Posts Tagged ‘forgiveness’

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Forgiving the Unforgivable…Is it Possible? Is it Wise? Is it Safe?

April 10, 2015

There is so much confusion over what forgiveness is and what it is not.

It is NOT forgetting.

It is NOT pretending nothing ever happened.

It is NOT trusting again.

Depending upon the offense and the people involved, it can be possible to rebuild trust (or even build it for the first time). It can also be possible to gain a relationship where the healing goes deeply enough and extensively enough that it really is as if nothing happened. And it can be possible that after time passes, the offense does slip away from at least conscious memory. Yes, those things can be a part of forgiveness, but they do not have to happen in order to forgive. In fact, in many cases it can be downright dangerous for those things to happen.

One of the very best explanations of forgiveness on a human level that I have seen is in the video done by Dr. Stephen Marmer for Prager University. You can find it here:

If you are interested in the transcript, it can be found here:  Marmer on Forgiveness.

Many years ago, I understood that there are two levels of forgiveness, both of which are in the bible. So, yes, this does fit in with biblical forgiveness…another very misunderstood concept. If you have questions about that, please don’t hesitate to contact me, either in the comments or via the contact form, and I will do my best to answer them. For those who are interested, I did run this by a pastor who thought Dr. Marmer was a pastor until he saw that he is a psychiatrist.

Dr. Marmer takes one of my two levels of forgiveness and divides it again into two, making three total levels. I totally agree with him.

I cannot recommend this video enough and I hope it blesses you.

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And life goes on…

July 15, 2013

Life goes on…even after curve balls get thrown at us. I am looking at a loved one in jail and the loss of relationship with other loved ones because of it.

None of this is my choice. It is not my fault one is in jail. It wasn’t my influence that put him there. I have always been against everything he got into and did. It is not my fault that his ex seems to be choosing to keep me away from not only herself, but their children. It isn’t right for her to do this, but it is what it is.

I think what is hardest is that, if she really does keep us apart, what will the children think? Will she lie to them and tell them I am not calling? That I don’t care? That I am related to the one who did bad things? Never mind that he had a brother I am also related to who is a good man!

Sometimes, forgiveness and love are all we have to offer. It is all we can do when things in the world are out of our hands and we are powerless to change them.

I found a really good video on forgiveness. This man defines it well and makes it easy to understand.

 

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Living Life in the Face of Nastiness…

March 30, 2012

There are people in life who are simply nasty. They are mean, disrespectful and really don’t care how what they do affects others. When confronted with such people, we have choices to make. We can either react to them, wherein we lose ourselves by allowing them to control our lives and determine how we will live. Or, we can respond to them, wherein we maintain our own autonomy and integrity and choose how we shall live. I prefer the latter. That is my choice.

When I am confronted by nasty negative people I choose to remember that I, too, have had my “moments” of being nasty or ugly. It may not have been intentional. I may not have even been aware of how I was coming across. Or, I may have realized it as it was happening, but did not know how to “fix” it. Or maybe there was no fix…the damage was already done. Any way you look at it, I have had a negative impact on others at times in my life. So, I believe it is worthwhile to remain humble toward others, recognizing that I am certainly not perfect, either!

I also try to remember that everyone is the way they are for a reason. For good or bad, we have all had negative and positive experiences in life that have helped to shape us into what we are today. Sometimes, the balance between positive and negative was fairly even overall. But for some of us, one heavily outweighed the other.

For those whose positive experiences heavily outweighed the negative it can be difficult to understand those of who whose lives were the opposite. We may fumble where they do not. We may react to things that do not faze them one bit. I think it is good when each person can believe another’s story and try to imagine living in that reality. It can help us to be more empathetic toward others.

For those of us who weigh heavily on the negative, and some even in the extreme, it can be difficult to imagine life without that. We see the way others live and struggle to comprehend how they can do that. It just isn’t even on our radar.

Thankfully, though, there can be some good experiences even in the midst of craziness and evil, that give us some positive skills for life. For me, knowing my Creator made a HUGE difference. It is part of what helped to shape me and, I think, to temper how the abuse affected me.

I still deal with the physical effects of trauma brain and I can still experience flashbacks that are part of PTSD and getting  triggered.  However, I have learned over the years how to cope and work around the aftereffects. I know what I can do and what I cannot do and I no longer feel guilt or shame over what I cannot do…even when others do not understand. It is frustrating at times when people look less favorably upon me for what I cannot do. They cannot comprehend how even the simplest of things can be overwhelming at times. But I have learned to live with that and simply accept that there are things they simply do not know and, even if they did, might not be able to understand.

Life is good…even when it is hard. I am OK with that. My heavenly Abba/Father/true Daddy walks with me. So does my Messiah…Yeshua. Their Ruach/Spirit lives within me and that strengthens and comforts me…especially when life is hard.

I refuse to give up. I refuse to hold grudges. I refuse to not forgive. I choose to walk in freedom with my head held high…even when I am shaking inside.

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Webinars From Survivorship

October 16, 2009

Survivorship recently started having Webinars. Survivorship has many wonderful resources and I highly recommend it to those who are seeking to understand Ritual Abuse (RA) so that they can support a survivor they know and for survivors who need support.

Webinars are a wonderful way to attend a seminar in the safety and comfort of your own home. Many survivors are not yet ready to meet other survivors face to face. This allows them to “get together” without having in person contact. While it tends to be more affordable due to not having travel expenses, you do have to phone in, so long distance charges might be a factor for some.

In a Webinar, you are given a phone number in a registration email, along with a sign in number. When the time comes, you call the number and dial in your sign in number at the prompt. At that point, you are connected. If the presenter has already signed in, you are on the phone with them. If not, you are put on hold with music while you wait.

