Monday 7 June 2010

Detachment - the first step in forgiveness

Forgiveness can be a tricky subject.  It's a nice theory, but the practice can be a bit sticky - at least in my experience.

There have been times when I simply felt unable to forgive, because I thought it meant that I would accepting or condoning an event that had left me wounded.  And, in a few circumstances, that has been unthinkable.

However, I recently read that the root of the word "To Forgive" is the Greek word meaning "To Detach".  What a massive insight that was for me.

Detachment has nothing to do with the event or the person involved. It is about our relationship to the wounding experience in our own lives.  When we are wounded our tendency (and here, I should probably say, my tendency) is to hold on to that event: emotionally, mentally and even physically.  It is as though I weave the grief and pain it causes me through every cell of my being.  It becomes a part of me; for a time, it may even become the largest, most clearly defined part of me.  Because I am utterly attached to it.  There is no space.

In the worst circumstances, the wrong-doing may live on, but I suffocate underneath it.  'It' lives more than I do.  And that is precisely why it is necessary to detach... to introduce some space between me and my wound... Yes, it's a part of me.  But it's not all of me.

Creating space allows me to move forward, rather than loop endlessly through an old cycle of thoughts and feelings that, really, don't serve me.

Sometimes, forgiveness is too big a step.  But detaching... creating some space... that is more doable. And it's the crucial first step.  Setting me free to move on.

.... You may also be interested in a previous post, Forgiveness is a Decision

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