Today, we continue our exclusive interview with Mary Hayes Grieco, author of Unconditional Forgiveness. You’ve worked with such diverse clients, even war veterans. Can you share a particular transformative experience you’ve witnessed?

I guess the most transformative forgiveness work I have been witness to has been the healing of severe sexual abuse: helping a woman to forgive her minister who assaulted her when she worked for him in the church office. She lived in hell about that for seven years, and then emerged free and clear after forgiving it. Shortly afterwards, I was called upon to help a man who had been a perpetrator of sexual abuse. He too was living in hell and in severe depression until he could forgive himself. Their suffering was so profound, on both sides of the story, victim and perpetrator. I learned a lot from seeing this.
Can your techniques be used to forgive our selves as well as others?
Yes. Self-forgiveness is very important, and it relies on the ability to view yourself and your situation from the perspective of spiritual level, a higher level of consciousness, than where your conditional human personality dwells. It is a different technique then the eight steps of forgiving another, and it is very simple and very powerful.
How do you define forgiveness?
Forgiveness is the refreshing experience of releasing an unrealistic expectation that has been causing us to suffer. It is a tool we use to let go of an emotional burden, and it creates a new openness and fresh new vitality inside us.
What if someone has done something terribly wrong? Should we forgive them?
I encourage people to practice “unconditional forgiveness”—live a life in which you forgive everyone and everything, no matter the size or severity of the insult. When we make the decision to forgive someone, we are not saying that what they did is excusable or okay on any level. What we are saying is that even though they did this (bad, wrong, immoral, awful, etc.) thing to us—we choose now to release the painful impact of that wrongdoing upon us, once and for all. Any time we forgive anything, big or small, we are doing it for ourselves—so we don’t have to carry the burden of stress and resentment. So you see, it is even more important to forgive the terrible things so that we can end the big suffering inside us.
Why do your Eight Steps work to get rid of an emotional problem?
The Eight Steps reliably work to get rid of an emotional problem because they address the issue through all the parts of our personality (will, body, emotions, mind), our spiritual nature (energy, body, and soul), our relationship to the other person, and to life itself. Because we address the wound on all levels, there isn’t a need to hold onto it any more, and it completely dissolves. The relief that comes from this letting go is permanent, and all that remains is the learning that took place from this experience—we turn the wound into wisdom!  
Learn more about Mary and her Eights Steps to freedom in this exclusive video. Mary's book, Unconditional Forgiveness, is on sale now.

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