In this chapter, Woodward talks about forgiveness as a process rather than an event. While life is better without anger and resentment towards others, she states that you shouldn’t ignore this feeling either. You feel angry for a reason and so her way to go about this is feeling the anger and listening to its underlying message. According to Woodward, that information often related to how we ourselves have failed to provide adequate protection for ourselves and so forgiveness should not occur until you have managed to (re)establish necessary boundaries and restored personal safety and integrity.
“If you focus your anger outwardly, as though it is others that have to change without examining what you yourself need to alter, then you’ll miss the opportunity that anger presents.”
Today’s practice exercise involved the following steps:
- Write a list of three to five people you feel angry or resentful toward and why (you may include yourself)
- Go through that list and identify the boundary violations you’ve suffered as a result of each of these transgressions
- Write about how you’ve allowed and sometimes even colluded with others in the violation of your boundaries
- Make a list of actions that you are going to take to restore wellness and balance to your life.
I will try this exercise later today- it’s beautifully sunny right now here in Berlin and I’d much rather go out and explore than think about anger and resentment. I hope that, wherever you are located, you are able to enjoy some sunshine, too!