How do we know when it's time to forgive? What does forgiveness even look like?
I'll put my hands up and admit there's been times when someone has crossed the point of no return and however much it hurts there's just no going back.....
I know it's shit and I know it changes stuff but we can't just lay there like doormats letting everyone walk over us can we?
Being able to let go though isn't just about forgiving the other person for what they have done. It can simply mean setting yourself free from the pain it has caused and allowing yourself to move on.....
So if this sounds like something you might want to hear about I've listed a few tips below that can help us all start the process of forgiveness and letting go..... Let's talk about them.
Forgiveness 101 - What Is It?
"Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, and overcomes negative emotions such as resentment and vengeance"
If you wanna get serious and break it down to it's basic level forgiveness is an act of kindness to ourselves. It's a reflective process where we can pause and look at the bigger picture rather than just the pain it's caused and in forgiving someone we are able to find peace, acceptance and closure.
Tips On How To Learn To Forgive Others
The first step of forgiveness is making the choice to commit to the process. The path may be difficult for some and it may take some time but if your heart isn't in it you're not going to get very far.
A good place to start would be to try thinking about everything that has happened. Who did what? How's it effected you? What would be the consequences if you choose to forgive? What if you didn't, what would happen then?
Once you have a clearer picture of how you think and feel about the situation you can then make a firm decision about whether or not you're willing to commit to the process of forgiveness.
2. There's Always 2 Sides To Every Coin
Can you think of anything in your life where the answer is just as simple as a yes or no? I know I can't .....
Life's way to complicated for that so if you're only willing to see things from your point of view you're trapping yourself in a box which will end up bringing more questions than answers.
You'll be limiting your understanding of the situation to what you know and more often than not there is a million and one different factors involved none of which you might be aware of because you're not willing to listen.
Listening to someone else's story doesn't always have to mean forgiving them or agreeing with what they did it's simply a way of raising your awareness which can help with acceptance, understanding and empathy. All of which are part of the process in forgiveness.
3. Own It
No one is born good or bad. We all do things in life that may hurt others and the truth is we might not even know we're doing them.
Thinking about our own actions then is a great way of reminding us that we all have to live with the consequences of our own behaviour and if you can accept and forgive yourself for the mistakes that you make in your life do you reckon you might be able to forgive others more easily for the mistakes that they make? (Yes, No.... Maybe?)
4. Focus On The Now
It's true that we are all the makings of our past but focusing on the unhappy stuff that has happened to us can leave us with constant feelings of depression, anxiety and stress.
I know for some of us the pain caused by others might be so great that you can't think of anything else so don't try and think of this as forgiving what has happened to you but more a way of loving yourself enough to release yourself from the shackles of your past.
It's a way of saying "enough is enough" ..... The way I want to live my life in the now will not be dictated to because of what someone else did in the past.
5. Love Them And Leave
This is probably one of the hardest to do but in some cases it's the only option. It doesn't matter how accepting and forgiving we can be we all have our boundaries don't we?
We all have that line that when crossed, there's no going back and if you're like me someone has had to do something pretty bad to get me to that point that If they have I'm gonna be quite OK with letting them go and moving on.
We often become what we are around so fill your life with good people that will lift you up and add something positive.
"Keep the good ones and let the bad ones drift away"
This was a toughie to write if I'm honest. Knowing when and how to forgive can be so complicated, especially when the other person is a big part our life.
It was definite reminder to me about how the path we are on can change so quickly by just a few small events and decisions.
Peace and Love x