You are also given a link for the internet so that you can see the slides that the presenter is using. After you are on the phone, you go to the link and login with the number you were given in the registration email. At that point you are allowed to type in the name you wish to use in the seminar. You are not mandated to use your real name. That is a feature that helps many to feel safer and more comfortable.

Another nice thing is that the software also has a chat window. This is great for those who are uncomfortable with speaking out loud or who are still struggling to find their voice. Some presenters are OK with the chat window. Some are not. It depends upon the presenter. Sometimes, the chat window can be distracting.

Although I can type pretty fast, I preferred speaking. It is faster and more convenient for me, especially if I am struggling to find the right words to say. This is one reason that someone listening to the recording might find me fumbling a bit…looking for the words to say what I am trying to say. But saying it, for me, is powerful. I don’t often get a chance to talk about my experiences with others. Hearing my voice speaking things and having others listen and hear…and “get it”. Wow! I cannot really explain how empowering…how validating that is…especially when others are sharing their experiences.

When I read what others have written, even though the sharing may be intimately personal, I still lack the dimension of sight and sound. I cannot see their expression or hear their tone. All I have are written words on a page. Being able to hear someone’s voice is so much more personal…so much more real. So, being heard and hearing others are two things that, for me, are very empowering and validating.

Survivorship has held several Webinars now. I have been privileged to attend two. Their first, and my first, I wrote about here. It was done by Jeannie Riseman on the subject of flashbacks. Jeannie is a retired therapist who works a LOT with  Survivorship. As a member of Survivorship, I have had interactions with Jeannie. I have always been very impressed by her compassion and levelheadedness…unlike some other therapists I have interacted with online.

My second Webinar was on forgiveness. It was led by Bonnie Brazill-Davis of Speak Out Services. In the Webinar she told her story, giving a general overview of her abuse experiences. As she did so, she walked us through the different aha moments that she had that helped her to find the ability to forgive her abusers. I really appreciated being able to hear her voice over the phone as she shared. As I mentioned previously, that was very powerful in itself.

I hope to attend future Webinars and hope that others will, too.

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Step One Taken

September 1, 2009

I called the state licensing board and got…again…the info on filing a complaint. Apparently, you no longer have to live in the state to file a complaint. Now I need to either find what I had before…or rewrite something up. I need strength to do this…as it is difficult to not be very triggered and get very emotional as I think all of this through…again. I have to face it all again in order to write it out. Talk about PTSD! Ack!!!

I know that this will ultimate bring about healing…but I also know I will go through more hell before it is over.

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Abuse in Churches

May 4, 2009

I read a really good article today on how to teach leaders in churches to avoid abusiveness in congregational relationships. Margaret Jones did a guest interview at the blog of futurist guy. He asked some really good questions and I really liked Dr. Jones’ answers.

Dealing with abuse in congregations is not easy. Dealing with abuse that comes from the leaders is even tougher. It is really important to put things in place  to help prevent it from happening in the first place. Leaders need to be taught how to avoid being abusive and how to recognize those tendencies in themselves and others.

Dr. Jones makes a really good point that we are all at some point in time a victim, a bully and a bystander. I don’t know if that is true for everyone…but I would think that the huge majority of us, if we were able to be totally honest, could say that we fit all three categories at one time or another. That can be a very hard thing to face.

I hope that all groups, regardless of what kind they are, will take a look at what they are doing…both as a group and as individuals within a group. This world does not need abuse. It is tough enough to live. Life comes with enough challenges without having to deal with abuse on top of everything else.

In spite of all the healing I have gone through, I am still left broken. I still have to struggle with some things. I hate that. I don’t wish it on anyone…not even on my worst enemy. I have never wished ill on others. I have been angry and wished they could understand what they were putting me through…but I have never wished them to have to suffer, too. At least, not in so far as my amnesic mind remembers. My heart is just not wired that way…perhaps because of all that I went through…I don’t know. It is not that I have never hurt anyone…or acted in hurtful ways. I have…out of anger and frustration. But hurting someone just to hurt them…I don’t remember ever doing that.

I wish I had not been abused. I wish that my parents could have modeled for me what it meant to be a good parent so that I could have been a better mom to my own children. I am grateful that I gave them better than I got…still, I wish it could have been more. I wish I could have done better. That is where I have to trust that Yahweh’s perfect love covers a multitude of sins…including my own failings toward my children.

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Working Things Out(?) and Odds and Ends

April 24, 2009

Well…things seem to be working out OK at the congregation we fellowship with. The leaders want us there. I don’t know about everyone else, but I guess that will work itself out. I am not going to go into details here. It is too complicated and I am tired of even thinking about it.

I am very grateful that our leaders have stepped up to the plate, desiring to do things Yahweh’s way, unlike the leaders that Dr. Margaret Jones’ describes that she had to deal with. Boy am I glad! I would never wish on someone the things she experienced. You can read more about what she dealt with in her book which I reviewed here.  She also has a blog here.

I am not going to my therapist at the moment…sort of taking a bit of a break. I am OK with that.

Communication with my parents is as wierd as ever. I was really hoping that maybe things had changed, but I see no sign of that. How very sad. I really pray that they will find true peace and healing.

I don’t believe in holding grudges. Not against my parents. Not against those who have hurt me in and out of congregations/churches. Not against my ex or his family. Not against anyone. They will all have to answer to Yahweh for what they have done, just as I will have to answer for what I have done. I don’t know about all of them, but I know that I am covered by the gift of what Yeshua (Jesus) did for me. I am grateful for I know that I am so undeserving of any good thing. My sinfulness precludes that in a huge way.  So, I am grateful.

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