Let’s face it; you’ve at one point harbored thoughts of anger, resentment, and hatred to someone. The person could be your close friend, colleague, or even a family member. Forgiveness is not as simple as it may sound, but it’s double.
The negative feelings towards someone who’s hurt you disempowers and drains you. You can learn how to forgive someone by following the below steps. However, before we delve into the process, let’s define forgiveness and look at why you should consider forgiveness.
What is Forgiveness?
Forgiveness is a deliberate action to let go of any guilt, resentment, and anger of past hurt. Forgiving means you’re making a conscious choice to make peace with the past, to live a happier and peaceful life.
What Forgiveness Doesn’t Mean
Forgiveness doesn’t mean:
- That you have to reconcile with the one who hurt you
- Fixing your relationship with the other person
- Forgetting of what transpired
- Condoning or excusing their behavior
- Acting as nothing happened
Why Should You Consider Forgiveness?
Forgiveness to essential for your overall well-being as it:
Leads to Better Health
A study by the John Hopkins Hospital shows that there’s a significant burden to being disappointed and hurt, which can lead to changes in immune response, blood pressure, and heart rate.
However, scientists found that forgiveness calms stress levels and leads to improved health. They also discovered that people who stick grudges are likely to experience post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.
Compassion and empathy replaces all feelings of anger and resentment when you forgive.
Give You the Chance to be Responsible for Your Happiness
You’re what you attract; this is a common saying that means you’re a reflection of what’s inside you. The actions you take create the exterior world. What this means is that you will never know happiness if you only have negativity inside.
However, letting go allows you to understand that you’re responsible for your happiness and that external factors do not influence your happiness.
Helps You Forgive Yourself
You may find it easier to forgive others, but forgiving yourself may feel like a difficult task. Taking the deliberate step to forgive yourself lets you go of the guilt you may have been carrying around and open yourself up to new opportunities.
You need to forgive yourself for anything you might have done to cause the hurt. Both actions lead to a healthier, happy you.
Allows You to Stop Playing the Victim
Holding onto grudges gives you the opportunity to play the victim card as you keep blaming the other person for your misfortunes. You’ll be surprised that often you’re not a victim of anything other than your vibration.
Blaming someone else means you’ve given away control of your life to another person, this makes your victim for the rest of your life. However, when you forgive, you let go of anything that could be holding you back, and you no longer have to play the victim card.
Helps you Love Again
Learning to forgive someone who’s hurt you takes courage especially if it’s someone you .loved wholeheartedly. Letting go of any past bitterns creates space to allow new experiences and people in your life.
Once you understand that not every person or situation is meant to be a part of your life story, you’re freer to connect to other people.
Enables You to See the One Who Hurt you as a Teacher
Everyone who comes into your life is there to teach you more about yourself and to leave you with a lifelong lesson. You no longer have to learn the experience after the hurt as you’ll now know what to avoid moving forward.
Forgiveness allows you to grow, which means not repeating the same experiences in the future.
It’s a Gift to Yourself
Maya Angelou once said that forgiveness if one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. Often, you may feel like forgiving someone is doing them a favor and allowing them to repeat the same mistakes.
Nevertheless, forgiveness is a gift to self when you let go of any feelings of anger, resentment, and hurt. Remember that you’re not weak. Having the strength to forgive gives you peace, and it’s a fantastic way to go back to your jovial, happy mood.
Teaches you To Lower Your Expectations
Every time you expect anything from someone, you give out your power to decide. Connecting to your inner source means you no longer need anything from anyone else. Although it’s not wrong to receive things, it’s critical to understand that when you don’t get them. Your life still moves forward.
Allows You to Grow
Lack of forgiveness holds you back from all your potential. Giving yourself the opportunity to forgive gives you time to be happy and productive as you no longer have the energy for useless and negative complaints.
Don’t forget that forgiveness doesn’t excuse their bad behavior, it only prevents the action from destroying your heart.
Means you’ll Also Be Forgiven
To err is human, and this applies to everyone. You may have hurt someone else and yearning for the same forgiveness. Releasing others from their mistakes creates space for you receive forgiveness.
Forgiveness is the Best Revenge
You’ve heard of this phrase that forgiveness is the best revenge. Although it may sound like a cliché, it applies to everyday life. Nothing annoys your enemy more than him/her seeing you smile after what they did to you.
Steps for Learning How to Forgive Someone
Here are some crucial steps to take to learn how to forgive someone who hurt you.
