Forgiving someone who has hurt or offended you can be one of the most challenging things to do. Yet, to live a full and satisfied life, forgiveness is necessary.
Unforgiveness has been likened to drinking poison and waiting for it to harm the other person. Only, the other person isn’t harmed at all.
A major reason why forgiveness is so difficult is that many people misunderstand it. So, what does it truly mean to forgive and how can you make this necessary act easier to do?
1. Understand That Forgiveness Is For You
Many people have the misconception that forgiving a person is the same as letting them off the hook. It’s not. When you harbor resentment towards someone, this feeling resides in your mind. Eventually, the intense bitterness will start infiltrating your body, too. In short, you are the one who hurts. Not them. Your offender is not in your mind. You are in your mind.
More than anything, forgiving someone is about offering yourself freedom. When you forgive, you release the negative thoughts, hurt feelings, and poisonous vitriol flowing inside.
2. Know That Their Actions Are About Them
Another reason forgiveness seems difficult is that you might have taken your offender’s actions too personally. Well, of course you did! After all, the offense was directed towards you, right?
Think of it this way, though. Your offender did what they did because of how they feel inside. They hurt you because something wasn’t right within themselves. Sadly, you were the one to take the flack even though their own flaws were the true target.
3. Remember A Time When You Were Forgiven
Helping others in need is far easier when you too have been helped in a time of need. It’s a “been there done that” sort of thing. Forgiveness is no different. Forgiving someone becomes easier when you remember a time when you were also forgiven. Thinking this way tends to equal us out on the same playing field.
4. You Don’t Have to Forget
The saying does go forgive and forget, but don’t be fooled. It doesn’t mean forgive your offender and forget that it ever happened. Forgiveness isn’t forcing you to forget. Forgiveness is releasing the offense and setting up healthy boundaries so that it’s less likely to happen again.
To forget is to choose not to hold the offense over the offender’s head. Once you choose to forgive, you don’t have to relive it or remind the other person about it.
5. Choose to See Your Offender As Human
When someone hurts or offends you, it’s easy to view that person as a monster. This is especially true when you’re hurt by a toxic person. The offender’s behavior and actions could even be deemed unforgivable by others. It’s difficult to comprehend why some people do the things they do. Thinking of them as heartless monsters make it easier for you to accept the hurtful behavior.
By choosing to see you offender as human you make forgiveness easier on yourself. Remember that they were once a child. They put their pants on one foot at a time. They are a real person.
6. Make A New Start
If you’re having difficulty forgiving someone in your life and you’re feeling the effects of unforgiveness, please contact me. It’s not easy to forgive, but this one act will free your mind and emotions more than any other.
I’d like to help you accomplish your personal goals of forgiveness. Together we can move past the hurt that is keeping you stagnant. Reach out to me to start on the path to a new and better life.
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