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Episode 243: The Secret Power of Forgiveness

The Secret Power of Forgiveness

I. Forgiveness is one of the 7 Stages of Divorce Grief
    a. It’s the last stage and the most important one in order to release anger, bring serenity, and become whole again. “Through the act of forgiveness, we cleanse ourselves of the pain and anger that kept us stuck in the past,” Dan Mager, Therapist, in an article in Psychology Today.
    b. Forgiveness is for the one forgiving. People mistaken forgiveness as an a get-out-of-jail free card that releases the other person from the responsibility of their actions. That’s not it at all. Forgiveness releases the forgiver from the shackles of intense hatred, toxic feelings, and unending bad feelings about the perpetrator of those feelings. These feelings can last years after the divorce is final.
    c. You’re not done grieving until you’ve forgiven your ex-spouse.
    d. Read the Harvard article

II. Mayo Clinic article
III. There are also health benefits attributed to forgiveness, both Mental and Physical. Let’s explore those benefits.
    a. Mental Health Benefits
        i. You are no longer angry
        ii. You are no longer depressed
        iii. You feel joy again
        iv. Hope enters your heart
        v. Your mind is free to be positive
        vi. Your spirit sings
        vii. You feel like loving again
    b. Physical Health Benefits (HopkinsMedicine.org)
        i. Lowers the risk of heart attack
        ii. Lowers blood pressure
        iii. Improves cholesterol levels
        iv. Allow for better sleep
        v. Lowers blood pressure
        vi. Better immune response
    c. From Kaitlin Sullivan for Everyday Health (read)
    d. World Forgiveness Day by Rob Horel (read)
IV. Bottom Line
    a. Forgiveness isn’t a competition. It doesn’t matter who forgives each other first. It matters that you forgive as soon as you’re able so that you can release the toxicity of anger and become a healthy, happy person again.
    b. If you’re co-parenting after a divorce, I think forgiveness has to be top of your list.
    c. But here’s the hardest part of forgiveness, honesty. Maybe you were wrong, too. Consider that you may have known you weren’t making the right decision to marry you’re now soon-to-be former spouse. That’s happened a lot. I watch people in mediation negotiating out of anger, and then eventually tell me, in confidence, that they knew this wasn’t the absolute right person for them, and married them anyway. And now they want to blame their spouse for being who they are. Hmmmm…a tiger doesn’t change their stripes.


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