Forgiveness Exercise: Throw the Orange!
When someone hurts us deeply, it can be very difficult to forgive them. Whether it is a childhood hurt or a more recent act, the pain can be unbearable, and in some cases, debilitating. However, the longer we hold on to the hurt, pain, humiliation of the injury, we are the one who suffers. To go forward in our lives and to live the life God intended for us, we must forgive those who have hurt us – regardless of the intent or purpose.
To help us in the act of forgiveness, we must remember the following principles.
- Forgiveness does not mean acceptance of the act. It’s okay to say, “It is not okay!”
- Forgiveness does not mean denial of the pain or the hurt.
- Forgiveness does not mean the relationship will improve or get back on track. Some relationships are too difficult for us to mend without God’s intervention.
- Forgiveness does not mean to “forgive and forget”.
Forgiveness is simply the willingness to “let Go and let God”.
- Let God take control of the situation FOREVER.
- Let God decide the proper punishment or discipline or repercussions, if there are any.
- Let God fill you with peace and serenity.
- Let God bless you and watch over you, especially in the most difficult of relationships.
To help you in the act of forgiveness, the act of letting go, try the following exercise:
- Buy a bag of oranges.
- Find a black permanent marker. A thick point works best.
- Find a basket (or bucket, box, bag) big enough for all the oranges.
- Take your oranges, marker and basket and go to a quite location, one where you can feel God and not be interrupted.
On each orange, in big black letters, write your feelings regarding the person who hurt you.
For example: on one orange write one word to describe how you were hurt, such as “pain”, or “humiliation” “embarrassment”, “guilt”, “anger”, “frustration”, “betrayal”. Write whatever you need to. Get the feelings out. Once you have used all your oranges or ran out of things to write on the oranges, take a deep cleansing breath and gather all the oranges together in the basket. With the basket filled with your pain, pray to God and ask Him to accept the basket and all the pain it represents. Ask him to take it all away from you and fill you with peace and tranquility.
Now the fun part…take each orange, read what it says and ask God to take the feelings away from you…now THROW THE ORANGE AS FAR AND AS HARD AS YOU CAN!
Take each orange in turn and throw each orange as far and as hard as possible. Do this until all the oranges are gone. Once your basket is empty; praise God for his love and compassion. Only through God can we forgive others. It can not be done without replacing the hurt with love, and only God can replace the hurt. Forgiveness is an act that can help us live the life God meant for us to have.
By throwing the oranges, you are throwing off the hurt. By praising God, instead of feeling a heart full of pain, you will experience the renewing emotions of love, peace and tranquility.
Don’t accept the pain caused by others – by recognizing the pain, giving it to God and casting it away – we can live happier, more fulfilling lives. So buy a bag of oranges this weekend – experience God’s love in your life!