Why do we need a Forgiveness Process?

This can be answered in several ways. One way is to become aware of the value of love and experiences of love, in contrast to experiences of lack of love, both personally and on a global level. Then we can decide - do we want more love in our lives or not?

Another way is to observe the effects of unforgiveness and forgiveness upon the health of the human body. This will be illustrated by a short story and article on this subject. Then we can decide - do we want more health in our lives or not?

It is usually good to start with your own experience. The following activity can help you to review your own experiences of love and bring it into greater awareness for you. Set aside enough time to explore the following inner experience. Read the description of the activity through and then take your time to go through it again slowly and as deeply as you can.


1a. Experiences of Love, and its effects


First of all, cast your mind back to a time when you felt unconditionally loved, or if you have never been unconditionally loved, to an experience you can recall when you felt you were more loved than at any other time in your life. Remember where you were, what you were wearing, who it was who loved you, and what happened. (Even if you experienced the loss of this love later, focus for this period of time on the actual experience of being loved, and deliberately set aside any experiences which may have detracted from it later). Find out how much of this love you can recall and even re-experience now. Re-experience being with this person. How do you feel as you do that? Enter again the physical and emotional feelings and thoughts you had at that time.

What was it like for you to be loved like that? What are some of the qualities of this person? Are any of them qualities you would like to emulate in your own life? How does it feel to know that this person already shared that quality with you, and that your memories of this person can help you to increase that quality in your own character? Perhaps you can find a symbol for this quality?

Write about your experience of the activity you have just done, any decisions you may have made, and sketch the symbol if you found one.

Share this experience with two other people and if you like, invite them to do it too and to share their experience.

(Some people have no memories of being loved, and I want to acknowledge them. If you are one please imagine what such an experience could be like for you, as fully as you can.)

Now cast your mind back and recall a time when you yourself showed unconditional love to another person or persons. Remember where you were, what you were wearing, who it was you showed this love to, and what happened. (Even if you experienced the loss of this love later, focus for this period of time on the actual experience of being unconditionally loving, and deliberately set aside any experiences which may have detracted from it later). Find out how much of this love you can recall and even re-experience now. Re-experience being there with this person or persons and loving them. How do you feel as you do that? Enter again the physical and emotional feelings and thoughts you had at that time.

What was it like for you to give love like that? What are some of the qualities you showed as you did it? Are any of them qualities you would like to strengthen further in your own life now? How does it feel to know that this person already helped you to develop and express that quality which was within you, and that your memories of this person and occasion can help you to further increase that quality in your own character? Perhaps you can find a symbol for this quality?

Write about your experience of the activity you have just done, any decisions you may have made, and sketch the symbol if you found one.

Share this experience with two other people and invite them to do it too and to share their experience.


1b. Experiences of Pain of Resentment and other forms of Blocked Love, and their effects


This can be a very challenging exercise. Are we willing to let ourselves become aware of all the pain caused by lack of love, at least for a brief moment? The reason to do this is to help us to focus our minds and wills upon the importance of increasing the loveflow in the world. This can motivate us to want to learn about the process of forgiveness, to heal this. Make sure you are prepared to make enough time to do this activity thoroughly.

Think for a moment of areas of the world where you are aware there is lack of love, where instead of love there is resentment, hate, envy, jealousy, fear, grief, guilt, false guilt....

You could also explore this in a purely personal way at first. What have been the effects of resentment, lack of love and lack of forgiveness in your own life? In the lives of people you know?

Is it easier for you to do this for places further away, or for you own self and close associates?

Let images come to you for the following: What have been the effects of hatred, of lack of love and forgiveness on the history of the world in this century alone? In previous centuries? In your own land? In other lands? What kind of harm has been the outcome? How has this hate and resentment polluted the emotional atmosphere of this planet? Most of us are now increasingly aware of the physical pollution of the Earth. If you could find a symbol for the emotional pollution of the Earth - what would that be like? What is the future if it continues unchanged, for 10, 25, 50, 100, 500 years? Or longer?

Allow yourself to become aware of the vast cost of this emotional pollution, which pervades the "atmosphere" in which we live like a big dark poisonous cloud. What would it look like if it was collected together in one place? How big a pile would it make?

