The Forgiveness Pyramid
Hate having your buttons pushed? Sure, we all do. Forgiveness heals because it neutralizes the buttons altogether. Make no mistake here, we forgive others and ourselves for the most selfish of reasons: to take back our power from the past in the name of the future we deserve. The Forgiveness Pyramid technique can release a lifetime of accumulated emotional garbage in oh, forty minutes. This article is for you clinical hypnotists who want better results for your clients, and is excerpted from my book, The Forgiveness Pyramid.
You may already be doing a version of chair therapy in your trancework, where you have the client in a chair facing another chair into which she projects people she needs to confront and forgive. If you are, then move forward past the bulleted lists below, which are for those of you not familiar with forgiveness work.
The Benefits of Forgiveness
- Your client gets to take control of those buttons of hers that other people keep pushing. Once she doesn't have any, they can't be pushed.
- Your client gets back the power to choose how she feels in the moment.
- Your client gets back all the energy tied up in a past that no longer exists.
- Your client gets that energy back now, for her use in the present for all the things she wants to do with her life.
- Your client gets to live fully in the present.
- She gets a clean slate upon which her current goals can be actualized.
What Forgiveness Is Not
- Forgiveness is not the easy way out. Anger and hatred are the easy ways out. This work takes courage, the courage for your client to admit that she can't change the past, she can only change how she feels about it.
- Forgiveness is not denial. It means accepting what happened, no matter who did what.
- Forgiveness is not approval. Nothing hurtful is condoned. No one is seen as justified in hurting anyone else for any reason. They are pardoned, they are forgiven, and it's not the same thing as approving of any abusive words or deeds.
- Forgiveness does not mean that people who hurt your client are allowed back into her life. Quite the contrary; after this work, her boundaries will clarify and become stronger than ever.
- Forgiveness is never for the benefit of the forgiven, it is for the forgiver. The people your client pardons will probably never know it happened. But your client will. She'll feel better, do more, and get more of what she wants out of life. Think of it as the best present she ever gave herself. And you're the hypnotist who can deliver the goods.
How The Pyramid Is Built
The Forgiveness Pyramid technique has three sections: Forgiveness of Others, The Apology, and Self Forgiveness. These are further segmented into categories, each done separately. We start with the easiest and progress to the hardest, ergo pyramid. This means that by the time your client gets to the tough work, she knows the procedure and can concentrate on getting to full forgiveness where it most counts.
Section One: Forgiveness of Others
The categories here are Strangers, Friends, Family, The People Who Hurt You The Most, and Anybody Else. In that order, each done separately. The least emotionally charged category is Strangers, so it is done first and in greatest detail to teach your client the procedure. Friends is a more emotionally charged category, so it is done second. And since Family is more emotional still, it is done third. Then we get to the big one, The People Who Hurt You The Most. Last comes Anybody Else, and be certain to include it. Often another layer of Friends or Family will surface here, plus groups such as coworkers, former lovers, or society at large.
Section Two: The Apology
The second section is where anyone your client owes an apology to for anything whatsoever at any time in her life shows up on the other side of the force field. She makes her apologies, which are automatically accepted, and she is automatically forgiven. Be amazed, my friend, by its powerful impact. Bang! Pow! Years of accumulated guilt dissolve like a sugar cube in hot water. 'Tis a thing of beauty. Guilt is a killer.
The Apology section is crucial because many clients can not forgive others without being equally forgiven by them. It is sandwiched between Forgiveness of Others and Self Forgiveness because once the client feels how good it feels to be forgiven, resistance to forgiving others and themselves vanishes.
Section Three: Self Forgiveness
The third section is Self Forgiveness, segmented into these categories: Newborn, Grade School, Teenager, 20s, 30s, 40s, up to the decade of the client's Current Age. Each segment is done separately. At the end, bring back all the selves for a Group Hug Or Group High Five, client's choice. Doing Self Forgiveness in segments rather than all at once gives your client manageable chunks of time and circumstance, and is especially helpful for clients with personal histories chock full of inappropriate behavior.
Forgiving by Percentages
Give your client permission to forgive others and herself in percentages, rather than all or nothing. She must do her best to get to 100% each time. When the number is less than 100%, ask if you may help her increase it. Never insist. Use the many methods in the Options and Tips chapter of my book, The Forgiveness Pyramid, to increase percentages.
Be wary when a client alleges she's at 100% immediately at every stage of the Pyramid. That is indicative of dismissal, not forgiveness. You'll be readily able to tell the difference from the look on her face. Forgiveness is an emotion of peace, dismissal is a sneer.
I tell clients to make privacy decisions in the moment. Sure, I guide her every step of the way, but she chooses how much detail, if any, she wishes to disclose. She may tell me everything, some things, or nothing. I assure her that this is not AA. She needn't tell anyone she forgave them or make restitution to anyone she has wronged. The work is all done the privacy of her own mind. When you use the Forgiveness Pyramid, move your client through the procedure without asking for details. Privacy Style is better for both of you on several counts. First, the work goes more quickly. Second, the less abuse you hear about, the less clearing of negative energy you'll be doing on yourself afterwards. Third, the details don't matter, the forgiveness does. You can do the entire Forgiveness Pyramid for your client without having to hear a single detail. And it works wonderfully.
About the Author
Written by Michelle Beaudry, CHt, author of, "The Spa of Your Inner Mind," and "The Forgiveness Pyramid," both available at the Banyan Hypnosis Mall at www.banyanhypnosismall.com/michellebeaudry.
Miss Beaudry is an adjunct faculty member of the National Guild of Hypnotists, a graduate of the Omni Hypnosis Training Center with additional studies in Ericksonian hypnosis at Phoenix Development, and is a member of the Innovative Hypnosis Research Group, the Hypnosis Education Association, and the Conscious Awareness Network.
Article Copyright 2006 by Michelle Beaudry.