Forgiveness is the Key

It’s a sad fact of life that you will come across people who hurt you or do you wrong. Their actions might consume you, make you angry, hurt you or leave you devastated. How do you get past this?

How do you take steps to forgive someone?

To forgive someone does not mean that you:

  • Pardon or excuse their actions;
  • No longer have feelings on the situation;
  • Forget the situation ever happened; or
  • Have to now include the other person in your life.

Forgiveness is accepting what happened and finding a way to live with it.  And it can take some time to reach this point – believe me.

I used to believe that if I forgave someone for what they did, then it pardoned or excused their behaviour and therefore I must hold onto that anger and hurt otherwise I’m letting them “get away with it“.

It’s not like that at all.  Forgiveness is for you, it’s letting go of thoughts and a situation that has control over you. Putting it behind you and moving forward.

Before you can think about how you forgive, you must first be willing to forgive.  You need to go through a process of identifying the hurt, feeling the hurt, expressing the hurt and releasing the anger and pain. Otherwise you might be suppressing and all of that anger and pain will come out later.

This is another thing I learned in my failed marriage.  My ex husband was a serial cheater, and I thought I forgave him after each indiscretion but now I know I didn’t. I was simply suppressing the hurt and anger and one day I exploded.  End. Of. Marriage.

So, once you’ve dealt with the pain and anger and you’re ready to forgive – how do you do it?

Forgiveness is best done on your own.  Find a time and a place to be alone.

Think about what made you angry in this situation.  Accept it.  Accept how you felt about it and how you reacted.

Acknowledge the growth you experienced. What did it make you learn about yourself, your needs and boundaries?

Think about the person who hurt you. When they hurt you, they were trying to have a need met.  What do you think this was and why did the person go about it in such a hurtful way (PS: spend time and have tissues on hand for this one as it can get emotional!)

Then decide whether or not you are going to tell the other person you’ve forgiven them.  You don’t have to, it’s entirely up to you. If you do – say the words aloud “I forgive you” and explain as much as you want to.

Remember, just because you forgive someone, doesn’t mean you need to forget what happened.  It just means that you value yourself and you put priority on being happy.

Good luck x

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