Imagine the amount of tablets and medicines which is produced and consumed daily throughout the world in an attempt to limit the damage done to human bodies by the illnesses that are related to or aggravated by blocked love. Imagine all the medicines for blocking the effects of adrenaline, muscle tension, depression, anxiety, fears, chronic pain, bad digestion, constricted circulation, allergies, and more. What would that all look like if it was gathered together in one place for everyone to see? How big would the pile be? How much does it cost, and not only in economic terms?

Imagine the amount of alcohol, tobacco, other drugs, and unnecessary food that is consumed daily to numb the pain of unhealed resentments. What would that look like if it was gathered together in one place for everyone to see?

Imagine all the violence, accidents and crime that happen in part at least because there was not enough love. What is the cost of that, and not only in economic terms?

What else could be done with all that money - how many children fed and educated?

What are your own thoughts and feelings as you contemplate what your inner search has revealed to you? What have you learned about yourself? What have your learned about others?

Write about your experience of the activity you have just done, your feelings and thoughts, any decisions you may have made, and sketch the symbol if you found one.

Share this experience with two other people and invite them to do it too and to share their experience.

Return to your experience of Love in Exercise1a. Compare with the experience of Blocked Love, in 1b. What thoughts, feelings and decisions come to you?

What most needs to be done? What is your next step?


2. Forgiveness and Health


I wonder if you can see the connections between forgiveness and health in yourself or those around you? This composite teaching story has helped others to understand this principle.

Tom and Gerry

Tom and Gerry were colleagues and very good friends. Over many years, at work and socially, they enjoyed each other's company and their compatibility showed itself in many creative projects. One or two evenings a week the pair would get together, usually at Tom's home, to continue sharing their ideas and ideals. The closeness of the two men created an atmosphere that was enjoyed by their wives and families.

One extra dark night Gerry was backing his car out of Tom's drive after a particularly enjoyable evening. He felt a bump and got out to discover, to his horror, that he had run over the family cat Min.

As he looked at the lifeless form on the drive memories of his friend's deep love for the animal raced through his mind. He panicked. He felt sick. He knew how much Tom and his family loved Min. He remembered Min curled up on the children's beds, or on Tom's lap as they chatted. He was paralysed with a strange cold fear and felt quite unable to go in and tell Tom what had happened.

Robot-like, he put Min in the rubbish bag he carried in his car and drove away. He passed a refuse bin and put the bag into it with a cold sweating, shaky hand.

When he got home his wife, sensing he wasn't his usual self, asked if something was wrong. "Nothing," he said quickly, but did not give her his usual warm kiss of greeting. Instead he went to the toilet and sat there, trying to overcome his nausea.

The next day at work, Tom told him that Min had gone missing. "She has never done that before." he said as he wrote a "Lost cat" advertisement for the newspaper. Gerry found himself saying, "I'm sure she'll turn up soon. Don't worry about her." But he could not stop himself looking away . He couldn't bear to see how upset his friend was.

Work did not go well that day. Both men were distracted. The following week, when Gerry made his usual visit to Tom's house he did not stay long. Their discussions were punctuated by glum, uneasy silences. Their former creativity was already starting to fade away. Gerry felt increasingly uncomfortable. When he arrived home early his wife asked him if anything unusual had happened, and he said "Nothing, we just decided to finish early."

In the lunchroom at work Gerry found himself avoiding sitting with Tom.. Gradually their creative evenings became less frequent. The quality of their design work began to fall off further. Each one wondered what had happened to his friend but did not feel able to ask him after the first tentative enquiries were brushed aside.

Gerry began to ruminate further about what had happened that night. "It was really Tom's fault." he said to himself. "If he had kept the cat in it would never have happened." He began to be irritated by Tom at work and found fault with many things he did.

One day the managing director invited Gerry into his office, mentioned that there was a new appointment to be made in the company, and that he thought Tom would be very suitable. "What do you think, Gerry?" he asked, "You have worked a lot with Tom and know his work. I would value your opinion." Gerry found himself saying, "His work has not been so good lately." The episode of Min's death did not even cross Gerry's mind at this time. By now, he had repressed it. It was "forgotten". Tom was passed over for the job.

Gerry began to get irritable with his wife. Their relationship gradually went from bad to worse. There were arguments, over trivial things. Each began to find fault with the other. Their sexual life became tiresome. She began to wonder if he was having an affair. Each of them sought solace, briefly, with other partners, but without joy. Gerry denied to himself and others that there was anything wrong. Yet he was becoming depressed, and he began to think from time to time that if life was like this, it was not really worth living.

