What are the steps we all need to take to be better at forgiveness? Expert, Emily Hooks, joins Deidre & JG!
What is forgiveness? Forgiveness is the process of moving through the pain, shame, anger, or resentment that we feel, and exchanging that pain for self-love, self-compassion, and empathy.
Emily Hooks, Founder of The Forgiveness Academy was with us this week to talk about forgiving others, forgiving yourself, and asking for forgiveness. Emily is the author of The Power of Forgiveness: A Guide to Healing and Wholeness which is a comprehensive guide to forgiveness as a healing practice. To hear Emily’s story and inspiration, listen to our episode!
EMILY'S STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO FORGIVENESS
“Forgiveness is a natural healing journey. These steps are designed to help keep us on track and accelerate the process, but we have to be patient and kind. It takes as long as it takes.”
- Step 1: Get clear. Write down why you are choosing, at this point, to do this work. What are your truest, deepest motivations? How will the process make life better for you in practical ways?
- Step 2. Acknowledge your suffering. Now that you are clear on why you are choosing to forgive, reflect on what your experience of suffering has been to the process. What are you trying to “fix?”
- Step 3: Write down what you need to forgive the other person for (or yourself). Write down exactly what you need to forgive. What actions did they (or you) do to cause the pain?
- Step 4: Share the story with a neutral, non-judging, respectful witness. Find a trusted confidante, counselor, or coach with whom to share your story. Having a witness to our story opens up space for the healing process, because what the story looks like changes when we talk about it.
- Step 5: Write and say, “I forgive you, [name of person], for [offense].” Write and say out loud each day, “I forgive you, [name], for [what they/you did]. Use what you wrote in Step 3 as a starting point. Start writing and speak them aloud, even if you do not believe it.
- Step 6: Wish the other person well. Every day, for the next thirty days, write down and read your highest intentions for the person you are forgiving. As you consider what these positive visions for their life might be, do your best to take yourself out of the picture.
- Step 7: Forgive the person and release the offense. Write and speak out loud each day, “I love you, [name of person]. I appreciate you. Thank you for being my teacher.” If you are not in relationship with them, add, “You can go now.” While speaking these mantras each day, visualize the person in front of you. When you speak the last part, you can imagine them leaving the space in front of you, representing their willingness to release the bond held by non-forgiveness.
- Step 8: Ritualize and celebrate your success. Make memories by conducting rituals and celebrating your success. This is a time to cultivate joy by honoring yourself and the work you have done.
Find Emily’s full process here
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