Forgiving someone when they have said or done something to hurt you isn’t always easy. In fact, for the most part you would probably rather do just about anything than forgive someone that has caused you pain. People go through life carrying grudges and never understanding the impact it’s having on them or their lives.
How do I know?… Because I was one of those people. There were many times throughout my life that I just couldn’t justify forgiving people for things they said or did to me. Why should I forgive them? They should be apologizing to me after all I was the one being hurt. I thought if I just stayed away from them and tried to forget, it would be okay, but the bitterness that I felt never seemed to go away. At the time I didn’t understand that by not forgiving, the only person I was hurting was me.
Forgiveness isn’t about releasing others from anything, it is about releasing ourselves. It isn’t something we do for others; it’s something we do for our own well being. When we are in a place of hostility we are held down by feelings of depression, anger, and fear. Forgiveness releases us from these feelings. If we no longer hold bitterness, then these dark side effects will disappear.
If you refuse to forgive someone you remain tied to them. Unless you release yourself you’ll get closer to being dragged over the cliff with them. Forgiveness is enlightened self interest. It allows you to let go of the hurt and pain and leads you down the path of healing and peace. When you choose to forgive you choose to live in the present.
Forgiveness allows you to move past your life experiences and take away a valuable life lesson. Think of your life as a history book. Each experience is the past and it can’t be changed. It happened and it’s over. From each experience you can decide, is it something you will do over again or is it something you will do differently. From every experience you decide you would do differently you can observe a valuable lesson that you can apply in your life today.
How Do I Forgive?
Often times I get asked, “How do I begin to forgive someone that has taken everything away from me…. My dignity, my trust, my humility……?
Forgive yourself first. One of the hardest things to understand is the role that you play in every situation that you are faced with. This is most often not something that you are aware of as it is deeply seeded in your subconscious. By forgiving yourself you will release the feelings of shame and guilty that you may be carrying whether consciously or unconsciously.
When you are forgiving it is always important to focus on the benefits that you get from a negative situation rather than the emotions around the event. There is always something for you to learn from everything that happens in your life. We only make changes in our life when we are challenged. By challenging you, you could make a change in your life that you may not have otherwise made, that has the potential to be very positive.
Think about a negative or uncomfortable experience that you may have had at some point in your life. Keeping this experience in mind, what could you learn as a positive lesson that you could apply in your life today? For example you may have learned the importance of speaking your truth, or standing up for yourself or honoring yourself.
Now who are some of the people in your life experience that you should forgive for what they did to you? Create a list.
When you are contemplating how to forgive someone you may or may not want to express your feelings to the other person. If this isn’t something that you feel comfortable with or perhaps isn’t possible then you can write them a letter and then tear it up or burn it as you release the judgments and feelings you have about them.
Remember to try and focus on how this may have benefited you in some way. Most times we are unconscious as to any benefits that this could possibly have brought to our lives especially if the experience has been very traumatic. You may have to dig deeply in order for them to be revealed.
Think of forgiveness as a gift that you are giving yourself. Begin to experience the inner peace and love that comes with forgiving.
The main focus of my work is to assist you in changing and transforming your life by helping you to break through barriers and limitations that keep you stuck so you can become more confident and self empowered to deal with all situations that arise. My main area of expertise is in Relationship Success.