‘Transformation of forgiveness’ to love

Under the ABPRA model, forgiveness was situated as a possible product of engagements in actions and interactions. So it was not to be facilitated strenuously. However, from time to time I have taken an opportunity to address the issue of forgiveness with survivors.

One day, it was the last session and I was asking Louise persistently about her experience of forgiveness and what the process of forgiving had been like for her. To my hindsight my persistent questioning must have irritated her. She was kind enough to answer my question and eloquently reframed her experience of forgiving into a transformation of forgiveness. I asked:

Dr. Minami: Did you feel forgiveness increasing today when you saw Matabaro working very hard?

Louise: Really. I always forgive him and I don’t have any problem. I have forgiven him already. I don’t have a problem with him. He is always committed while working for me without any problem.

Dr. Minami:  This day you saw him working very hard and you felt sorry for him, did you feel the forgiveness increasing considerably?

Louise: What increases is a love, not forgiveness. The forgiveness has been given. Now it is the love that increases.

It was my learning moment that, for Louise, what was increasing was love towards Matabaro. I was made aware of my own insistence on pigeonholing her experience within the parameter of forgiveness. I never thought of love as the transformed figure of forgiveness.

Louise taught me this. Her words taught me that her forgiveness had reached and even transformed into her love and warm feeling towards Matabaro by the last session. His consistent devotion also helped her transform her forgiveness by implanting warm feelings and nurturing love in her through his service. The following photo depicts the moment she helps him wash his feet after brick making out of her care.

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