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Updated on August 6, 2008

Tell the truth!

I think that I have to be honest first. I find it hard to forgive before I am honest with myself and someone who may have pissed me off about how I feel, how pissed off and angry I was, how hurt, frustrated, etc. After I get the facts about how I felt out then I can move into forgiveness. Now I’ve heard it said that this can cause even more damage to the situation or relationship. I disagree. Holding onto ill feelings is what does the damage, long and slow like quicksand, day by day, hour by hour.

I will say that if I’m extremely upset to the point where I feel like I’d curse the person, I will work thru the feelings on my own or until I am at an emotional state where I can talk with the person without stepping out of love and peace. To help me do this, I have written letters expressing my anger to someone but not mailing the letter. I’ve written in my journal cursing all the way if I felt like it. I’ve pounded a desktop. I’ve done things like that just to get the way I felt out of my system because I think that’s what the process of forgiving is all about. That said, I don’t think forgiveness gets rid of feelings of hurt, anger, etc.

When I look back over my life and the times I’ve been good and pissed off at someone or about an event, etc., I find that FIRST I had to honestly express how I felt about the person, situation, event. It’s as if I had to honor what I felt before I could move on. THEN the next step was to forgive. When I hadn’t completed the first step, I found it very hard to do the second step.

In forgiving I release emotions that don’t make me feel good (i.e. hurt, sadness, anger). And then I move on. But first I find that I have to honestly express what I feel in the situation. Let go of the fear that it hurts other people to express how you feel about something. You can express how you feel when you’re alone and get as loud as you want. You can stomp the floor and pound a table. It takes nothing away from your relationship with another person. You’re simply expressing, letting emotions flow, how you feel. It hurts no one to do this but I can tell you that it has hurt me when I didn’t do it. And I think we learn as children to stifle our feelings. One way I deal with this as an adult was to allow my own child to express his feelings freely and to begin to do so myself.

I learned a lot of behavior-related beliefs when I was a kid. Some of them I’m still working to shake off. What did you learn about dealing with unwanted emotions as a child that you feel help or don’t help you today?

Denise Hubbing it Up!


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