I have written how much running has helped me with my PTSD. Since I regularly run for extended periods of time, I have taken to borrowing audio books from the library and listening to them as I attempt to plug away for 1, 1.5 and 2 hours (or more) of running.
Right now I am listening to Desmond Tutu’s The Book of Forgiving.
It has always, since 2010, been my intention and goal to forgive. I’ve done enough graduate work in counseling psychology, reading, studying, not to mention my own therapy, to know that anger is toxic. I certainly have no interest in giving those that hurt me more power by voluntarily giving them room in my head, heart and soul.
“Without forgiveness, we remain tethered to the person who harmed us… Until we can forgive the person who harmed us, they will hold the keys to our happiness, they will be our jailor.”
Perhaps just as importantly, I want to release the anger and pain so that I am the best possible mother to my children, so that I am in the strongest and healthiest place myself so that I can help them navigate their own journey with this situation.
So, I have actively sought, for four years, to find the courage, wisdom and strength to forgive. To forgive despite ongoing offences, requiring forgiveness on top of forgiveness. To forgive despite a lack of remorse. To forgive despite the ability to create the best conditions necessary for the healing process. Essentially, to forgive despite little change in both the offensive behavior, and attitude, of those I need to forgive.
Despite. Despite. Despite. Against all odds. A Herculean task.
So, I am interested to hear what Desmond Tutu advises as the path to forgiveness. He outlines a “fourfold path” necessary for forgiveness:
- Telling the Story
- Naming the Hurt
- Granting Forgiveness
- Renewing or Releasing the Relationship
Right now I’m halfway through chapter 3. After I finish the book, I’ll follow up with a review.