Easy Steps Towards Forgiveness
Forgiveness is one of the most difficult emotional move we ever have to make. It demands not only an enlightened spirit, but also a willingness to acknowledge that you’re ready to move on from a habitual thought pattern. Happily, it’s always worth it to forgive, if only for purely selfish reasons! Holding on to pain does not punish anyone but ourselves. By withholding forgiveness, we force ourselves to relive bad situations long after they’ve passed.
You might feel like you have been wronged in a way that simply does not allow for forgiveness. Don’t force it if you’re not ready. Simply start the emotional process, and take it as far as you can. Time really does help, and having forgiveness as an ultimate goal is a big step in the right direction.
Here are your first four steps on the path towards forgiveness, take them at whatever speed feels right to you:
Acknowledge the Pain: It’s important to understand that forgiveness in no way means your suffering was okay. If someone hurt you, you have permission to feel anger, sadness, betrayal, or any other emotion that comes your way. You must fully feel this hurt, and acknowledge and accept that it is valid and real. To help uncover your full spectrum of emotions, try writing down the situation that needs forgiveness from the perspective of someone completely uninvolved in the situation. Then write it from the point of view of the person who hurt you. Finally, write it from your own perspective, and see if your feelings release a little.
Have a Game Plan: Revenge fantasies are nothing to be ashamed of, they’re a perfectly natural reflex when we’ve been wronged. Usually, acting out of revenge only turns a bad situation worse, and hardly ever works out the way you imagine. With this in mind, picture the most healthy possible outcome for everyone involved, even if it’s far into the future. You don’t have to be there anytime soon, just imagine how it might feel when you can forgive.
Work Through the Pain: If you’ve been seriously wronged, you can expect to feel surges of anger and pain long after the situation has passed. Learning to process these feelings in a healthy, progressive way will keep you on a path of love and happiness. Healthy ways to process pain are different for everyone. Maybe it’s writing poems, or making music, or going for a jog- whatever you find to do that allows you to acknowledge your feelings, and work through them will work!
Let Go: By repeating the first three steps, this last one will happen naturally when you’re ready. Don’t pressure yourself; it will take time. Be willing to keep an open mind and heart, and allow yourself the space to fully process the release of resentment.
Whether you’re forgiving yourself, a loved one, a stranger, or any other situation, these steps will help you heal. The path to forgiveness is all about not wallowing as a victim for a moment longer than necessary. It takes work, and you’ll probably relapse from time to time, but the ability to forgive is a very useful skill for living the best life you can.
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Article Written by Missy Kalat. Missy Kalat is the founder of the Experiencing Spirit Institute, which she undertook only after she allowed her primary energy helper to lead her, eight years ago. This was her spirit guide, Angelus. The Experiencing Spirit Institute is a global organization that helps people to live more empowered lives. www.experiencingspirit.com
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