Forgiveness is the first step to letting go of what is not in your power to control. These three steps help you forgive.
Warning: Forgiveness can only start after safety is established.
Once safety is extablished, past hurts keep hurting only when you keep the hurt alive. However, sending such hurts to the grave requires effort. Practicing a daily forgiveness exercise is important. Here’s one:
Review the day. Maybe some hurt or anger lingers on from when someone said something unkind. Did someone treat you unfairly? Take without giving in return? Break a promise? Betray a hope? Embarrass you in public? Say or do something cruel?
Perhaps the negative you need to let go of is some wrong you did. Maybe you treated another unfairly. Maybe you were angry or thoughtless and now regret your actions. When you need forgiveness, it means stopping the wrongful behavior, not repeating it and making amends.
Part of being able to forgive yourself or another involves letting go of pain. Pain teaches important lessons. Pain reminds us to keep our hands out of the fire. Pain reminds us to enjoy the good when it comes. Pain reminds us to be careful about expecting more than we, another, or life can deliver. Think lessons, not punishment.
So pain hurts, but it also brings its gifts. Honor those gifts, let go of the rest. Take a deep breath. Smile. Breathe in and out. The past is over. See the person who hurt you asking forgiveness. See the person you hurt forgiving you. Forgive—if not completely, then as much as you can and then let go.
We all fail to do or be our best. We all make mistakes. We all need forgiveness for one thing or another.
As Gandi wisely noted, “Only the strong can forgive.”
Parenting Tip One: As the stronger one in the parent/child relationship, give forgiveness with every punishment. How? Remember the five positives for each negative. Which is why every punishment, every time in time out needs to end on a positive note. Here are some things to say:“Growing up is hard, I know you do want to do better.” “Remembering the rules will come easier in time.” “Thank you for listening.” “I know you will try harder to do what’s right next time. “Punishments over, time for a hug.”
The above work best with the pre-school child. Once a child is in school, behavior charts which provide the opportunity for rewarding the positive as well as punishing the unacceptable.
When the child’s thought processes change as he or she moves into adolescence, a useful tactic is to involve the child in setting rules and punishments. That can be done best at ongoing family business meetings. Parents must continue to enforce involving safety, property, and obeying reasonable laws. Parents can let life teach more about some other rules including dress, friends, and school work.
Parenting Tip Two: Always ask to be forgiven when you have done wrong. Always.
Parenting Tip Three: EFTI thinks allowances are a good tool for rewarding or punishing and can start when the child is five or six.
Parenting Tip Four: EFTI also suggests always giving some “Love you allowance” no matter difficult a child’s behavior has been otherwise.
Parenting Tip Five: Parents of teens would also benefit from learning to avoid giving into Gotcha Wars. See this eBook for more about Gotcha Wars.
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Thank you and work at staying strong until next time,. I work hard to do the same as life is often difficult but staying strong lets me find the good.
LINKS OF INTEREST
- The Amish Way of Forgiveness (bigthink.com)
- Why Revenge Doesn’t Work (psychologytoday.com)
- Emotional Intelligence (en.wikipedia.org)
- Daily Post (wordpress.com)
DAILY PROMPT – An Extreme Tale: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” — Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities; When was the last time that sentence accurately described your life?
How this fits in with today’s EFTI Post: When you master the skill and art of forgiveness, bad times become good times.
All the handouts and poster coaches for this course are being posted at the store so you can download them for free.
Apologies if you cannot find one. I am a Jill of all in this business, so some things take longer than others. If something used here isn’t posted yet, you will find lots of other offerings including inspirational quotes or more EFTI exercises. In time all will be posted.