After having chosen the word forgiveness the day Candace’s body was found - I was surprised at the reactions we received. Listening to the discussions I realized our understanding of the word was completely different than most. Confused, I started to look into the literature on forgiveness - some of the authors at the time were Smedes, Enright, Tutu, etc. None of their writings fit with what we were experiencing. I even went to a prestigious conference on forgiveness in Washington, DC - as a guest at the table of well-recognized academics - and I still didn’t find the link that I was looking for.
Their understanding of forgiveness all centered around the offender - we didn’t know who the offender was until 22 years after - yet forgiveness as a process was our survival word.
Recently I came across some new learnings. Apparently, psychology is exploring new therapeutic models that resemble forgiveness or at least the way I understand it.
Another interesting recent development was my new understanding of the quadrants - the body heart mind and spirit. This fits with my ongoing awareness that forgiveness is many layered and needs to be applied to each part of ourselves.
So, at this late date I’ve decided that I’m going to once again examine my unique experience of forgiveness and organize it into a format that would have been helpful for Cliff and I to understand what was happening to us and why it worked for us - way back then.
To do this I’m going to rely on my story as the basis. Each explanation will be begin with my story and then be followed with a description of the step.
The reward of suffering is experience. Harry S Truman