After Election Day, it will be time to put it all behind us. In many cases, it will be too late. Relationships will have already ended. The only hope is to forgive one another, learn lessons for next time, and move forward in our lives. We know forgiveness and letting go will be necessary, but how?
According to Scot Conway, author of Freedom Found, “Forgiveness is a skill. Most people ignore things or pretend it never happened. That’s not forgiveness. The hurt and anger can linger for years. You just don’t see it.”
Conway teaches a system he calls “Five Step Forgiveness.”
Second, you determine the wrong. Certainly it is perfectly okay to have a different political opinion. Being nasty, hurtful and outright lying about people who support another view is wrong. You will forgive the wrong.
Third is a step he calls “Determine the Lessons.” You see the bad lessons you learned (or might have learned). You also look for the good lessons you learned, should learn, or could have learned. Maybe it’s as simple as “next time I delete this person during election season.” It might be learning how to engage in political debate without getting personal. We can learn good lessons from someone’s bad example.
Fourth, you let go of the bad. The system for doing that requires more explanation than is possible in a short article. This is where the hardest part of forgiveness is done. You forgive the other person, maybe you forgive yourself for getting sucked in, and you leave it behind.
Fifth, you will keep the good lessons and leave the bad behind. Using a technique called “disassociation,”
Whether you choose to renew the relationship afterwards is up to you. It depends upon what you expect from the other person in the future. You decide. Conway says “the idea that you forgive and forget is wrong. You forgive, and you learn. If you’ve learned that the other person is toxic, build a relationship that serves you both better.”
“Because this election season has cause so much hurt and anger, I am giving my book away on Election Day.” Conway says that his book, Freedom Found, will be free on Amazon.com from Tuesday, November 6 until Thursday, November 8, 2012.
The complete title is: Freedom Found: Living the Art of Letting Go and Complete Forgiveness to Cleanse, Release and Find Total Freedom by Scot Conway. Link directly to the book here: http://www.amazon.com/