I Forgave, But It Didn't Stick! Huh?

By Anne Presuel, Rev.

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When clients and I begin working together, somewhere along the line, we come across something that hurt them in the past.  One client recently had a clear memory of her father calling her stupid when she struggled to learn a math problem.  Another had survived (and divorced) a cheating husband.  Another had a mother who took her to bars as a child and often left her while the mom went off and got high.  And so on….

Each of these people had done some work on forgiving before we ever met.  But somehow, it just didn’t “stick”.  They still felt angry, hurt, and betrayed at those who were supposed to love them.  People who were supposed to protect them.  People who were supposed to nurture them.

Why is it that when we forgive it doesn’t always “stick”?  Why do we end up still feeling angry at someone even after we forgive them?

Before I answer that question, let’s take a side trip, shall we?  One of the things discussed in EFT trainings is that events often have a number of “aspects”.  An aspect is a piece that makes up a whole (an event).  For example, an event such as “my husband cheated on me” could have the following aspects:

  1. The moment I found out.
  2. The way I felt about what happened.
  3. How he behaved after I confronted him.
  4. The arguments that ensued.
  5. The decisions we made.
  6. How it affected the family.
  7. How it affected me.
  8. What happened afterward.

And each one of those above would have multiple aspects – or feelings – associated with each of them.  For example, “the moment I found out” would be filled with different feelings: anger, hurt, betrayal, guilt, shame, sadness.  Each of these is an aspect or a piece of the event “the moment I found out”, just like “the moment I found out” is a piece of the event “my husband cheated on me”.

When we take apart an event to clear out the blocked energy (or negative feelings) associated with it, we don’t necessarily make a list and go through each of those items.  You can, if you think that way, but most of us don’t.
Instead, I take the piece that has the most emotional charge and tap on that until it has no emotional charge left.  Then you look for other pieces that still have emotional charge.  Oftentimes, when you take out the biggest charge, you don’t have much emotion left at all, although sometimes you do.

And before you can get to forgiveness, you have to clear out the other feelings of anger, hurt, betrayal, guilt, shame, and sadness.  And sometimes before you get to forgiveness – deep down, full-bodied forgiveness – you have to work your way through how you feel not only about that event called “the moment I found out”, but also about all of the other associated events that made up “my husband cheated on me” as well. 

In other words, it’s a process.

Sometimes you work through an event and you think you’re done with it.  You are at peace and you have forgiven the person and you’ve reframed the event to feel more powerful and you can think of what happened without any associated “ick” feelings.  But then something happens in your life and you get triggered. 

Guess what?  It’s just another aspect coming up for healing.  That’s all.  It’s another opportunity to forgive.  It doesn’t mean you didn’t forgive before.  You did.  It just means that there is another piece in there that is now ready to be looked at and loved into peacefulness.

Because forgiveness is a process of uncovering (think of an issue as an onion and you are taking layer after layer off), sometimes it can take years to fully forgive an event.  Sometimes you need more wisdom and understanding before you can completely be at peace with what happened in your life.

When you do the work as it shows up in your life, you can then move forward with compassion for yourself and for others.  And that is the true sign of forgiveness.

Your Action Steps:   

1.  Look at where you have forgiven in the past. Do you feel at peace with the event or do you still get triggered about it?  If you still get triggered:

a.  Write down a list of all the aspects (feelings) you can think of associated with the event.  If you can’t think of what your feelings are, write down all the pieces that make up the event that you still get triggered about.

b.  Choose the ones that have the most charge.

c.  Tap on those aspects or pieces until they have no charge left.

d.  Look to see if there are any other aspects or pieces that have charges and tap on them if you do.

2.  Get help if you cannot find your way through this.

3.  If you want to see forgiveness in a whole new light, get the book “Radical Forgiveness” by Colin Tipping.  You will never look at anything the same way again.

4.  Be gentle with yourself.  Give yourself compassion and kindness.  Love yourself up.  Do something kind for yourself today.  Give yourself the gift of love and forgiveness.


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Author's Bio:

Rev. Anne Presuel, Interfaith Minister, Divine Intuitive, and master energy therapist, coaches conscious, heart-centered (and often overwhelmed) entrepreneurs to tune into their own 6th sense while building 6-figure businesses.  Her approach uses Law of Attraction principles, affirmations, and subtle energy techniques (EFT).  For a free MP3 download report, "The Entrepreneur's Secret Weapon", go to http://DivinelyIntuitiveBusiness.com.


1 Comment


Posted July 10, 2011 02:58 AM

Dear Rev Anne Presuel,
I always look forward to your writing...you share so much and I just wanted to say thankyou

Much regards with love and joy,


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