I think we all have “stepped on someone’s toes” and said: “sorry.” This may be the receiving of that person’s forgiveness and is usually taken on board with a sense of relief. That relief gives us a sense the we have “evened the score.”
In a Readers Digest article by Lia Granger, she starts her article entitled “HEALING THROUGH FORGIVING,” with the following remarks:”For weeks, Karsten Mathiasen had been consumed by rage. Several months earlier, the Danish circus director’s wife had left him to live with another man. Overwhelmed with hatred for his wife’s new lover, the 40 year old lay awake at night, a knot of pain growing in his stomach and angry thoughts swirling. He began drinking in the evenings to get to sleep.
Eventually, it was the concern if his two young children that persuaded Karsten that he should meet the man at a Copenhagen coffee shop. Karsten knew he would be meeting his wife’s new partner. Instead of one coffee, the two men had many, talking for hours.
As Karsten headed home, he was amazed to discover than his anger and sadness were gone. But more than that, he felt physically good – for the first time in months. He slept like a baby that night and awoke with a clear mind and a relaxed body.”
Here’s another example: “Rosalyn Boyce’s life unravelled in 1999 after a man came into her London home and raped her as her two-year-old daughter slept in the next room. The perpetrator, a serial rapist, was captured three weeks later and given three life sentences.
But for Rosalyn the nightmare was far from over. The memory of the attack filled her mind constantly, and she was forced to move out of her family house to escape. Doctors diagnosed her with post-traumatic stress disorder and reactive depression and prescribed Prozac and tranquillisers. She began drinking a bottle of wine every night to block things out.
As her mental and physical health deteriorated, Rosalyn realised she would have to heal herself through therapy and she discovered that the only way was to forgive her attacker. “To me, forgiveness meant that I no longer had to feel any attachment to my rapist and I could free myself from the crime. Also, forgiveness is not about condoning, she writes: “In 2014, Rosalyn was able to meet and forgive him, through a restorative justice programme. She says of that meeting: “I don’t think about the rape anymore. It disappeared in a puff of smoke!”
The dog eat dog Western Society in replete with perpetrators. I, Paul, who has posted this topic, believe I will be meditating about incidences in my life, as I don’t think forgiveness needs a personal contact with a couple abusers in my past! Yet, it seems a proven routine for personal health for me. How about you?