5 Step Forgiveness Process
This is a formula to use whenever you are upset and are willing to see things differently. It requires two people. If you are trying this process for the first time or do not have much practice with it – choose someone else to be your “witness” and not the person you may be upset with. It is crucial that the witness remain neutral and not take personally any of what is being said.
Stating the intention: As ACIM states, all that is required is “a little willingness”- ask yourself honestly: ”Am I are you willing to see this differently even if I don’t know how?” If not – wait until the next lesson comes along. If yes carry on:
Looking into the eyes of your partner and each state your willingness to find forgiveness and healing: You can use these words or go to our “mainstream version” for other suggestions.
“I commit to seeing the child of God as innocent. Therein lies my salvation.”
Give the ego a voice. Point the metaphorical finger outward to a person or situation and allow yourself to feel and express whatever is there. Although this may go against what you believe to be spiritually correct, as Scott Peck says “there is no forgiveness without first blame.” These thoughts and feelings are going on inside you anyway, simply give them a voice.
“I want you to know …” attack thought
“I hear you.”
“We are never upset for the reasons we think:”” (lesson 5) What is underneath this trigger that is causing pain?
(Allow yourself to feel and then go back to the first time you remember feeling this) Remember anger is always a cover up for a more vulnerable feeling such as sadness, loneliness, fear. If you cannot find tis then go back to Step 1 until you are ready.
Underneath my attack and blame, what I really feel is …,
Just like when………
“I hear you.”
Identify the specific beliefs that are causing pain
“At that time, what I told myself about myself, others and/or the world is … (take a moment to list)”
“I hear you.”
Taking responsibility for using the relationship or situation to maintain false beliefs and being willing to heal (see the situation or person differently).
I have been using my relationship with you …to prove my belief that I am (false belief e.g. not good enough, unlovable) take a breath and …, and I have been mistaken.”
–I am willing to be mistaken
-Perhaps I have been mistaken
“I hear you. Is there more?”
“Will you help me to let go of the belief that… (I am not good enough), and remember the truth…” that I … (that I am good enough, no matter what anyone else says or does).
“I will help you to remember the truth… (that you are good enough, no matter what anyone else says or does). Do you accept my help…”?
“I accept your help…”
Based on “The Shadows of the Past “ ACIM Chapter ….
The process adapted by Paul Goudsmit and Jane Tipping from the work of Sandy Levy Lunden and Duane O’Kane.