Most people know that the majority of the work I do is with leaders. I work with the leaders of our local church, a national women's movement and in my coaching. I am most passionate about caring for the soul of leaders as they care for the souls of others.
When I blogged on Forgiveness and Grief a few weeks ago, the majority of the responses were from three different groups of people
Leaders dealing with grief and loss
Couples dealing with pregnancy loss
Loved people in our Black Community processing the ongoing racial injustices personally and collectively.
So I will speak into these three spaces over the next few blogs around grief, loss, trauma and forgiveness.
Before I do that I would love to share some generalised steps to forgiveness (of yourself, of others or of God)
The first step is to fully acknowledge and own the fact that you’ve lost something—that you didn’t get something you wanted, and it hurts. In a therapeutic context, that could be painful work. Sometimes its take therapeutic work before somebody’s ready to forgive because they’ve suppressed a bad experience or been in denial about it, and it may take effort to get them to acknowledge the harm or its consequences. Getting to a place of honestly recognising loss can take time and a safe place.
The second step of the grief process is to experience the feelings normally associated with the loss. Because of you have denied the loss, then you may also have not experienced the emotions with that loss. I’ve never met anyone who suffered real loss and didn’t experience a range of emotions—you’re sad, you’re scared, you're confused. But when you forgive, you understand that there are other options besides continued suffering. You’re not letting go of the event. But you can transform the emotional response to it.
The third and final step is that what you’re grieving can’t be a secret. I try not to let people forgive stuff that they haven’t shared with others because there’s such good research on resilience showing that people who go through harmful experiences and don’t tell anybody have much worse consequences than people who do tell others.
The human connection is central to healing.
That said, the people who tell everybody about their grievance have the second worst outcomes.
The resilience research shows that what you need for a healthy response to difficulty is to share your problem with a few select, caring people over time. You don’t share everything to everyone, and you don’t withhold everything from everyone. For people who don’t have trusted confidants, I have suggested that they go to a therapist or enrol in a Freedom Course or something to make sure they’re not holding any shame.
Shame Resilience is KEY to moving forward.
I am personally seeing these steps be taken by so many people I know right now. I feel like across the earth this practice is happening in many different forms.
When I coach people I teach them something of a practice based on a combination of Sozo Prayer Ministry work and some coaching tools
1. Recognize who and what you need to forgive
2, Release Forgiveness (this is a gift yo give yourself not the other)
3. Renounce the Lies that you have believed (this is part of the shame-off work)
4. Replace the lies with Truth
5. Redefine the Relationships that are needed for you to build resilience into your journey (see next post on boundaries)
To every single coaching client, friend, team member and stranger yet to become a friend, who is on this journey .. keep going.
Do not get taken out with unforgiveness.
Practice these postures again and again.
Seventy times seven if you have to!
This is the best gift for your future.