Where there is no forgiveness, wounds cannot heal
—from the 7 Pillars of Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a complex matter. Often people ask: Why should I forgive? How can I forgive? What is the relevance of forgiveness in a situation of on-going conflict? What is the relationship between forgiveness and justice? If I forgive, surely I am condoning wrongful actions and allowing them to continue?

‘Not forgiving’ has become enshrined in culture, tradition, ideology. It is called revenge; an eye for an eye; just deserts; tit for tat; payback; vendetta.  As a result, we can end up cutting ourselves off from loved ones, family, friends. On a bigger scale, we can end up justifying murder on a small and large scale, settling scores that are hundreds of years old. It is considered the right, the honourable course of action.  And yet, bereavement counsellors frequently reflect that when a person is approaching their deathbed, often their greatest terror is not the physical pain, but the emotional pain of what they have not been able to resolve, forgive, let go of. Seemingly, it catches up with all of us in the end.

We don’t have to remain locked in the past. There is a way – a way to restore ourselves to our inherent humanity, where we can find understanding, compassion, hope for the future, and a true release from the bonds of the past, whether we need to forgive ourselves, or forgive others.

The 7 Pillars of Forgiveness

The question that is often posed, is, “How do I actually start the process of forgiveness?  Are there any practical things I can do?”  Through the 7 Pillars of Understanding, Freedom, Remedy, Warmth, Enhancement, Hope and Continuance, Feminenza has created practical pathways, real steps that can be taken, to help people from all backgrounds walk the path of finding a better way. It recognises that forgiveness is a journey, and that the process is different for each person. It can be a short one or a long one. It can take a few days or a lifetime. You do not ‘have to forgive’. There are things you may never forgive. Feminenza’s programme provides tools, should you wish to walk that path.  How does a person, for example, develop the ability to let go of the pain associated with a memory?  Or how does one begin to understand that a person is more than their current actions and how does one therefore separate the person from the act, to enable both of you to move on?  How is it possible, for real, to let go of the pains of the past and move forward into the future?

The 7 Pillars offer profound access into our ability to forgive, and therefore go beyond the path of pain, revenge or violence.

What We Offer
How It Began And Continues
Publications & Articles

For further information about our Forgiveness programmes and how to access them, please email the Forgiveness Faculty.

Participant Testimonials

From the recent Forgiveness Practitioner Training programme in Corrymeela, Northern Ireland, 2017

The grids and techniques offered in the course were really helpful because they were practical and I can use them in my life. For example, ‘how to hold the best of another in yourself’ – this technique was a revelation to me because I have heard the phrase many times, but never before had I thought to find a technique, and the approach taken during the course enabled me to do this safely and very effectively.
In moments where a conflict was about to happen or started to arrive – something held me back and reminded me about what by now I call, the Forgiveness attitude messages. So there is more awareness of location to view life from, like there are more eyes that look at a situation.

From the participants – community cohesion champions – in the Trauma Healing workshop for the Kenya Tuna Uwezo project, for Global Communities Kenya, June 2015

What I learnt is what is spoken about in the mirror exercise and the practice of that to be able to forgive. Facilitators, you are my mentors. Forgiveness is complex. I learned that if you truly love peace, you should also speak with your enemies. So after the training I spoke with my enemies, I said that I forgive them. They were very surprised, and they just stood there with weapons they no longer had use for.
I also realised that ‘what others feel, I feel’. In an argument with my wife I said ‘I forgive’ you. She was very surprised.
For a long time I have been taking painkillers every day, to deal with the stress, the fear, the trauma, the things weighing on my conscience. By the last two days of the workshop I stopped taking the painkillers. I didn’t need them anymore.
Peace starts with you. I had not been able to forgive my father for many years. After the training I travelled to visit my father in his village, and we forgave each other. My father shed many tears of joy in the process.

Reflections from the young women and adolescent girls who took part in the Trauma Healing workshop for the DREAMS Initiative, Global Communities Kenya, June 2016

They (other people) said that it could not be done, that the pain would not go away, but I can tell you that it has gone. It has been done.
We have to continue with the journey of life. Because there are many things you are passing through and it is not me alone. There are other girls out there. So I promised myself to work hard and to be what I want to be in the future.

From the Forgiveness course at the Teacher’s College, Israel

Professionally, this course is a must for all educators, wherever they are! We came out of it better women, less judgmental, more understanding and more knowledgeable, and therefore also better teachers, more conscious about ourselves and our weaknesses. From this more developed self-awareness, we can better identify the developmental and spiritual stages in our students, helping them to make better decisions and choices and to gain experience. This course is unique. Its contents are mandatory for all educators around the world and for humanity in general. What a great gift!!!

From the Young Women’s Leadership Program, New York

One thing I have learned that I have taken the most from is forgiveness. I learned that if I hold a grudge, I will never be happy and I will look for revenge. What I hate most about myself is I dwell on things. I can’t get past things and I end up thinking of bad things to do. But since I learned how to forgive and let things go I have been a happier person. I am glad I learned to forgive and I now take people’s feelings into consideration and I put myself in their shoes so I can understand their view on the situation.

Reflections from participants of the Trauma Healing workshop in Nakuru, Kenya, 2017

Forgiveness is a talent. Forgiveness does not wait for anything. It comes naturally, without somebody caring to gain.
This topic of forgiveness is very important. I could not have a proper definition. It is so wide. To forgive you get healed. You start to get a life. Life is complete only when you forgive.
I forgave myself first. I am another person. I have changed, reborn again. I am a changed man.
The bearer of flowers has fragrant hands,
we came here each soiled from rots in our souls
that refused to clean, clinging and stinking.
Feminenza came, Eileen, Mary and Peter,
the fragrance of freedom in your wake,
like magic dissolving even the toughest stains on our souls.
In humility, softly, gently you reached into the recesses of our souls
and gave us hope and self-belief.

We are forever thankful to you for this life-giving experience.
We were like wilting flowers, poisoned, slowly dying
but your words gave us the belief to wake up
and start pumping life into our dying veins.
An Elixir is what you guys are, a gift from God
with a simple message of forgiveness
yet with far reaching impact on our personal lives.

You have taught me to heal, I will teach others.
You have given me belief, I will propagate that belief.
You have taught me forgiveness, I have forgiven,
I will forgive, I hope I will be forgiven,
but it does not really matter because I have let go,
I’m a clean slate, I can write a new chapter.
Thank you.
Poem by Clive (after the Forgiveness process in Kenya, June 2015)