The stresses between Gerry and his wife began to tell on their three children. One tended to take Gerry's side, the other two, his wife's. The children reacted to the underlying tension in very different ways. One became withdrawn and began to do less well at school. The second become rebellious and got into minor trouble with the police. The third became ill more often, and needed more frequent visits to the doctor.

Gerry began to get symptoms in his belly - stomach pains. He went to his doctor. At first his tests showed nothing much, and he was advised to rest. His colleagues recognised that he had been strained recently, and agreed.

His wife did not enjoy having him "resting" at home when it meant having a grumpy partner nagging at her. A holiday together did little to improve things.

The symptoms persisted, and repeated tests showed that Gerry had developed a stomach ulcer, possibly cancer. At last an official medical diagnosis had been found, and Gerry felt some kind of relief that he "had not been imagining it". The doctor had done several very thorough physical examinations, and felt justly proud he had diagnosed Gerry's disease before it got too advanced.

Surgery followed, then drug therapy. In all the time that followed the medical reports began in the same kind of way: "This man with cancer of the...."

Nowhere in his medical records were the additional words that would describe his condition more completely: "This man with blocked love........."

In due course Gerry began a search for meaning, and further understanding of his illness. Among other things he came across a book about forgiveness. As he read it he realised he not only harboured in himself a physical disease, but emotional and mental negativity as well. He could no longer deny the larger truth. He felt drawn to doing a self-forgiveness process and sought out a guide to help him.


During the process it emerged that the first time he had felt a sensation of panic and nausea had not been when he ran over Min. It had been when he had owned up for doing something wrong at school. The teacher had hit him and reported him to his father. Gerry had hated this teacher for treating him so unfairly. His father had told him how sinful he was, beaten him with a cane, and told him that he "would come to no good." From then on his relationship with his father deteriorated. He came to fear and hate him too, and to believe that he himself was indeed "guilty", that there was no good in him, that one day he would indeed "come to no good", and be punished for it. He also "learned" that it might be advisable to hide the truth at times. After his father died, he experienced a period of depression, loss of creativity and low self-esteem. When the tragedy with Min occurred, the negative feelings and beliefs stored for so long in his unconscious mind were reactivated, but he had not been aware of this .

Specialists could take care of his body, but he realised to become fully healthy again he would need to heal his negative emotions and belief systems.

Working through the forgiveness process helped him acknowledge his blocked love and, bluntly, self hatred. His love was blocked towards his friend Tom, his own self, his father and his childhood teacher. Later, love had become blocked towards his wife and family. All this had affected his work, relationships with his colleagues, his marriage, home life, and diminished his creativity.

What is needed for Gerry here? Skilled medical and surgical help - certainly. Is that enough?

Medical researchers are beginning to discover how negative emotions reduce the body's resistance to disease through altering the way the immune and autonomic nervous systems function.

Could Gerry also need:

Without being taught an oyster knows how to turn an irritating piece of grit into a beautiful pearl, a treasure. The incidents in Gerry's story could be thought of as "pieces of grit" lodged in his psyche. Any one of them could have been turned into a "pearl" if Gerry had known how to restore the flow of love and heal the relationship at the time the damage occurred. Alas, he did not know how, for in his childhood there had been no one to teach him. His needs were not met then and he had no role models for forgiveness.

In this crisis only he can be responsible for re-establishing the loveflow. No one else can do for this for him. He will need to learn how to do it. He will need forgiveness coaching.

Any process by which a person successfully removes the conditions in themselves that block the flow of love can be called a Forgiveness Process.

The purpose of such a process is to heal the memories, the patterns of physical and emotional dysfunction, and the negative belief systems that were conceived at times of disappointment, criticism, hurt, abuse, loss, rejection, humiliation, abandonment and so on.... It is to set the forgiver free to move on from the effects of these.

How many of us do not have some equivalent to a "run-over-cat" story - residual bad feelings or negative beliefs we need to heal?

The forgiveness process is not difficult to learn or to do, but in the early stages it may need effort and persistence. Later it becomes easy, and in fact a joy to do. It can become a natural skill.

Forgiveness and Health (from an article developed over time and published in various journals concerned with health)

Disappointment, criticism, hurt, abuse, loss, rejection, humiliation, abandonment, guilt, false guilt (feeling bad about yourself when you are in fact innocent - most often found in those who have suffered abuse as children), hate, anger, or envy etc., profoundly affect the way your body functions. The flow of love through you is at risk of becoming blocked, and your health is at stake. It has been said: "One who hates another (blocks love) digs two graves".