Understand the Reason that Angered you
The first step to healing is to think about the incident that angered you. Understand how it happened, how you felt, and what your reaction was like. Knowing these things means acknowledging that it occurred and how it affected you as a person.
Recognize the Growth
What have you learned about yourself after the incident? Are there boundaries you need to out in place and put your needs first? Answering these questions will help you acknowledge the growth that’s occurred due to the incident.
Put Yourself in the Shoes of the One Who Hurt You
All human beings have their flaws. It’s normal to act from a skewered frame of reference or from out limited beliefs. Try and understand why the other person acted as he/she did. Ask yourself if the other person was trying to have a need met when you were hurt.
The person who hurt you may have been going through a difficulty or a situation that you do not know of, which could have led to unintentional hurt. Putting yourself in his or her shoes will give you another perspective that will allow you to learn how to forgive someone.
Acknowledge that You Played a Part
Often, we blame others for what we’re experiencing without stopping to realize that we may have had a part in what transpired. Take some time and analyze the events that happened before you got hurt.
You may have played a role in the hurt. Most times, we wait until the other person apologizes for us to forgive them. Understanding that you may have had a role allows you to forgive without any expectations. It’s also an excellent way to regain peace.
Let Go of Any Anger and Resentment
Of course, you have a right to be mad at whoever hurt you. However, the resentment and anger that comes after this are not because of the other party’s behavior, but it’s because you’re not ready to end the fight by offering love and forgiveness.
It’s critical to let go of any resentment that you may be holding onto to enjoy a fulfilling life.
Reciprocate With Kindness
Resentments only destroy you. Understanding that you don’t need to retaliate when you’re hurt shows maturity. Always respond with kindness even when you want to beat someone up or do something worse.
Remember that you’d rather be kind than right, this will help you avoid retaliation when you’re dealing with feelings of hurt.
Understand that Forgiveness Doesn’t Always Mean Reconciliation
Finding peace from past hurt is what you’re after. Although you may want to reconnect with that person who hurt you, it’s essential to understand that this may not always be the best idea.
You can still forgive someone and choose not to be close to him or her. Also, forgiveness doesn’t mean that you condone their actions, but that you’re willing to forgive regardless of the outcome.
Always Be Present
Failing to forgive means that you still want to live in the past. You want to lament about the old days and blame them for your failure. However, this only drains you and leaves you with anger and resentment.
Instead, you can choose to live in the present and be happy and fulfilled. Appreciate the beauty around and make use of the present rather than holding on to bad experiences.
It’s easy to stress over past events. You need to practice different stress management techniques to get rid of your body’s fight response. Meditation is an excellent stress management technique that can help you relax, and get rid of any negative energy.
Make the Commitment to Forgive
At this point, you’re now ready to commit to forgiveness. You may want to give this a try after realizing how the effects of anger have made you unhappy for a long time.
Decide Whether to Tell the Other Person that You’ve Forgiven Them
You may find a face to face conversation an easier way to forgive someone for his or her actions. Doing this also gives you the opportunity to have someone explain why it happened. However, you don’t have to do this if you’re not ready to face the person.
You can choose to speak to yourself and forgive the person. Give reasons as to why you feel forgiveness is essential and replace negative thoughts with happy ones.
Understand That Healing is a Process
Don’t expect to feel better the moment you let go of any bitterness and grudges. Sometimes you may feel unimaginable pain when you think of the hurt. Nonetheless. You need to understand that forgiveness is a process.
If you feel the pain again, begin the process of forgiveness. It’s through these experiences that we grow as individuals. You can make huge leaps in your journey when you release those who hurt you.
Reflect and Discover
Take time to reflect on how far you’ve come and how you’ve grown as a person. With time, you realize how happier and stronger you are, something you should be grateful for.
The final step is to stop dwelling on the past. You need to promise to bring the issue up when you meet or use the point against the person. If you need to talk to someone about the hurt, get a professional counselor or psychologist to understand the process of forgiveness.
Although it’s easier to say that you’ve forgiven someone, failure to take the necessary steps towards forgiveness can leave you with feelings of anger and resentment which can impact your future experiences.
You wouldn’t like to be in a jail of bitterness and pain caused by someone else. Gandhi once said that forgiveness is an attribute of the strong. You need to realize that forgiveness is possible.
Take time to understand all the lessons your past has taught you and the growth you’ve achieved along the way to forgive. Remember that forgiveness is the most beautiful, yet highest form of love. You get a sense of peace and experience happiness when you learn to let go.
If you have any doubts, always remember Oscar Wilde’s famous quote that says to forgive your enemies as nothing annoys them as much.