How to forgive someone who has abused you
LIFE'S ESSENCE - Katherine R. Oyson (The Freeman) - August 7, 2019 - 12:00am

Some of us have been abused, either verbally, physically or emotionally. The trauma has left a wound that cannot be healed even with the passage of time. On this note, I like to share the story of Paulo Galia, in the book “Didache 2018”:

“When I was young, I hated my dad. He had a temper problem and would sometimes physically and verbally abuse me. I didn’t want to be with him, speak to him, or even at look him in the eye. That hatred went on for years.

“One day, he had a fit again. He pushed me hard to the wall. He cursed me and swore at me. When his anger subsided, I went to my room and cried. ‘Why Lord? Why do I have to endure this?’ I asked. I wanted it to end. That night God didn’t answer my question. But He did reply. He said, ‘Paolo just love.’

“I couldn’t believe it.  How could I love the person who’s caused me so much pain?  But I had to do it, to just love. And the first step, I realized, was to forgive. Even if he didn’t apologize, I forgave him in my heart.

“Fast forward to today. I love my dad so much. We don’t have a perfect relationship. But I love him just the same. And I learned that if we really want to love, we must learn how to forgive.”

The story reminds me of actress Pearlie Arcache who learned to forgive the man who killed her mother some years back. It wasn’t easy for her to forgive the killer of her mother. But with constant prayer and as a member of a religious community, she was able to forgive him.

Andrea Brandt, Ph.D. of psychologytoday.com website writers, “Whether it’s a spouse who was unfaithful, a parent who let you down as a child, or a friend who shared something told in confidence, we all must face the question of whether and how to forgive.”

To learn how to forgive, you must first learn what forgiveness is not. Brandt shares the following insights:

• Forgiveness doesn’t mean you are pardoning or excusing the other person’s actions.

• Forgiveness doesn’t mean you need to tell the person that he or she is forgiven.

• Forgiveness doesn’t mean there is nothing further to work out in the relationship or that everything is okay.

• Forgiveness doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have anymore feelings about the situation.

• Forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to continue to include the person in your life.

• Forgiveness isn’t something you do for the other person. By forgiving, you are accepting the reality of what had happened and forgiveness isn’t something you do to the other person who wronged you, but it’s something you do for you.

DIDACHE 2018
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