We hear about the value of forgiveness all the time. However, when we have been personally victimized, forgiveness becomes a much more difficult topic.
Forgiveness means different things to different people – there is no standard definition. The act of forgiveness varies depending on the circumstances. It is one thing to forgive a friend that lied to you about something minor. It is another thing to forgive a culprit involved in rape, murder, betrayal, financial abuse or other life-changing assaults.
At its core, forgiveness does not mean accepting and loving the abuser.
It means releasing one’s own self from holding onto the anger and bitterness incurred by being a victim. Although there are many heartwarming stories of people forgiving serious culprits and later becoming their friends, this does not have to be your narrative. You can learn to forgive without interacting with your abuser. Forgiveness is something you do for yourself.
But it is far from easy.
Being betrayed or abused changes your life. It leaves scars that can take years to heal. Learning how to forgive in a way that works for you and your situation can be a very difficult journey.
You do not have to take that journey alone.
While counseling and therapy address the deep seated issues victimization causes, life coaching addresses personal goals on the way to improved wellness. A life coach can be an important part of your wellness team.
Working alongside other treatments and therapies, life coaching provides a safe and welcoming space to work on moving forward. This can involve anything from setting small goals like returning to the workplace (if that is where an attack took place) or committing to acts of self care. It can also entail the big issues of learning what forgiveness means to you personally and how to achieve it.
A life coach gently guides clients along the path, helping them to set goals and identify what forgiveness means to them. Once defined, the life coach helps the client work towards achieving forgiveness, thereby helping to free the victim from feeling fear, shame, embarrassment, resentment and anger.
Is forgiveness a topic you would like to explore further? Could you benefit from learning how to let go of a painful past where you have been unjustly wronged?
Help is available. Contact Anita Bergsma, Life Coach, to learn more.