Communication Matters: Layton's Stages Of Forgiveness

Oct 22, 2019

Some of us stew in a soup of anger and cannot forgive someone who has hurt us. Voices demand an eye for an eye. But know that forgiveness is for YOU.

Molly Layton, from Family Therapy Networker, describes three phases.

One is Injured innocence. We cry to the heavens, “I do not deserve this.”

Obsession comes next. We replay the hurt; we recall how helpless we felt. We are consumed.

Finally, we reach Transcendence. We rise above the pain and recognize our part in the problem and release the pain and the desire for revenge. We ask what has this taught me?

A friend admitted, “When I was getting my doctorate, I worked 16 hours a day. When my wife got pregnant by another man and we divorced, I blamed her. After years I reached transcendence. I saw I was absent, self-involved; I did not pay attention to us. She felt lost and alone. Through reaching transcendence, I forgave her and I was free.