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HowtoShedGrudgesandSelfScorn

forGreaterPeaceofMind
Created by Jeffrey Harris, MFT, CEAP
Identifytheconnectionbetweenunforgivenessand
physical&emotionalstress
Describethefivestepstowardsfindingforgiveness
Describeafourpartmodelforlettinggoof
grievances
Recognize and practice statements of self forgiveness Recognizeandpracticestatementsofselfforgiveness
AuthorFredLuskin
StanfordForgivenessProject
Studyafterstudyhasfoundthatforgivingisgoodfor
thebodyaswellasthesoul.Itcanlowerblood
pressureandheartrateandreducelevelsof
depression anxiety and anger depressionanxiety,andanger
Peoplewhoforgivegenerallyhavebetterrelationships
with others feel happier and more hopeful withothers,feelhappierandmorehopeful
Whenyouthinkaboutawrongsomeonedidtoyou,
yourfightorflightsystemisaroused
Yourheartbeatsfaster,yourbloodpressuregoesup,
youfeelhurtandmad
Butyoucouldbesittingstillandfeelinghowgooditis
t b li h b tif l d tobealiveonsuchabeautifulday
Stressreductionresearchhasfoundthatwritingabout
important personal experiences in an emotional way importantpersonalexperiencesinanemotionalway
foraslittleas15minutesoverthecourseofthreedays
canimprovementalandphysicalhealth
Doyouuseangerasawaytomakeyoufeelsafe?
Doyouuseguiltorangertocontrolormanipulate
others?
Do you use the grievance as a way to avoid Doyouusethegrievanceasawaytoavoid
communication?
Doyouusesilenceasaweapon?
Doyouholdontothepainfromthepastasanexcuse
fornottakingchargeofyourlifetoday?
Do you secretly wish to punish the offender? Doyousecretlywishtopunishtheoffender?
Doyouwanttoretaliateandcausetheoffenderto
sufferasmuchasyou? y
Takinganexaggeratedlevelofpersonal g gg p
offense
Blamingourpartnerforhowwefeel g p
Creatingagrievancestory
Makealistofthethingsyouhavethought,feltanddonein
response to whatever your forgiveness issue is responsetowhateveryourforgivenessissueis
Yell
Talkingtotheoffender
Nottalkingtotheoffender
Creatingsoapoperaepisodesinyourmind
Gossipingabouttheoffender
Solicitsupportforyourversionoftheevent
Read a self help book Readaselfhelpbook
Seektherapy
Takemedication
Gotsloshed
Hadacounteraffair
Putastarbyanythingthathasntbeenhelpful
Doesanythingonyourlistsolvetheproblem?
Forgiveandforget
Forgivenessdoesntmeanasuddencaseofamnesia
Forgivenessisasignofweakness
l ll k d Stayingcalmwillmakemeadoormat
Iwillexperiencealossofcontrolorpowerinmy
relationship relationship
Nomatterwhattheoffense,theprocessofforgiveness
isthesame:youletgoofangerandhurtbybeing
mindfulandfocusingongratitudeandkindness
F i i f I th t h t b Forgivenessisforme.Imtheonemosthurtbymy
angerandfrustration.
Forgiveness can be learned Forgivenesscanbelearned
Indepthforgivenessisnotanepiphanyoraonetime
event.Ittakespatienceandpractice.Buttherewards p p
arepowerful
Forgivenessdoesnotrequirethatyoureconcilewith
h ff d theoffender
Toforgiveistoletgooftheextrasufferingyouhave
imposed on yourself after the normal cycle of grief has imposedonyourselfafterthenormalcycleofgriefhas
runitscourse
Forgivenessistakingbackyourpowerfrombeing
d d wounded
Forgivenessistakingresponsibilityforhowyoufeel
now now
Yourbestchanceforsuccessfulfuturerelationships
andoverallhappinessistoforgiveyourformerpartner
Firstofall,forgiveyourselfthatyoudidntstartthisprocess
li earlier
Forgivenesstrainingincludestheacknowledgementthat
youarefullyresponsibleforyourlongtermattitude
Inordertoforgive,youmustfullyevaluatewhatyoustand
toloseifyouletgoofyourgrievance
For healing to occur you have to begin to tell a different Forhealingtooccur,youhavetobegintotelladifferent
storyaboutyourself
Ineedtostopbeingfuriouswith________
Giveupallhopeforabetterpast
Forgivenessisfortodayandnotyesterday
Seekbenignapathy g p y
Stage1
Alossinyourlifehascausedyoutoexperienceangerandhurt
Youfeeljustifiedinyournegativefeelings
Stage 2 Stage2
Forgivenessbeginswhenyourealizethatthehurtandanger
fillingyourlifeafterabetrayalfeelsbad
Youstarttonoticethatyourbadfeelingsarenothelpingyou
and,infact,aremakingthingsworse
Stage3
You begin to concentrate on how good it can feel to forgive Youbegintoconcentrateonhowgooditcanfeeltoforgive
Youbegintouseforgivenesstechniquesassoonasyoufeelagrudge
forming,andthuschallengeyourbadhabitsonthespot
Youdeliberatelychoosetofeelthehurtyouhaveexperiencedfora y y p
shorterperiod
Yourealizethatthelengthoftimeyousufferbecauseofyour
partnerswrongdoingisuptoyou
Stage 4 Stage4
Atthisstage,yousimplybecomeaforgivingperson,andmakea
habitofpracticingforgivenesswithothers
You make the decision to forgive first, and let go as many troubling Youmakethedecisiontoforgivefirst,andletgoasmanytroubling
thingsasyoucan
Yousaveyourfeelingsofhurtandangerforwhentheyaretruly
needed
Thosewhoworktomastertheskillsofforgiveness
becomemoreflexible,lessblackandwhiteinyour
expectationsofhowlifeorotherpeoplewillbe
I t di t h t lif ill h d b t I i t Icantpredictwhatlifewillhandme,butImgoingto
respondtoitinthisway
1. Beginwithanintentiontoforgive
2. Acknowledgethepaincausedbythegrievance
3. Evaluatethegainsandlossesthatcomewith
forgiveness
4. Assessyourattitudesandbeliefsaroundforgiveness
P ti L tti G i 5. PracticeLettingGoexercises
Reviewhandout

