Forgiving isn’t easy but not forgiving is the exact thing holding you back. Holding you back with anger. Feelings come naturally but holding anger becomes a choice. If you let that anger consume you, you might become a monster gradually! Thinking in a negative ways, “If this person hurt me, anyone else could hurt me”, “Trust no one”, and “What did I do to deserve this”? If you're victimizing yourself and throwing your thoughts into a blazing fire, that’s when you know you need to reflect on the past and find your way back to the peace you lost.
You will know you’ve forgiven someone when you keep thinking about the good times you spent with them, when you can speak without a sketched plan and when you have taken time away from them and feel some distance and peace inside yourself.
How does the forgiving process happen?
“Agreements are always the product of time and place.”- Larry Craig
3 Steps for Forgiving
1) Reflect for Yourself
Reflect yourself through the uncertainties, to gain better understanding.
What is making you hurt?
What have you gained from this hurt and what can you do to lighten this mess?
First you give yourself time to heal. Your mouth could say words of forgiveness but your heart might feel otherwise, so don’t rush it. Let the words of forgiveness flow effortlessly. It took me a long time to forgive the person I fought with. We didn’t speak for months and if we did, it was formal. There was a barrier that held my true personality captive, afraid of showing my weaknesses in front of the person that hurt me.
“For me, Forgiveness and compassion are always linked: how do we hold people accountable for wrong doing and yet at the same time remain in touch with their humanity enough to believe in their capacity to be transformed?” – Bell Hooks
2) Take an Appropriate Moment to Talk to Them
After you’ve self-reflected, you wait for a chance to talk with them. Make sure it’s not in a public place with many people around. Don’t do it while texting, as things can get lost in translation, but a phone call or video call is fine if you are too far away. Meeting them in a space where there are not many people or inviting them over might be the best option. Make sure that they are also not busy, in a free time where ideas and communication do not have to be rushed. While speaking to them, empathize with them and listen. Listening means understanding and accepting their ideas from their point of view. Let go of the past, some people compile their anger into a dictionary of pain and let it all out. Recalling every time you fought, and hurtling it at them doesn't move you toward healing. if you can’t let go of that pain you will always be hurting.
“We have a choice about how we take what happens to us in our life and whether or not we allow it to turn us. We can be consumed by hate or darkness, or we’re somehow able to regain our humanity somehow, or come to terms with things and learn something about ourselves”- Angelina Jolie
3) Resist Cutting People Off Immediately – Take a Measured Approach
If you put an expiration date on the people you love, they may do the same to you. We’ve learned from TV shows and songs that cutting ties with someone is an easy fix. Even on social media like Twitter, Facebook or cellphone contacts, people could easily block someone. It’s become easy to remove someone with a click of a button. Throwing the memories into a trash bin, but there is a difference between our memories and real trash. The trash in a trash bin can get disposed of whether in real life or on your PC. It becomes hard to restore. We forget that our memories do not work like that. We have to process and make sense of the past, to heal inside ourselves, so that in time those painful memories are healed, and happy memories can return. We may later wonder why we had to go to such measures to remove that person from our life, when all we really needed to do was take time to heal inside ourselves. So before you’re about to make a life changing decision or statement towards another person, someone you really do care about but who has hurt you, ask yourself, can you live without them? Does the relationship deserve a chance to heal and move forward?
“Happiness isn’t something you experience; it’s something you remember” – Oscar Levant
Taking another step towards happiness is remembering why this person is special to you and why it's okay to offer a second chance to someone you love.