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The forgiveness process dissipates that weight that is on you

From Andrew Newberg

When you have an injury, that injury is a great weight on you.

Video Interview Transcript

When you have an injury that you ultimately try to forgive somebody for that injury is a great weight on you. And so the question is how does one remove that weight? Historically there are two options. One is revenge. And so the famous an eye for an eye a tooth for a tooth. If somebody hurts you, you hurt them back. Now the problem with that is that while sometimes it might make you feel a little bit better to do that back to the other person, we feel our own pain far greater than we experience another person's pain. So usually if somebody has injured me my revenge on them is probably going to be to a greater degree because I really felt it. So that begins an escalation process which can lead to as we've seen throughout the world so many areas of hatred, anger, war, violence that grows out of this kind of escalation.
So there's another alternative and the other alternative is the forgiveness process. And what that does is it sort of dissipates that negative energy that those negative emotions and changes it around and changes and reestablishes your relationship with that person. And I think it's within the changing of that relationship that that great weight, that great negativity starts to go away because the injury now goes away and you understand your relationship to that person no longer in that injurious perspective but in a new perspective that helps to see you and the other person in a much more even way, in a way that helps to foster the positive emotions and maybe even in a way that helps to reconnect you or connect you to that person in a positive way under some larger notion of the universe maybe under God or under all of humanity whatever that particular person feels.

Discussion starter questions
  • Have you ever felt that great weight on you?
  • ...

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Director's note

Andrew Newberg talks about the process of forgiveness and how it can dissipate the weight that we can feel after an injury. Andrew has a concise and yet clear way to explain some inner process.

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