There are things that can happen that are really hard in life. I’m talking about the over-the-top-traumas that are devastating to the individual and to humanity itself. Things like witnessing a murder at age four and then being raped at the burial site or having a family member brutally murdered for no reason. To talk about forgiveness in these traumas can seem heartless, and uncaring. The pain is so excruciating, and the thought of forgiving the offender seems impossible. You must remind yourself that forgiveness is not just about “freeing the offender”. Forgiveness is about “freeing the one who was offended”.
Richard Mollica is an expert in helping people devastated by war crimes to heal and move on with their lives. In his book, Healing Invisible Wounds, he explains the process of healing for these unspeakable traumas.
First and foremost, the victim must be able to tell their story to a compassionate listener. By telling her story, the victim is allowing the listener to realize what terrible, wrongful event has occurred so that there is an awareness in community that this can happen and that it should be prevented in the future. By compassionately listening, the listener represents the community to say, “I’m sorry this happened to you. It should not have happened. It was wrong. I won’t let this happen again.”
Finally, the victim must be given total absolution; as the listener helps the victim to forgive.
EPTworks is an amazing tool that frees you to forgive the hurt that has robbed you of the power to love life.
Sherry Hamilton says
Excellent overview of how to be a helpful listener, and what is needed in the face of trauma and suffering whether is mine or someone else’s.