Stages of Forgiveness: Stage 1

August 23, 2011

By Dr. Allen Novian on August 23, 2011

There are 7 stages of forgiveness and they are as follows:

Stage 1: Admit you are angry!

Stage 2: Acknowledge the Loss and Consequences!

Stage 3: Submit to a feeling of Vulnerability

Stage 4: Stop Punishing

Stage 5: Identify some good in the other person

Stage 6: Develop Genuine Neutrality

Stage 7: Stay in the Present


Today, I want to focus on Stage 1: Admit You Are Angry!

Many of us will echo the thoughts of “What? I’m not supposed to get angry! I’ve done all this healing work!” In my last I’ve learned that it is harmful to get angry but it is more harmful to be angry and not admit it.  The way to check if you are angry is to observe your inner dialogue about how you are relating to yourself and others.  Are you finding yourself being negative, critical or frustrated? Do you find yourself being impatient with people and critical of how things are done? Are you constantly blaming others for your troubles, wishing that others would change?  If so then it is likely you are angry.


Try to recognize what you are angry about.  It may not be the little things, but something that happened months ago.  Look back in time to what might have triggered your anger and where your expression has been blocked.  Bitterness is anger with no outlet to be heard of feeling that you cannot change anything.  It is a form of helplessness.  Try to discover what you are bitter about.  Make a list of resentments.  Don’t hold back or edit your thoughts.  Being honest with yourself is the first step in healing anger.

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