. Everyone has a different emphasis on the subject and the more you read the better equipped you will be to see the hardships of life as opportunities. However, after you get some experience with EFT, some of the guidance from other sources might seem out-of-date or just not true anymore.
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