Psycho-Cybernetics Part 20 of 30: Performing our Own Emotional Facelift
June 5, 2009 by Dr. Lam
Yesterday, we talked about how to avoid emotional scars. Today, we use similar plastic surgical parlance and discuss how we can be our own plastic surgeons to perform our very own emotional facelift. Maltz explains that forgiveness is the key action that must be taken. We have talked about forgiveness in many previous blogs but I really like both the analogy of an emotional facelift (hey, I’m a facial plastic surgeon) and also the subtle twists that Maltz adds that have never been discussed before.
When a wife has forgiven her husband for an adulterous affair, she can subtly undermine his life through subversive comments and righteous indignation but still have offered “forgiveness”. Maltz argues that if we forgive we must forget. We must cancel the check, tear up the receipt so to speak. If we do not forget, we have in short not forgiven. Our emotional facelift must require forgiving and forgetting.
Sometimes when we forgive our enemies, we do this in a tactical maneuver where we lord over the other person by reigning on him forgiveness. This is also not the method for an emotional facelift. It is not how we repair our scars. I remember when a lady came to my office very grieved at another individual’s behavior and said, “I really pity him.” I remember telling her that pity was an emotion of superiority and not love and forgiveness. When we offer forgiveness it should be unconditional and absolute. It should not be used as a tactical maneuver to outpace our enemies.
I like that we have also forgotten that forgiveness requires that we condemn someone first. For example, when Jesus worked with an adulterous woman who was going to be stoned by the church, he actually did not offer her forgiveness but simply said, “go and sin no more.” He did not condemn this woman so he need not have forgiven her, not in the classic sense per se. If we don’t condemn someone first, we need not even extend forgiveness because we did not accept the hurt in the first place. A subtle but profound thought.
Finally, forgiveness begins with forgiveness of ourselves. We must allow ourselves to be off the hook first and foremost. When our self image is low we tend not to forgive ourselves nor others around us. When we start with a strong self image, we forgive ourselves and others. Or in the parable of Jesus and the adulterous woman, hopefully we won’t even need to offer up forgiveness because we did not first start with condemnation.