When we visit the doctor’s office, oftentimes there is a chart on a 1-to-10 scale that assesses one’s level of physical pain. A 1 shows a smiling face and a 10 shows a tormented, crying face. Nurses and doctors know that we can judge our level of physical pain by this 10-point scale. I recommend the same scale for your emotional pain index. Let a 1 stand for no-emotional-pain-at-all and a 10 for excruciating emotional pain. Try to keep a log of how you are doing. As the emotional pain, over time, reduces, this can be motivation for your continuing with the forgiveness process. Even if your pain intensifies at times, that is part of the healing process. Try to see the overall trend.
For additional information, see The Four Phases of Forgiveness.
To accept the pain is not to put up with abuse. One first has to protect oneself by seeking justice from abuse. To accept the pain is not to live with this pain for the rest of one’s life. To accept the pain is to stand with that pain, to not run from that pain (because the injustice did happen). To accept the pain is to make a commitment not to pass that pain back to the one who offended or to anyone else. As one stands this way and commits to not passing the pain to others, the paradox is that the one who accepts the pain begins to notice that, over time, the pain begins to lessen.
For additional information, see the Four Phases of Forgiveness.
Sometimes when we are caught up in grief and anger, it seems like this is all there will ever be now in our life. Permanent tears. Permanent anger.
Yet, please take a look at two different times in your life in which you were steeped in heartache or rage. The tears came…..and they left.
Today it may seem like these will never end…..but they will.
Take a lesson from your own past. The pains were temporary.
They are temporary even now.
Forgiveness helps them to be temporary.