Embracing Forgiveness So You Can Move On
“Forgiveness says you are given another chance to make a new beginning.” –Desmond Tutu
Whether it is a past hurt, deep resentment or even a trauma, embracing forgiveness can be difficult. Allowing anger toward that person to thrive is all too easy, and unfortunately, all too damaging to the person who was wronged.
And while letting go of grievances is as rewarding as it is healing, knowing how to forgive can be overwhelming and seemingly impossible. If you first understand the common misconceptions about forgiveness, you can then master the ways to embrace it.
Misconceptions about forgiveness
We’ve all heard the phrase “forgive and forget”. This is a bit misleading because no one ever forgets that they were wronged, but you can “let go” with the act of forgiveness. You will still remember, but are no longer bound by it.
Forgiving someone doesn’t mean that you condone or excuse their actions. In fact, it means the exact opposite because in order to forgive someone, there must first be a grievance.
Another common misconception is that you have to tell the person that they are forgiven, when you really don’t. This is especially true when reconnecting with that person could be harmful, or even the possibility of losing that connection is unwanted. Just remember that the purpose of forgiveness is for you to heal, not the other way around.
Ways to embrace forgiveness
In order to truly forgive, you must be willing. And in order to be willing, you must first identify your anger and pain, and then fully express it.
First, think about the incident and accept that it happened. Consider both how the act made you feel, and how you reacted to it. Record your feelings and reactions in a journal. Unless you remember a new detail about the incident, do this only once. You’ll understand why in the next paragraph.
Next, determine if you experienced any growth from the incident. Did you learning anything about yourself or discover new personal boundaries? Write down as much as possible with regard to any experienced growth or realized personal boundaries. Studiesshow that writing about the benefits from a negative situation are more likely to help you forgive.
Then, consider the known flaws of the other person. Does this explain anything about the offense? Many times when someone is behaving in a hurtful way, they themselves are trying to meet a need of their own. Can you identify their need at the time and determine a reason as to why they behaved that way?
Finally, figure out what you want to say when you do forgive that person. Even if you are opting not to tell them, it is important to say these words out loud so as to complete the act of forgiveness. Don’t stop at the “I forgive you”, provide an explanation as to why you are forgiving them.
It can be extremely emotional and difficult to forgive someone, especially if what they did was traumatic or ongoing. Understanding the misconceptions about forgiveness often provides much needed clarity. By carefully considering the ways to embrace forgiveness, you are taking all the necessary steps toward healing.
If you are finding it difficult to forgive, you may find more success working with a professional who can assist you with working through your feelings and support your healing along the way.
Gary John Bishop is one of the leading Personal Development Experts in the industry with a global reputation that has impacted tens of thousands of people worldwide.Contact himtoday to learn more about how he can help you embrace forgiveness and move on.