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To my esteemed readers, welcome and read on a very difficult topic about “FORGIVENESS” I have researched and found that many people suffer psychological stress, depression and trauma because it is very difficult to forgive those people that have “HURT THEM” therefore they continue suffering psychologically.


Definition of “FORGIVENESS”


It is an act of healing ONESELF by not giving revenge but instead the one that is  hurt should show “LOVE” instead of hate. 


If one cannot forgive he/she will keep memories of those who hurt or wronged them. 


Keeping memories of those who you call enemies will cause stress oriented diseases i.e. high blood pressure, ulcers, cardiac arrest and even stroke.


I therefore welcome my esteemed psychological colleagues, readers to read and understand the importance of inter personal FORGIVENESS and practice it in your day to day life.








Isaya Wafula Kutoyi


Why should I forgive?


”The only way to heal pain that will not heal itself is to forgive the person who hurts us.”(Smedes)

“Forgiving has the power to stop the return of the pain and frees us from the bondage to the offender.”(Benson)

Religiosity my affect the desire to forgive, but has not been shown actually to affect the process or success to forgive family or close relationships. (Subkoviak)


Forgiveness provides


Restoration of sense of personal power, freedom, moral living

·         Show respect for oneself-one who refuses to forgive suffers twice

·         Move towards a less willful, less demanding, less dogmatic self!

·         Acknowledge the difference between persons and their deeds

·         Show respect for other as moral agents


Positive change in affect and well-being

·         Release negative emotions (guilt, anger, resentment, sadness, hostility, shame)

·         Improve self-esteem

·         Move beyond fear of rejection and fear of love

·         Move beyond fear of vulnerability

·         Move towards self-forgiveness

·         Free oneself from perpetuation of harmful repercussions from injury

·         Increase openness to learning and insight


Improved physical and mental health

·         Lower ones state of anxiety

Ø  Improvement of interpersonal relationships

Ø  Overcome alienation, isolation, loneliness

Ø  Move beyond fear of intimacy

Ø  Move into closeness (being liked and accepted as who we are)

Ø  Move into intimacy (mutual self-disclosure)

Ø  Improve one’s dealing with other interpersonal hearts

Ø  Restore integrity to ones relationship to others, and for believers to God 

Ø  Restore and/or renew relationships

Ø  Free oneself to end or return away from injurious relationships





Interpersonal Forgiveness: Components of a process


Uncovering phase

1.       Examination of psychological defenses and the issues involved

2.       Confrontation of anger; the point is to release, not harbor, the anger

3.       Admittance of, when this is appropriate

4.       Awareness of depleted emotional energy

5.       Awareness of cognitive rehearsal of the offense

6.       Insight that the injury party may be comparing self with the injurer

7.       Realization that one self may be permanently and adversely changed by the injury

8.       Insight into a possible altered “just world “view


Decision phase

9.       A change of heart/conversion/new insights that old resolution strategies are not working

10.   Willingness to consider forgiveness as an option

11.   Commitment to forgive the offender


Working phase

12.   Reframing through role taking, who the wrongdoer is by viewing him or her in context

13.   Empathy and compassion towards the offender

14.   Bearing/accepting the pain

15.    Giving a moral gift to the offender [taking into account personal trust and safety]


Deepening phase

16.   Finding meaning for self and others in the suffering and in the forgiveness process

17.   Realization that self has needed others’ forgiveness in the past

18.   Insight that one is not alone (universality, support)

19.   Realization that self may have a new purpose in life because of the injury

20.   Awareness of decreased negative affect and, perhaps, increased positive affect, if this begins to emerge, toward the injurer; awareness of internal emotional release  


Forgiveness as Healing


It is not surprising that many adult trauma survivors have a strong reaction to the idea of forgiveness. After all, they have been seriously harmed by someone who used their authority, power, size, age, etc. against a vulnerable child.


Often the resistance to forgiveness has some roots in a misunderstanding about the nature of forgiveness itself. The language we use suggests that forgiveness is something which is “given” to the offender. This seems unjust if not absolutely ridiculous-why should the victim give anything to the perpetrator?


Anyone who been seriously harmed by another person can usually provide a large number of reasons why the option of forgiveness will not be considered. They seem very reasonable to the victim and others. [You might think of some of your reasons right now and jot them down].


Imagine for a moment you are involved in a serious car accident. You are sitting on a red light and suddenly the car behind you runs into you. The driver of the car is injured, and your arm is broken and you have some severe bleeding from a head wound. Would you refuse to go to the hospital to have your arm put in a cast, and to have some x-rays and stiches for your head wound?


Now thin k for the reasons you had earlier for not forgiving the person who caused you trauma? State those same reasons for the imaginary situation of your car accident and the resulting broken arm and the head injury. Do your reasons make sense? Quite often they sound rather silly when applied to physical injury; “I won’t give that other driver the satisfaction of seeing me go to the hospital.” Why should I have to get help when it’s her fault?” “The other driver doesn’t deserve for me to seek treatment for my injuries.”


Forgiveness is an important issue because trauma survivors are living with serious wounds and deep pain. They need care and attention, and forgiveness is a process of healing. Forgiveness is not something that is given to the perpetrator, but something that is done to alleviate the wounded person’s pain and suffering.


Trauma survivors have thoughts, feeling and behaviors that are directly related to their childhood abuse and neglect. The perpetrator may or may not be around anymore, but the wounds persist in adulthood, causing more pain. Forgiveness is the process of changing the thoughts, feelings and behaviors of the injured person in order to heal and live less painful and more satisfying life. So if the word “forgiveness” causes difficulty, simply substitute the word “healing.” To refuse to engage in the process of forgiveness is like saying, “I refuse to heal.”






This article has been researched by psychologist Isaya Wafula Kutoyi   

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