Forgiveness Challenge: Day 16

Day 16: Telling a New Story.

The willingness and commitment to tell a new story indicates that we have chosen healing and wholeness over blame and resentment. Our story becomes one of inclusion and empathy, recognizing that the one who hurt us shares our humanity. The wrongdoing occurred and we were harmed by it. We have told our story and named our hurts. We have learned that remaining in anger and resentment heaps harm upon harm, and that we bear responsibility for closing this loop of endless suffering. We have practiced empathy for the wrongdoer, and admitted that we share the potential for poor behavior and misguided choices. Today, we consider whether we will choose to be ennobled or embittered by our experience.

An inescapable fact of life is that we will suffer. Our response to this suffering, however, is always our choice. When we choose forgiveness, we choose to make our experiences count for something.

Our exercise today was to consider how our experience has made us stronger, how it has helped us to grow and deepen our empathy skills. We were asked to write a new story as the hero rather than as the victim.

The hero of my story recognizes that I was not alone in my suffering. She understands that the wrongdoer was suffering, too. She feels empathy for the suffering of the wrongdoer and for the wrongdoer’s poor choices, because she, too, has made poor choices. She admits that she also seeks forgiveness for her own wrongdoings, and that she will not withhold forgiveness on the one hand while seeking it on the other. She accepts her need for connection with the wrongdoer, and she is brave enough to attempt a renewal of the relationship with clear intention.

 

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