The
Controllable
The
Uncontrollable

Action

Influence

Struggle gg

I ti

F f it

L tti G Inaction Forfeit Letting Go


The Personal Power Grid Scott & Jaffe

The
Controllable
The
Uncontrollable

Action

Influence

Struggle Action Influence Struggle

I ti

F f it

L tti G Inaction Forfeit Letting Go


The Personal Power Grid Scott & Jaffe

The
Controllable
The
Uncontrollable

Action

Influence

Struggle Action Influence Struggle

I ti

F f it

L tti G Inaction Forfeit Letting Go


The Personal Power Grid Scott & Jaffe

The
Controllable
The
Uncontrollable

Action

Influence

Struggle gg

I ti

F f it

L tti G Inaction Forfeit Letting Go


The Personal Power Grid Scott & Jaffe
Ifwecouldreadthesecrethistoryofour f y f
enemies,wewouldfindineachpersonslife
enoughsorrowandsufferingtodisarmall g ff g
hostility.
HenryWadsworthLongfellow
Correcting our perception will reduce self-torturous thoughts
Wemustforgiveselfforgive forthemanywayswe
havefailedtobethebestversionofourself.Examples
mightbe:
A it t t lf th t b k Acommitmenttoyourselfthatyouvebroken
Agoalthatyousetforyourselfthatnotonlydidyounot
achieveit,butyoudidsomethingtotallycounterto
achievingit
Asanexample,maybeyoucommittedtogoingonadiet,andnot
only did you go off the diet, but you gained more weight onlydidyougooffthediet,butyougainedmoreweight
Ormaybeyouweregoingtoquitsmokingandyoustarted
smokingagain
Wealsomayhavetoapplyselfforgivenesswhenwe
haveattemptedtomakeamendstosomeoneelsefor
woundingthem,andnoforgivenessisissued
Whether they accept the apology from me and forgive me or not thats Whethertheyaccepttheapologyfrommeandforgivemeornot,that s
somethingIdon'thaveanycontrolover.IfIhavebeengenuineinmy
acknowledgmentandmyapology,thenIhavedonewhatIcandoto
that point thatpoint
Italsomeanslettinggotowhattheresponsefromtheotherpersonis
tomyapology.Becausesometimestheyaregoingtoembraceitand
sometimes they're not. sometimesthey renot.
Whetherheforgavemeornotwashischoiceandtheburdenthathe
wouldchoosetocarryorrelease.
Practiceselfcompassion
Rememberthatwhenwebehavebadly,itisbecauseof
deepfeelingsofpain
Weforgiveourselvesfordoingwrong,notbeingwrong
Thatis,wemadeapoorchoice,butwearenotbrokenordeficient
Whenweacknowledgethatwemadeabadchoice,wecanthenaccept g , p
responsibilityforitandbeaccountableforit.
Would you like personal coaching for finding
forgiveness?
Contact Jeff Harris, Center for Work & Family
Life Life
213-821-0800
cwfl@usc edu cwfl@usc.edu
www.usc.edu/worklife