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BR: How can I forgive you?: The Courage to Forgive, the Freedom Not To - Janis Abrahms Spring, Ph.D. #865
09/03/10 05:34 PM
09/03/10 05:34 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 12,611
The Dark Side of the Moon
AntigoneRisen Offline OP
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AntigoneRisen  Offline OP
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Post originally written in 2004 on, and for, Save Your Marriage Central:

____________________________________________________________


When we went to the SmartMarriages Conference in July 2004, I attended a seminar on forgiveness by Janis Spring. I've been meaning to post on this wonderful material ever since I have returned and only now have an opportunity to do so.

I know that forgiveness is something with which we all struggle, whether it be forgiving ourselves, our spouse, the OP, the friends that remained silent and enabled, the family that failed to support our marriage, etc. (If I'm the only one, please just let me know. ;))

The following definitions and steps are taken from Janis Spring's book "How Can I Forgive You". Note that she asserts that Genuine Forgiveness can only occur with the participation and regret of the offending party.

Obviously, not forgiving is unhealthy for us. What can we do if the person isn't sorry (like my OP wannabe) and we don't want to harbor the anger inside us?

********************************************

Cheap Forgiveness - Cheap Forgiveness is a quick and easy pardon with no processing of emotion and no coming to terms with the injury. It is premature, superficial, and undeserved. It is an unconditional, unilateral, often compulsive attempt at peacekeeping. It is a gratuitous gift for which the hurt party asks nothing in return.

Refusing to Forgive - Refusing to Forgive is a reactive, rigid, often compulsive response to a violation that cuts the hurt party off from life and leaves him/her stewing in his/her own hostile juices. It is a decision to continue to punish the offender and reject reconciliation, even if that decision also punishes the hurt party.


(Just in case you haven't guessed, she doesn't recommend Cheap Forgiveness)

Acceptance - Acceptance is a responsible, authentic response to an interpersonal injury when the offender can't or won't engage in the healing process - when the offender is unwilling or unable to make good. It is a program of self-care, a generous and healing gift to oneself, accomplished by the self, for the self. It asks nothing of the offender.

Genuine Forgiveness - Genuine Forgiveness is a hard-won transaction, an intimate dance between two people bound together by an interpersonal violation. As the offender works hard to earn forgiveness through genuine, generous acts of repentance and restitution, the hurt party works hard to let go of his/her resentment and his/her need for retribution - together they redress the injury.

Genuine Forgiveness is conditional, is a transaction, and requires transfer of vigilance; therefore, it requires the offender and the hurt party to both be involved.



THE TEN STEPS OF ACCEPTANCE
Hurt parties should -
- honor the full sweep of their emotions
- give up their need for revenge but continue to seek a just resolution
- stop obsessing about the injury and reengage with life
- protect themselves from further abuse
- frame the offender's behavior in terms of the offender's own personal struggles (this is not to EXCUSE the behavior but attempt to understand what may have led the offender to take this action - you can understand without agreeing or excusing)
- look honestly at their own contribution to the injury (sometimes there may not be one - my childhood sexual abuse is a good example)
- challenge their false assumptions about what happened
- look at the offender apart from the offense, weighing the good against the bad
- carefully decide what kind of relationship they want with the offender
- forgive themselves for their own failings

CONCRETE STRATEGIES FOR LIMITING OBSESSIVE THINKING
Hurt parties can:

- challenge their negative thoughts
- question their habitual response to injury
- use medication
- use distraction
- learn thought stopping
- seek social support
- normalize their response
- use relaxation, visualization, and meditation
- apply stimulus control
- implement a program of self-care

There is a detailed explanation of each of these, obviously. It is all geared toward healing oneself and moving forward in a healthy and positive way.

I hope that this is helpful for everyone in our growth and recovery paths.


Critical Thinking: The Other National Deficit

"That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." - Christopher Hitchens
Re: BR: How can I forgive you?: The Courage to Forgive, the Freedom Not To - Janis Abrahms Spring, Ph.D. [Re: AntigoneRisen] #1434
09/08/10 12:46 AM
09/08/10 12:46 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,737
Vittoria Offline
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Vittoria  Offline
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Thank you, I think this will be helpful.
So helpful that I'm stealing some of it and moving it to a blog discussion.

and ...... no, you aren't the only one.


26 yrs. married
There's nothing more powerful than a woman with an open heart ......
Re: BR: How can I forgive you?: The Courage to Forgive, the Freedom Not To - Janis Abrahms Spring, Ph.D. [Re: Vittoria] #1566
09/08/10 05:21 PM
09/08/10 05:21 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 260
serendipitous Offline
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serendipitous  Offline
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Posts: 260
Thank you for posting that information Anti. I am so envious of you for being able to attend a seminar with Janis Abraham Spring. I imagine her as calm and serene.

I loved the book, have read it 3 times and still dip into it regularly in the hope I will be struck with inspiration. I am a decent student of the theory but am struggling with putting it into practice.

I've just entered my third year of recovery from my H's A and my focus is now on working towards letting go of the resentment and heading towards genuine forgiveness.

Sounds easy peasy.....

Do you have any tips for me and Vitt?

Thanks in advance...


The sun never says to the earth "you owe me"
Look what happens with a love like that.
It lights up the whole sky.
Re: BR: How can I forgive you?: The Courage to Forgive, the Freedom Not To - Janis Abrahms Spring, Ph.D. [Re: serendipitous] #1607
09/08/10 07:24 PM
09/08/10 07:24 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 12,611
The Dark Side of the Moon
AntigoneRisen Offline OP
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AntigoneRisen  Offline OP
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Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 12,611
The Dark Side of the Moon
She was very calm, serene, well-spoken and intelligent.

It sounds easy, but it really isn't. I've put it into practice for myself, but I've not had a willing participant. My best advice is that it is a continual process. It is over 6 years since I first wrote that post, and it is something I work on daily.


Critical Thinking: The Other National Deficit

"That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." - Christopher Hitchens
Re: BR: How can I forgive you?: The Courage to Forgive, the Freedom Not To - Janis Abrahms Spring, Ph.D. [Re: AntigoneRisen] #4413
09/17/10 01:57 PM
09/17/10 01:57 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 17,282
The Castle Aaaggghh...
herfuturesbright Offline
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herfuturesbright  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 17,282
The Castle Aaaggghh...
I am going to read more about this. I can see that I need to work on some of those "obsessive thinking" things, esp. concerning stuff I found out after my job loss.

Re: BR: How can I forgive you?: The Courage to Forgive, the Freedom Not To - Janis Abrahms Spring, Ph.D. [Re: herfuturesbright] #366341
10/23/14 01:10 AM
10/23/14 01:10 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 12,611
The Dark Side of the Moon
AntigoneRisen Offline OP
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AntigoneRisen  Offline OP
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Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 12,611
The Dark Side of the Moon
bump


Critical Thinking: The Other National Deficit

"That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." - Christopher Hitchens

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