Why forgiveness? As you will see, my work is moving more into the forgiveness arena. I was asked recently why I’m so passionate about the subject-I got to thinking about the key points in my life journey, and into peace that have shaped this passion-I share them here with you hope this helps to [...]
Talk: Forgiveness is fierce
Forgiveness is a subject that most people have an opinion about-you might too.
‘Forgiveness is Fierce’ is a two hour interactive talk (a 20 minute speech is also possible) offering an exploration into what forgiveness is / isn’t, why it is beneficial, ways in which is is deeply misunderstood, and a look at the journey people undertake in order to experience it. The talk is informed and inspired by people who have managed to transform inner pain and anger and find inner peace.
The talk is suitable for clubs, organisations, conferences, educational establishments. It can be followed up by a one day workshop exploring the themes. A briefer version of the talk can be given as an after-dinner speech.
Forgiveness Coaching: One to one sessions
Forgiveness Coaching is for you if you are ready to let go of resentments you have been holding onto, which are holding you back, and you would like one to one support. You will be facilitated through a process of change which can lead to feelings of of release, calm, freedom from the past and renewed energy as you move forward into your future without the weight and burden of anger and pain.
A pre-requisite to one to one support is the attendance at the one day Forgiveness Exploration workshop.
Workshop: Exploring Forgiveness
Exploring Forgiveness is a one day exploration of this ancient path to freedom and peace. Forgiveness is often misunderstood, and this leads to its misuse, or under-use. It has an extraordinary capacity to help us to heal harm which has been caused and free us from the past and other peoples behaviour. On the day, we explore what forgiveness is, how it links to and is different from reconciliation, what the forgiveness journey entails, inspirational stories, with practical tools and discussions woven throughout the day. You will learn about yourself and about some of the most inspiring peacemakers alive today – ordinary people who have chosen peace over violence, and how they did it.
The workshop will be of interest to you if you are under-going a forgiveness journey yourself, or if you are a professional interested in the subject and how it may be relevant to those whom you work.
Group: A journey into Forgiveness
There are two Forgiveness groups: The first is focussed onto forgiving others and the second is focussed onto forgiving ourselves. Both groups are small closed groups and allow for participants to go deeper than on the one day workshop into both understanding ‘the territory’ of forgiveness, learning some tools that can be helpful to navigate different aspects of forgiveness and to take a personal journey in a supported facilitated group environment. Groups are for eight sessions plus an additional full day.
Forgiving others: Taking the journey to peace and freedom begins on 29th of January in Truro, Cornwall. For more information and tickets click here.
To forgive, in a literal sense, means to ‘give away completely’.
The dictionary definition is:
- to stop feeling angry or resentful towards (someone) for an offence, flaw, or mistake.
no longer feel angry about or wish to punish (an offence, flaw, or mistake).
cancel (a debt).
The definition I like to use is that: forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.
Forgiveness is not forgetting, condoning or excusing behaviours.
Forgiveness does not mean that you have to reconcile with the other person.
Forgiveness does not excuse the other person from justice or legal accountability.
Forgiveness should not be used as an excuse to stay in an abusive situation.
Forgiveness should not be used a means of self-harming.
Forgiveness is the eventual release of feelings of resentment, rage, and desire for revenge towards someone who has harmed you, for your own freedom, wellbeing, and peace.
Forgiving someone can take place even if the person forgiven has not been told. It can be a private act and decision.
Forgiveness can take place even when the other person has not apologised.
Forgiveness is a personal choice.
Forgiveness is a personal process.
Anger is very important in the early stages of recovering from having experienced hurt, as it serves not only to protect us but also to empower us. Feeling anger, in this stage, is healthy and necessary (although there are many non-healthy ways of expressing it). As time goes on, once the anger has served it’s purpose, it is important not to hold on to it, or keep feeding it with our thoughts, as doing so can lead to health problems, and bitterness can taint all relationships. Forgiveness is a powerful and proven process for releasing enduring resentments, leaving instead a sense of freedom from the past and release. The reason people may choose to ‘hold on’ even to their own detriment, is usually fuelled by fear-e.g. of grief, of change, of getting hurt again, of opening the floodgates to other painful experiences, of being (perceived as) ‘weak’ etc.
If supporting someone to ‘let go’ of a grudge, we must first accept that forgiveness is a personal process and choice, requiring an on-going commitment. We can help them to see the costs of holding on to their resentments, and the benefits of ‘letting go’, we can be willing to really listen and acknowledge, if and when painful feelings do emerge in the re-telling of their story, we explain that forgiveness does not have to mean reconciliation, we can encourage empathy and offer new perspectives on the situation, and we can demonstrate how letting go is done in our own life-we can simply ‘be the change’.
Can you forgive, when the person you are forgiving doesn’t acknowledge wrongdoing or show remorse?
The meaning of the word forgiveness is- ‘to give completely, and without reservation’, ‘to free from obligation of a debt’, and to ‘cease to hold blame or resentment’. Many people find a genuine apology can significantly help their ability to forgive someone, however, in many situations an apology will not be forthcoming: We may not know who the ‘perpetrator’ is, they may be dead, or they simply may not feel any guilt or remorse and never will. In these cases, holding onto rage and bitterness because we haven’t received an apology is hurting ourselves (as holding anger is not healthy), and is giving the power over our wellbeing to those who have already hurt us. Therefore many people choose forgiveness without any acknowledgement, apology or remorse ever received.
There is a difference between forgiveness and reconciliation. Reconciliation is about the relationship with the other, forgiveness is about the process of healing from harm that has been experienced. Forgiveness may lead to reconciliation, but may not. The first question in any given situation may not be whether I should forgive or not forgive, but whether or not I should resume / maintain relations with someone where they show no remorse, refuse to take responsibility for their behavior, which has caused us harm, and risks doing so again. Putting our own safety and protection first is the sane and logical response to a harmful situation. Using forgiveness in order to repeatedly hurt ourselves is a gross misuse of it’s purpose as a healing mechanism to restore peace and wellbeing after harm.