Forgiveness is a very hard skill to master. If past anger and resentment is not dealt with, you will keep being tormented by your past. Forgiveness involves releasing the negative feelings you have towards someone that has hurt you. Refusal to forgive someone can negatively affect you mentally and psychologically. You may begin to involve in self-harm or other unwholesome activities. You cannot be truly happy if you have refused to forgive someone. Here’s how to release the negative feelings you have against someone who has hurt you and enjoy the relief that forgiveness brings:
- Awareness of anger and resentment– Don’t push your feelings aside or pretend to have forgiven the person who hurt you. Accept your emotions and let them flow. Cry and scream if need be. Most importantly, express how you feel to the person who hurt you. There are situations where the person who hurt you is unaware of what he/she has done or the effect it has had on you. Suffering in silence only worsens your pain.
- Accept the situation– After accepting how you feel, accept the situation. Stop having revenge fantasies. Revenge seems justifiable and you may think that after revenge, you will feel better that the person finally feels the pain you feel but that will not cancel out your pain. Accepting the situation also means knowing that nothing can change the past. This step is hard but possible to achieve. Refusing to accept whatever hurt has been done to you is like beating a dead dog. Also, you cannot accept your situation if you have not made up your mind that you’re finally ready to forgive your offender.
- Reshape your mindset– If you made a mistake that caused you hurt, understand that you are not perfect. Stop fantasizing about how perfect life would be if you didn’t make that mistake. A perfect life seems lovely but is totally unrealistic. Everyone has made stupid mistakes and you are no different. Forgive yourself.
If someone hurt you intentionally, understand that they hurt you because of how broken they are on the inside. People hurt others intentionally because of certain issues in their life that they have not dealt with. Don’t let their aim of hurting you be accomplished. Instead, rise above the pain.
It is important to note that there is nothing you cannot regain in life. You may regain it through different ways. Whatever you lost will always come back to you either in the form you lost it or another form. You just have to live in line with your purpose and let your eyes see the beauty in everything you have been blessed with.
People are not perfect and may hurt you unknowingly. You have hurt someone before too. There is a reason why they did what they did whether their reason is good or bad. Try to understand their reasons from a non-personal point of view and you will get the closure you need. Understand them for who they are and their reasons for doing what they did. Communicate with them concerning the issue. Also accept that you cannot change people. People are the way they are due to a lot of factors affecting them.
- Let go– Have a heart full of compassion that understands the weaknesses of others. Walk in the shoes of the person who hurt you. Accept what has happened and channel your energy into something positive and fulfilling. Forgiveness is what cancels out the toxic effect of the wrong that has been committed against you. Forgiveness doesn’t excuse the person who did you wrong but it separates you from the effect of what has been done to you. Give lesser importance to people and situations. There are more fulfilling and important things to engage in.
Forgiveness is a process. It is not always instantaneous. The goal of forgiveness is to stop thinking about the past, wishing things didn’t happen the way they did, and move on so you can live life to the fullest.