When love is blocked the following changes in your body may occur:

The list goes on. Indeed, it becomes a list of many of the conditions seen by doctors all over the world. And while unforgiveness may not be the sole cause of all of them, it is not unreasonable to say that it increases vulnerability to them. It can "set the scene" for them and delay, or even prevent recovery.

This list, too, could be extended, and represents dis-ease in the body of a person, family, nation, or indeed, of humanity itself.

An unforgiving person is not free. He or she is controlled by unconscious forces, avoiding certain situations and opportunities, imprisoned in his or her own negativity. One of my patients described this graphically when he spoke of how he had "marinated in his own toxicity" for fifteen years before discovering the forgiveness process.

For any person who does not know how to forgive, there is no lasting peace. Relief and release are urgently needed.

Getting in touch with and releasing bad feelings safely is certainly very important but more important is healing them through a complete process of forgiveness, so they do not recur.

After studying and working with this forgiveness process since 1980 I strongly believe it is false logic and unwise therapy to delay applying the forgiveness process to past hurts and disappointments. I have seen people forgive the "unforgivable" - terrible things - rapidly and successfully when they understood the true nature of the process. I have also seen people held back in emotional pain and negativity far longer than they needed to because someone - often a therapist I regret to say - told them that they were not "ready" to forgive yet or even actively discouraged them from doing so. To not forgive is to continue to allow the memories of the hurtful incidents to your Inner Child, or the Earlier You, to be recycled over and over again. This can happen either consciously, or more dangerously, unconsciously, blocking love and draining energy. You and your Inner Child need the love to flow again. The question is not whether it should be done, but how to find a way to accomplish it as quickly as possible.


Another source of sabotage to the process can be unforgiveness to yourself which may show itself in:


The common denominator is a blockage of the flow of love which in turn is reflected in a drop in life energy. There is a close connection between the flow of life energy and the flow of love.

Negative, critical thoughts about ourselves and others affect us much more deeply than many of us are willing to recognise. The word "negative" implies "subtraction". When we are negative, we have subtracted from ourselves the love and life force that is potentially there for all. We delay or even completely prevent healing in our body, emotions, mind and relationships.

If any of this is happening to you or someone you know, it has to be acknowledged before anything can be done about it. To deny it is to prevent the possibility of healing. If underneath your physical condition or any bad relationships (in family or marriage, at school, or in the industrial, commercial, political arenas) there is blocked love, then no matter how you treat the effects, the condition may:


We must learn to treat underlying contributory causes. as well as more obvious surface symptoms. Imagine bubbles are coming to the surface of some water from a gas pipe with a leaky hole in it below that water. Trying to squash or catch or smash each bubble as it comes to the surface will not stop the spread of dangerous gas. You have to go underneath and repair the hole in the pipe, do you not?

Most of us have not been taught specifically how to forgive. Because the process was not well enough understood we never learned how to get from a state of unforgivingness to a sate of unconditional love.

Traditionally it was thought that teaching the three "Rs" of Reading, 'Riting, and 'Rythmetic was enough preparation for life. Now the skills of Right choice making (values clarification) and Right human relationships are increasingly being recognised as essential. Like the 3 "R's" the 4th and 5th "R's" don't happen by accident. They need to be taught, and the forgiveness process is a natural part of this curriculum.

Link here to go on to: The Healing Journey

Link here to return to: Forgiveness Programme - Contents

In case you want to go to other parts of the Introductory Section this part of the Contents page is given here:

These three articles are to help to prepare you to use the processes

The Need for forgiveness and the Purpose of using a Forgiveness Process

The Healing Journey

Demythologising forgiveness - truths and untruths

This article is to help you to find out whom you may need to forgive in order to become "clear"

Getting your Forgiveness Agenda

These five articles are to assist you with theoretical background related to the psychosynthesis framework for human development, and the way our bodies, emotions, minds, and souls can work together. You may also like to refer to them if you are not clear about the way some of the terms are used

Emotional Health - Feelings & befriending the so-called negative emotions

Levels of the Self

The Will & the Mind

Higher Self and some thoughts on Meditation

Psychological Laws

This article introduces the Aramaic words from the Code of Conduct of mind-sets which lead to right human relationships. Combined with the Forgiveness Processes, and Clear Communication skills this is a most powerful combination for bringing the ability to love into your life.

Patterns of Unconditional Love in Action - The Goodwill Patterns