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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thursday Therapeutic Thought - Forgiveness

This will be my first Therapeutic Thought on the blog, so let me know what you think. Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down? They won't all look like this, but gotta start somewhere!

Today I thought I'd talk about two types of forgiveness, which of course can be incorporated into our novels and lives. The first type is Restoration Forgiveness. This is the type that we most often want to encounter, but often eludes us fully. To have restoration is to have complete healing of the breach between two parties. Something as final as death or as inconvenient as geography can prevent this from happening. In its most ideal state, it looks like this:

1) Party A offends Party B
2) Party B chooses to forgive A
3) Party A, acknowledges the wrongdoing and accepts the forgiveness
4) Relationship between A and B is healed

Imagine two people hugging one another as a symbol of this type of forgiveness. So what's the other type of forgiveness, then? Release Forgiveness. Compare to the above:

1) Party A offends Party B
2) Party B chooses to forgive A
3) Party A never acknowledges the wrongdoing
4) Party B chooses to release Party A

This is the hardest type to experience, and many never quite make it to the fourth point, choosing to hold on to their offense and their grudge. It is very important, if one of your characters (or even if someone you know in life) has this type of problem, to acknowledge their hurt. If Party A never acknowledges the hurt, then Party B may never move on. A third party, though, (in many cases, a therapist) can help tremendously by just acknowledging the hurt, which in turn would help Party B be able to release it. Because before release is a possibility, the hurt has to be recognized and validated as an authentic, he/she-shouldn't-have-done-that hurt. Emotional health and healing will never occur as long as the bitterness is inside.


If you have one of your characters suffering from a hurt that hasn't been acknowledged, either by the wrong-doer or someone else, the chances of this character coming to a believable healing by the end of the book isn't feasible. Psychology tells us so. :)

If you have a hurt in your own life that resembles one that you need to release, tell someone about it that you trust, and let them help recognize the hurt for what it is so you can then release it and move on.


PatriciaW said...

Jeannie, very interesting. Food for thought, in life and in writing.

Thumbs Up!

Katie said...

Big thumbs up! I especially love that you connect it to writing. I know it'll help me write more realistic characters. You're building your platform too!

Ralene said...

Two thumbs up! I agree with Katie, I'm glad you show us how it connects to our writing, our characters. Thank you for sharing!

Jody Hedlund said...

Since my husband is a counselor, I find your platform very interesting and unique! Hopefully you will catch the attention of an agent with your uniqueness!

Jeannie Campbell said...

Jody - from your lips to God's ears! :) I'm having a lot of fun with this so far!

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Both comments and questions are welcome. I hope you enjoyed your time on the couch today.