Fill in the blank with something you are holding onto, that is no longer serving you. If the following questions resound with some part of you, you may be ripe for transformation. Seize the moment. Use that part of you to catalyze momentum. It is critical to take a fearless self-inventory:
- What do you gain from ________.
- What do you lose from ________.
- What is your greatest fear if you ________.
- What is your greatest fear if you don’t ________.
Oftentimes, we learn new ways of coping and dealing with challenges in our life by developing a new pattern of behaviors. It works for a while. Those behaviors and approaches shield us from fully feeling the pain of the offense, guilt or shame. They can even give a moment of pleasure for us. They might help us feel justified when things were not done right by us. Or they might numb the difficulty, so we can face it with some similitude of courage.
But we may discover those coping skills no longer serve us. They don’t provide relief anymore, and may even worsen our life situations or relationships. When we become utterly sick of the effects, and ready to throw down our cards–that is the opportunity to turn a new leaf.
Forgiveness, like Grief, doesn’t always show up in the office by its name. Patients usually don’t name their struggle as Grief, and also usually don’t recognize Forgiveness as an integral part of reaching their goal. Rather, they often share the nicknames of Forgiveness as their treatment goals: “I want to let go and move forward with my life”, “I want to be comfortable remembering,” or “I want to be happy again”. The goals are clearly worthwhile. Take the risk in baby steps: One footstep at a time.
Licensed Professional Counselor, EMDR Therapist