From "How Can I Forgive You?
The Courage to Forgive, The Freedom Not To"
Acceptance is a gutsy, life-affirming response to violation when the person who hurt you is unavailable or unrepentant. It
asks nothing of anyone but you. Unlike Cheap Forgiveness or Refusing to Forgive, it is based on a personal decision to take
control of your pain, make sense of your injury, and carve out a relationship with the offender that works for you.
Judith Herman points out in Trauma and Recovery that you aren't responsible for the harm that was done to you, but you are
responsible for your recovery. In other words, your freedom lies not in protesting the unfairness of the violation or in getting
the offender to care. Your freedom — perhaps your only freedom — is in deciding how to survive and transcend the
injury. Don't underestimate this freedom: it's enormous. With it comes the power to decide how you're going to live the rest
of your life. As you take the task of healing into your own hands, you empower and make peace with the past.
The Ten Steps of Acceptance
When you accept someone:
Step 1: You honor the full sweep of your emotions.
Step 2: You give up your need for revenge but continue to seek a just resolution.
Step 3: You stop obsessing about the injury and reengage with life.
Step 4: You protect yourself from further abuse.
Step 5: You frame the offender's behavior in terms of his own personal struggles.
Step 6: You look honestly at your own contribution to the injury.
Step 7: You challenge your false assumptions about what happened.
Step 8: You look at the offender apart from his offense, weighing the good against the bad.
Step 9: You carefully decide what kind of relationship you want with him.
Step 10: You forgive yourself for your own failings.
by Janis Abrahms Spring:
I looked into your eyes
Saw your love for me
Scared, I ran away from you
I left you standing there
I felt your love around me
Please forgive my fears
I shut down so quickley
Please forgive my tears
I hurt you so, I felt it
I know not how to react
What now shall I say or do
I want to run right to your arms
But it terrifies me so
And I don't wish to hurt you
I know that's what I'll do
As I continue to turn
I want to turn around
Please help me undedrstand
Pleasse forgive me.
Please help me end this fear!