Most people believe that forgiving someone means that the person that hurt us is no longer responsible for what they did to us, that they do not have to make it up to us any longer, that whatever they did is removed from their history with us. That is not true. Whatever happened between you is still there, the only thing that changes when you forgive someone is that you put the burden of carrying their responsibility around with you. Not forgiving someone is like carrying around a sack on your back and every time someone does something to you, you put a rock in the sack and fling it over your back and carry it around. Pretty soon you are slumped over trying to carry this sack and people are looking at you like there is something wrong with you. The person that hurt you does not even remember the incident and you are still carrying around the hurt. The only person who is hurt by that is you. Carrying it around hurts you on a daily basis. Forgiving people allows you to put down the sack of rocks and move on with your life. It does nothing to or for the other person. They are still responsible for whatever they did and will eventually pay for it. Not your concern, your concern is moving on with your life and not allowing the hurt to stop you from living your life. When you do that, they win. When you forgive, you move on and they lose. You remain the person you have always been and did not allow them to change you and make you bitter. You did allow yourself to learn lessons from the event so it will not happen again, you just didn’t put it in a sack and carry it around with you for the rest of your life. No one and nothing is worth that burden. Here is my guided imagery video to help you get rid of the sack of rocks.
I became a therapist in an attempt to understand my own childhood and what happened there and how it made me who I am, exhibiting the behaviors that were not always positive, very often self-destructive. I used Art Therapy to help me understand things in my past that were stopping me from making better decisions in my present day. I used Behavioral Science to help me understand underlying causal factors, roots to the present day behaviors that I was seeing in myself. Both help me to change those behaviors/thoughts that were causing me to make self-destructive decisions that were causing pain in life. I have been a therapist since 1985 and have an undergraduate degree Art and behavioral science (double major) from the University of Maine. My graduate work was done at Marywood university and I have a degree in Art Therapy. I have certificates in Forensic Interviewing and Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior therapy. I have 22 out of 30 credits toward a degree in Trauma Therapy from Drexel University. I started out as a Community Support Worker, Program Manager/Clinical Supervisor, Family therapist and Outpatient therapist. View all posts by dtoomey2015