Forgiveness often doesn’t come to us naturally. Most often the instinctive reaction is to hold grudge or to get even.
Even when we want to forgive, it can be difficult because we forgive with our words but we still feel grudge inside.
This can cause damages to our Self in the long run. So it is important for us that we learn to forgive if we want to live a truly fulfilled life.
In this blog post, I will present some simple principles that will help us learn to forgive.
Find out the positives that have emerged from that experience and be grateful for it. You know that you have forgiven when you can be grateful for the experience.
Be grateful for the fact that you have grown from the hurt and the wrong that the experience has caused into your life. Be grateful for the people who helped you in the process of overcoming that situation.
Realize that since you are still here, alive, it didn’t destroy you. The lessons you have learned from it will make you stronger, wiser and you will be valuable to other people.
Sometimes when we were hurt, we want the world to know how much we have been wronged and we tell and retell the story to whoever will listen. Stop talking about that experience to others, unless it will be valuable to them.
For example, by sharing your experiences with someone who is going through a similar situation, you will help them go through it successfully with your advices.
When we keep telling the story, we live all the hurt again, we judge and we feel the urge to revenge or to get even.
When we stop telling the story, we allow our Self to start the healing process and we can move on to new experiences, and even new memories with the persons who have hurt us.
Another important thing that will help us forgive is to bless the persons involved in that experience, especially the persons who you want to forgive.
When you are able to wish them a lot of love, happiness, success, God’s blessings from the bottom of your heart, you know that you have forgiven and as a result you feel peace.
Being able to express gratitude about a past hurtful situation and to bless the people involved will help us forgive, not only with our words, but from the heart.
It can be really difficult to forgive a particular person at times. If there is a quote:
“Those who are hardest to love need it the most”.
Then we can say that
“Those who are the hardest to forgive need it the most”,
since forgiveness is one of the faces that love can take. Don’t give up. Work on forgiveness until you can achieve it.
To get into the shoes of the people who are involved in the hurtful experience will help us forgive faster .
Understand what their perspective is. Try to find reasons why they acted that way. Your default answer might be…”because they are evil” or ” because they don’t like me”.
Avoid that kind of thinking. Realize that may be they were trying to protect themselves or maybe it was their attempt to find some kind of value because they feel insecure around you.
Feel compassion for them. If we knew the complete history of the person who has harmed us, we will understand and be ready to show compassion and to forgive;
Just like in movies we feel compassion for the bad guy after he reveals the hurtful experiences of the past that made him act in a mean way.
Think about what is in it for you. If we don’t forgive, we may carry hostility and bitterness in other relationships as well without being aware of it.
By forgiving we enhance our well-being, because the stress level – cause by grudge and resentment – is reduced and we cultivate healthier relationships.
By forgiving we exercise our strength, since Mahatma Gandhi said
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
To Forgive will bring us peace, we will start to heal emotionally and spiritually.
We will be more confident because the hurtful experience and the persons involved in it will loose the control they had voluntarily or involuntarily over our life.
We can learn, a lot from children when it comes to forgiveness. They don’t beat themselves up for their past mistakes, even if they have hurt someone, they show that they regret, and then they move on with their happy life.
Forgive yourself. Allow yourself to heal from the critical situation and give yourself time. There will be time when the hurtful memories come to send you on the old path of revenge and grudge again.
Be compassionate with yourself and reapply the above principles in order to heal. Taking care of yourself by eating well, exercising, getting enough rest will help you heal faster as well.
To forgive a person doesn’t means that you have to become best friends. In my opinion, to let the persons involved endure the consequences of their actions and be responsible is as important as to forgive.
Sometimes when your trust has been deliberately misused more than once, it is wiser to forgive but to keep your distance for a while.
Let the other person do his part and let the time show you what that relationship is worth and whether or not trust can be rebuild again.
A common mistake that we do when we forgive, is to expect that others will change their behavior. When we find out that they have not changed their behavior, we are hurt again and we go to the old path of resentment.
If you catch yourself in that cycle, repeat the principles above until you can forgive them again. Don’t judge them for not changing their behavior.
Instead respond with understanding, compassion and forgiveness. Send them Love, Bless them and move on to living your life fully.
If it is still difficult for you to forgive a person, it probably means that you have unrealistic expectations towards that person or you think the owe you something. Let go of the unrealistic expectations and be free.
Check out this video from SoulPancake about Forgive and Forget. It might touch your soul. I came across it while researching for this blog post, by reading this article of Dale Partridge
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