Forgiveness. One simple word, yet the very thought of giving it to someone who caused you pain and trouble seems burdensome to do and may not even cross your mind. It is normal to grieve about what happened and get angry because that is what makes you human, but do not stay like that for long. Holding grudges and harboring pain breeds negativity that can sabotage your happiness and eventually destroy you without you even noticing.
Look at yourself in the mirror and remember who you were before these people came into your life. You deserve to heal.
Here are five ways to forgive someone, even when it’s hard.
1. Give a window of time.
Forgiveness does not happen overnight or in a snap of your fingers. It is also not a walk at the park and will never be. It requires a certain amount of time, especially when you are deeply impacted by the trauma. Holding onto grudges will not help because it will ruin your relationships and mess with your future decisions.
Giving yourself time does not mean dwelling on the past but allowing yourself to move forward and make a fresh start.
2. Reconnect with yourself.
Stop reliving the harrowing memories of yesterday. Quit replaying the painful scenarios in your head. Pray and replace them with positive thoughts.
Remember that you deserve serenity and freedom from all these mental clutters and live with a clean slate again. You are more than what you think you are. Breathe, go out, and discover the opportunities and possibilities waiting for you.
3. Understand that this is making you stronger.
This may be true, however, forgiveness is undoubtedly the most difficult thing to do for the majority. Over time, though, you are able to break free from the bottled up anger and resentment.
Bear in mind that you are not condoning any misdeed nor pretending as if nothing has happened. Forgiveness is a conscious choice to find relief from the pain and start rebuilding your inner peace.
4. Be open to communication.
When the only thing left to feel is abhorrence towards that person, communication is right next to impossible. People would even argue that talking it out would intensify the conflict. This most likely applies when things cool down and confrontation takes place to hear out both sides of the story, which is not easy, but it’s an opportunity to express what is on your mind and clarify intentions.
Practice clear judgment before jumping into any conclusions to avoid further damage.
5. Forgive yourself.
It may sound compelling, but you really have to do it for your own sake. You are not always the victim and should not play the role. Sometimes you become the antagonist in someone’s story unknowingly because of the mistakes you have made. Even so, you are not a disappointment nor a failure because these imperfections will guide you to grow into a better person.
Choose to forgive, choose to be happy.
Featured Image Credit: Zackary Drucker / Broadly