Introduction — The Pain

“Forgive? But you don’t know what I’ve experienced!” This is true. Some people must cope with extreme circumstances that most of us, although we see it reported on television or in a paper, can’t relate to. Whether the circumstance and pain are great or small, the question that arises is: how will you handle these hard times of life? It is an important question.

Some ways of coping are harmful. You may withdraw, stay stuck in the past, mentally rehash the experience and the emotions, relish thoughts of getting even or of something bad happening to the perpetrator, become depressed or possibly fall into addictions to medicate the pain. These damage you, become part of you and poison new relationships.

The one who forgives is the beneficiary of forgiveness. I learned this when I went through an unwanted divorce and had nineteen years of hopes, dreams and security dashed. I faced the day-to-day responsibility for my teen sons and felt the anger of how unfair it was. I wanted justice and sympathy. I felt many of the typical, emotional responses of one who has been wronged. While the pain of divorce is fairly common and can’t compare to some of the more violent acts perpetrated, the principles of forgiveness will stand up in any circumstance.

If you have experienced:

• betrayal,

• abuse,
• embarrassment,
• being taken advantage of,
• feeling unwanted, unlovable or unattractive,
• loss of control,
• victimization or
• an act of violence against yourself or a loved one,
forgiveness is the answer. It helps you face the truth and neutralizes the power of your
pain. You will discover that it is unforgiveness that keeps you bound to the past and pain.

This is a book of hope. The process of forgiveness isn’t effortless, but it is the path to
freedom and healing. It involves a choice on how you will deal with someone who has
caused you or a loved one pain.