When my daughter, Mollie used the expression. “He got on my last nerve,” I laughed and laughed. It’s such a funny expression.
However, if you are angry with someone because they hurt you, it is not a funny situation for you. It can become a funny situation. However, it can also end up festering your heart and soul for years. It’s a choice. Forgiving and letting go of the anger is not always easy. It’s hard to forgive someone when he undoubtedly touched a nerve and ticked you off.
You may have to go through the Forgiveness Tunnel. Not just once, but maybe more than one time. Years after I think I’ve forgiven and forgotten a misgiving, an event or thought may trigger a memory. I find myself angry all over again. So I have to go through what I call the Forgiveness Tunnel again.
If things are mixed up in your mind, pray about it. Ask God to help you let go of the anger and hatred attached to the anger. Many times fear is sandwiched in with the anger and the hatred. Feelings of confusion, thoughts of getting revenge, and a myriad of unkind actions may permeate your mind.
Sometimes we get angry over things that are what I call the “grandfather effect.” They’ve happened before. This is a repeat offense. In this case you are dealing with layers of hurt…old wounds that are opened up by new pain and suffering. Past visions and videos show on the walls of the tunnel as you go through. You hear the voices all over again. The pain comes back.
- Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
- Jesus answered, “I tell you, not just seven times, but seventy times seven times!
That equals 490 times.
How to go through the Forgiveness Tunnel
2. Read your favorite scripture.
3, Read a story of forgiveness: A Story of Two Brothers
4. Watch a funny movie or a sad movie. Laughing so hard that you cry, or crying in sympathy with others on the screen may equalize your emotions and allow you to let go easier.
5. Write a letter to the person who offended you. Don’t send it. Just write it. Then write a reply from them to you. It’s amazing what you come up with. Tear up both letters into tiny pieces. Put it in three different trash cans so that it won’t get back together again.
6. Drink a glass or two of water.
7. Dig a hole in the ground and plant a flower in it. You can also get a pot and put dirt in it. Make sure your hands get in and feel the dirt. Plant the seed or a small plant. When it blooms, know that your love and cooperation with nature made it possible. Playing in the dirt or sand is grounding. So go to the beach if you can and play in the sand. Work in your garden.
8. Remember the times someone forgave you. Remember the love God has for you. Remember those who surround you with their love. Feel yourself being filled with God’s love.
9. Pray again.
10. If you’re able to talk to the person, tell them you forgive them and that you hold them responsible for their behavior and that God is their judge.
11. Take a walk.
12. I’m sure you’ll think of other ways to help you forgive. It will really end up helping you more than you would ever believe.
13. Why should you forgive? What’s in it for you? Mayo Clinic Staff gives the following rewards for forgiving your brother:
“Letting go of grudges and bitterness can make way for improved health and peace of mind. Forgiveness can lead to:
- Healthier relationships
- Improved mental health
- Less anxiety, stress and hostility
- Lower blood pressure
- Fewer symptoms of depression
- A stronger immune system
- Improved heart health
- Improved self-esteem
Here’s a video I made for St. Matthew Catholic Church for a Lenten Reflection for March 7, 2019. You can watch it on YouTube or Facebook:
- Youtube “The Forgiveness Tunnel;” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKcdBYjz-xI
- Facebook https://www.facebook.com/stmatthewcatholic/videos/802409596786248/
Article in which I first wrote about the Forgiveness Tunnel in January, 2016:
Joan Y. Edwards. “Let Anger and Frustration Go:” https://www.joanyedwards.com/2016/01/12/let-anger-and-frustration-go/
- Christian Post: “12 Encouraging Bible Verses on Forgiving Others
- 6 Bible Verses to Help Forgive Someone Who Hurt You
- Mayo Clinic – Forgiveness https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/forgiveness/art-20047692
- The Hope Line – How to Forgive https://www.thehopeline.com/how-to-forgive
- Psychology Today: How Do You Forgive Even When It Feels Impossible-Part 1
- Psychology Today: How Do You Forgive Even When It Feels Impossible-Part 2
- Tiny Buddha: How to Forgive Someone When It’s Hard- 30 Tips to Let Go of Anger
- Tiny Buddha: 20 Things to Do When You’re Feeling Angry with Someone
Songs to Help You Forgive
- Matthew West – Forgiveness https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1Lu5udXEZI
- Kevin Levar – A Heart That Forgives https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUV5T9JIJZ0
- Sanctus: Forgiven https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3F9z54g30Eo
- J.J. Heller: What Love Really Means https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgGUKWiw7Wk
I’d love to hear from you. What helps you forgive?
Never Give Up
Please check out my books:
Flip Flap Floodle, Will this little duck’s song save him from Mr. Fox?
Joan’s Elder Care Guide A guide to help caregivers and elders find the solutions they need.
Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2018 Joan Y. Edwards