Step One

Take a Moment...

We likely all have something or someone to forgive. Consider a past event, one in which you experienced anxiety, anger, guilt or an urge in you to protect or defend yourself or another. Let’s choose an event that’s still present in a painful way for you. If this is your first time working through forgiveness, choose a smaller hurt – as with all practices – it’s best to begin with small weights (she’s been ignoring me all week, and it hurts!) rather than the larger weights (my father has never treated me with respect!). On a scale of 1-10, we’re at a 2 or 3 ‘challenge’ here.

Once you’ve chosen an event, write it briefly here (or use another piece of paper):

 

*_____________________________________________

 

Now, let’s think through the emotions that you’re holding around that event. Consider completing the sentence: This person made me feel _______ [i.e., “so angry!” or “awful!”]; Or, when I think about this person I feel _______ [i.e., “Sad” or “betrayed.”] Write some of these emotions here:

 

*_____________________       *______________________    *_____________________

 

*_____________________       *______________________    *_____________________

 

Avoid censoring yourself– let it rip! Connect with the deepest most powerful emotion you’re feeling, even if there are other voices saying that it’s wrong to feel that way, or that you’d like to be the bigger person here. For a moment, let’s put those voices on the shelf – and here, let’s listen to the voice of pain – what are you truly and deeply feeling? Don’t worry – you’ll be the only person seeing this list of feelings – so you’re invited to take this moment to dig deep and listen. Try to fill in all six blanks above, perhaps moving deeper each time – follow, permit, allow those feelings to be heard – look at them on the page; say them out loud; do they truly and profoundly express all of the pain you’re experiencing right now? Maybe not, but get as close as you can in a few words.

 

Here’s a list of possible ‘negative’ feelings

 

Affronted

Afraid

Alone

Anxious

Attached

Bitter

Concerned

Constricted

Edgy

Lonely

Lost

Nervous

Panicked

Shocked

Small

 

Angry

Apathetic

Bereaved

Despairing

Despondent

Disconnected

Frustrated

Grief

Heartbroken

Hopeless

Isolated

Lacking

Melancholic

Painful

Pessimistic

 

Charged

Destroyed

Diminished

Disrespected

Distracted

Drained

Exhausted

Let Down

Morose

Off Balance

Ruined

Sad

Somber

Triggered

Uncomfortable

Unsettled

 

Devastated

Disgusted

Mad

Pissed Off

Startled

Stressed

Terrified

Unable

Unconfident

Unhappy

Unmotivated

Unstable

Vulnerable

Weak

Worried