Forgiveness will Stop the Cycle of Hurt
Aya Fubara Eneli, M.A, J.D.
Author, Speaker and Christian Life Coach
In the midst of an argument a loved one says something hurtful to you. Your response is to immediately say something even more hurtful right back. A friend accidentally steps on your toe, and you immediately kick them in the shin. During the trial of a 9 year old boy charged with sexually assaulting his 4 year old and 2 year old cousins, it is revealed
that he had been the victim of repeated and vicious sexual assaults himself. John
was raised by an alcoholic, loud and obnoxious father and a depressed,
emotionally unavailable mother. There was very little display of affection in
their home except for when his father lashed out in a drunken stupor.
John grew up and got married. His parents were not invited to his wedding, and he keeps no contact with them. John was a great provider and he never touched a drop of alcohol, but he was also a perfectionist and nothing his wife and children ever did was good enough. He berated them constantly. His wife was scared of him, and his children hated
If you are reading this, there is no doubt that you can write a laundry list of people who have intentionally and unintentionally hurt you. It is just a fact of life that if we live long enough we will eventually be hurt by someone or some experience. Even fame and fortune cannot shield us, just ask Sandra Bullock, Halle Berry, Shania Twain or any number of celebrities.
In fact, the longer you live, the more hurt you will experience. But, what do you with all the hurt? Where does it go? How are past hurts affecting you today? Who are you hurting because you have not yet committed to healing from your past hurts? How are you
hindering your abundant life?
Here is an irrefutable truth, “Hurting people, hurt others.” John was probably trying to be the best husband and father he could be, but because he never adequately addressed the hurt and pain from his background, he inadvertently was hurting his family as well.
While we may all be able to justify our actions and come up with plausible excuses for why we are now victimizing others, at some point, each of us, to live an abundant and joyful life, must decide that the Hurt Cycle will end with us. We must be committed to our own healing so that we do not visit our ills on future generations. Perhaps, that is why Jesus advised that we should forgive seven times seventy times. I f you can really sit down
and keep track of 490 wrongs from one person, you have deeper issues than I can
address in this article.
Dr. Sandra Wilson, in her book, Hurt People Hurt People, stated, “All of us must answer this question: Will we continue to run the assigned laps in a wretched relay of intergenerational pain – that ongoing cycle of hurting, hating, and hurting again? Or will we stop running, break the cycle, and start a new cycle of healing and helping?”
Breaking the cycle of hurt, hate and hurt comes down to just one thing … forgiveness. If you choose not to forgive, you cannot heal, and if you don’t heal, YOU WILL hurt others, and typically those closest to you.
Many of us cringe at that word. It is bad enough that someone hurt us, but now we are supposed to turn around and forgive them instead of retaliating? Doesn’t that just
encourage them to do more of the same?
Take heart, Paul J. Meyer in his book, Forgiveness…the Ultimate Miracle, spells out exactly what forgiveness is and what it isn’t. Forgiveness is not giving a person a blank state to hurt you all over again.
– Acknowledging the hurt
– Keeping your eyes open
– Showing mercy
– Keeping no record of wrongs
– Living Free from bitterness
– Taking responsibility
– Being honest about reality
– An attitude
– A lifestyle
Forgiveness is NOT:
– An obligation
– Giving in
– Reconciliation (restoration)
– Getting Even
When we chose to forgive, we free ourselves from the chains of bitterness, envy, anger, disease and regret and we open ourselves up for joy, peace, self-control, power, hope, growth, a closer walk with God, energy, better relationships with others, love, a clear conscience, health and restoration. When we choose to forgive someone, we receive more than what we have given.
Karl Menninger, the famed psychiatrist, once said that if he could convince the patients in psychiatric hospitals that their sins were forgiven, 75 percent of them could walk out the
next day! (Today in the Word, March 1989, p. 8.) It makes sense. Have you ever worried about a situation so much that you got a headache? Doesn’t our blood pressure rise as our stress levels increase? When you are scared, doesn’t your heart beat faster? It stands to reason that when we harbor unforgiveness,we are actually introducing disease into our bodies.
So, how do we go about forgiving ourselves and anyone else who may have hurt or wronged us? Paul J. Meyer advocates a 10 -step system:
Step #1 – Decide on the hurt
Step #2 – Be real, be honest
Step #3 – State what you want
Step #4 – Choose to forgive
Step # 5 – Verbalize your forgiveness
Step #6 – Cover the offense
Step #7- Show love
Step #8 – Pray for them
Step #9 – Look for reconciliation if possible
Step #10 – Move on
For more details on each of these steps purchase your copy of Paul J. Meyer’s book at www.pauljmeyer.com.
As you work through your decision whether to forgive or not, remember that unforgiveness exacts a much higher price than forgiveness. Unforgiveness can also keep you out of an eternity with Jesus Christ for the bible says, “But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:15)
It is time to end the cycle of hurt. Forgiveness will stop the cycle of hurt. Commit to doing the work required to eliminate the hurt from your life and facilitate the healing process. Seek help from a pastor, counselor or Life Coach. I guarantee that your life will be so much more fulfilled as a result. Don’t procrastinate. Don’t look back. Just step boldly into your new future.
Aya Fubara Eneli is an author, attorney, motivational speaker and a Christian Life Coach. Her life’s purpose is to empower and equip people to live up to their highest potential. For more information or to book her for your next event, visit https://www.ayaeneli.com/, or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.