Forgiveness is all about taking care of you, not the person you forgive. Jen Sincero
Today is day one of my ten day holiday in Montenegro. I am staying in a beautiful hotel with its own private beach. The weather is fantastic, the sea warm and the food abundant, which puts me in a very good disposition. I haven not felt this relaxed for a very long time. My friend is having a little nap, so I am taking this opportunity to update my blog.
Yesterday, on the flight to Dubrovnik, I finished the second book on my Summer Reading List: You are a Badass, How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero. Although it was not always relevant to my situation, I enjoyed reading it and I think it helped me stay resolved in my battle to be stronger and more confident and not let my past experiences shape and limit my future.
Chapter 15 of the book was the most interesting and relevant to me. A chapter on forgiveness. Too often, people become stuck in their recovery because they hang on to the past and are unable or unwilling to move away from the events that created their pain. They want retribution, revenge, retaliation. The Internet is awash with questions on how to take revenge on a narcissist. I have been there myself. I was angry, I was furious, I wanted payback. However I realised that holding grudges was holding me back. I was making my recovery depend on someone else. I was not taking ownership of my healing. I was giving the control to the narcissist once again!
Forgiveness is the best way to let go and move on. However, it is not always easy especially when we recently ended a toxic relationship and we still feel hurt, betrayed, used and abused. We live in a Christian society and forgiveness is a prominent theme in the Bible, so we should be good at it. Unfortunately, very few people practise what they preach.
Jen Sincero lists eight ways that we can learn how to forgive.
- Find compassion. We need to remember that Narcissistic Personality Disorder was created by abuse or neglect in childhood.
- Erase the other person from the equation. It is about us, not about them!
- Decide you’d rather be happy than right. This speaks for itself. Not easy to do though because we like to be right.
- Look at it from all angles. What role did we play in the relationship?
- Have a total shitfit. Her words not mine! I remember absolutely thrashing a garden gnome that he had given me for my birthday. It did let some of the steam out!
- Remember that you won’t even remember this. I don’t think that I will ever forget Narcissistic Abuse, but the pain will certainly lessen and not cripple me like it used to.
- FUGGETABOUTIT. (Her words again!) Dysphoric Rumination does not help as I wrote in a previous post.
- Love yourself. This is I believe the most important part of the forgiving process.
This list gave me a lot to think about and reminded me that to move forward, I need to stop looking backward. I have to forgive him but more importantly, I have to forgive myself.