Emotional suffering, hatred, and bitterness often get relegated to the unconscious mind, where they continue to operate with even greater destructive force.
How Recognizing Guilt Facilitates Healing
Gabriel Ruben explains the necessity of acknowledging the guilt of the person who has harmed us. This recognition is vital for moving forward and restoring a healthy relationship with oneself.
Moreover, acknowledging this guilt can prevent the development of psychosomatic illnesses or behavioral patterns leading to repeated failures in both work and relationships.
Where to Direct Your Anger
Expressing anger towards the ‘perpetrator’ is crucial. Recognize and release your suffering. Initially, aggression can be beneficial, indicating mental health and a refusal to deny or internalize blame.
Gabriel Ruben emphasizes that “hatred is a powerful emotion impossible to suppress. If not directed at the offender, it may inevitably turn inward, risking a process of self-destruction.”
While direct expression of anger and reproach to the offender may not always be possible, individuals can engage in personal reflection by documenting their feelings and sharing them with a trusted person or seeking professional advice for more painful situations.
What It Means to Stop Feeling Guilty
Paradoxically, many victims often feel guilty about what happened to them. Identifying which aspect of our being was affected—pride, reputation, honor, physical boundaries—helps dull the sharpness of the sense of injustice.
Pyschoanalyst Nicole Fabr suggests that answering this question helps eliminate the sense of guilt, realizing that individuals are not responsible for what happened to them.
It involves letting go of the idealized self and abandoning intrusive self-blame, such as “I can’t forgive myself for not acting differently.”
In particularly traumatic situations like rape or incest, forgiving oneself becomes necessary for moving forward.
When Understanding the Offender is Key
While hatred and anger assist in surviving aggression, dwelling on these emotions for too long leads to self-destruction. To avoid this, it’s helpful to ‘step into the shoes’ of the offender.
Understanding their motives doesn’t imply forgiveness. Instead, it helps recognize their weaknesses and comprehend the actions that caused pain. After all, a person is not solely defined by their deeds, no matter how monstrous.
Not Rushing the Healing Process
Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting. Granting forgiveness too quickly provides no relief. Patience is essential. “Allow time to pass while maintaining an active involvement in the healing process,” advises experts.
Remember, healing emotional wounds is a gradual journey, and each step is a vital part of reclaiming a sense of self and well-being.
How to Understand the Offender Without Forgiving?
While hatred and anger assist in surviving aggression, understanding the offender’s motives helps recognize their weaknesses and comprehend the actions that caused pain, as discussed in the article.