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When there is a black void, an abysmal sense of loss in your life, the pain can feel like something has been torn out of you and is forever gone. You may feel a pounding, raging bitterness toward someone or something that has caused this deep hurt.  How do you find the inner strength to forgive?  You find it through forgiveness—a powerful and therapeutic expression.

We live in an unforgiving world, a world with much hatred and anger.  Many teachings about how to love, how to live and how to forgive exist. When you have the power to forgive, you do not have to carry around the burden of hatred that distorts the inner self and evokes anger.

Forgiving love is not just a sentiment or a feeling, it is a power – a power that my mother and father began to teach me from the time I was old enough to understand. I learned that forgiving someone for the hurt they had caused eased my pain and provided a sense of relief.  Forgiving love allows you to restore the individual who has caused the hurt to a safe relationship with you before the hurt occurred.

Forgiving love is powerful.  How can a person possibly feel caring and forgiving toward an enemy—someone who opposes or abuses them, someone who lies or makes one feel miserable? How is it possible to have warm feelings toward someone who has caused a deep hurt in my life? When I first tried it, it really shook me.  It impressed me and began to redirect my life. I became “free at last.”

The power of forgiveness can be therapeutic even in the midst of deep hurt—the kind that causes you to choke on your tears in the late night hours because someone has caused intense emotional stress in your life.

Many times our quality of life rests with our ability to deal with the negatives, so finding the power to forgive is the beginning of the transformation process to heal the hurt an individual may experience. The positives seem to take care of themselves. Our attention is needed to deal effectively with the negatives. We cannot always choose our experiences; however, we can determine our resolve to practice forgiving love.  We always have a choice as to how we are going to respond to deep hurts in our lives.

Chaplain Walter Ghosten

By Chaplain Ghosten