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Forgiving is a tough one. We want so much to get back at the other person or parties and to declare that we are the winner and they are the loser. Win, win, win. We want so much to believe that we emerged victorious and on top and that no one else got the better of us.

But forgiving someone else? How do we do that?

I would suggest you start by focusing on the memory or image or words that hurt so much. Focus on that memory or image or words very intensely and try to cry through it. Cry as much as you, say as many derogatory things as you like (scream too), and feel the pain vibrate out through your stomach. It will likely feel unpleasant but it shouldn’t last too long and you will feel a sense of relief wash over you.

The painful memories may revisit you. If they do, let them build up a little bit until you feel a reasonable amount of internal tension. Acknowledge how the other person or parties wronged or slighted you, cry, let go and reach for forgiveness.

Aren’t you sick of being angry? I know I am. And I don’t discount how useful anger can be for propelling us forward. But forgiveness, sadness and being tearful can feel good. It can heal if only temporarily.

It’d be great to hear from you,

Matthew R. Polkinghorne

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