How to Forgive
I wanted to name this post: How to Forgive (even when you don’t want to and it hurts a lot and they’re being a butt), but I felt that might’ve gotten away from me.
Forgiveness is hard. It does hurt. And they probably are being a butt.
To forgive is to stop feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw, or mistake. You can see that this action relies on US, not them. It is not something that you put on someone else, but a mindset that you establish for yourself. And changing your own mind can be just as hard as changing someone else’s.
But it can be done, and it does matter. Forgiveness is the key to keeping our souls light, our hearts full, and our minds at peace. And it is simple. And it’s hard. If someone tells you that simple things are easy, they are not. Those two things – simple and easy – are not synonymous.
This is how to forgive in 5 steps…ish
1. Process your feelings
2. Process their situation/feelings/POV (Give benefit of the doubt)
3. See the bigger picture
4. Take time and think, Find a mentor
5. Release them, release yourself
Process your feelings
The first step is to take an emotional inventory of what is going on in your head. When someone hurts us, it is easy to just fly off the handle and snap. This won’t help you or anyone else because the feelings will just boil over and burn everybody.
Take time to think about your feelings. Name them. Own them. Find their cause. Then move on.
Process their Situation
Next, look at the person who hurt you (or the person you need to forgive). Look at the situation they are in, how they react to others (not just you), what they are struggling with. See the situation from their perspective. Maybe even ask them their perspective if you need to. This will build empathy, and keep you from seeing things from one side, which is a biased point of view.
See the Bigger Picture
In the grand scheme of things (your life, love, existence), how much does this wrong matter? How much does it matter in regards to society as a whole? How much does this matter to the rest of your life?
Answer these questions and you will probably see how small their slight was in comparison.
Take Time and Think
Sit back and think before taking action. That doesn’t mean fester in your angry, resentful feelings. It means wait to speak until you’ve done the first 2 steps and given yourself time to gain perspective. It’s not wise to go in and unload both barrels on someone (who may not even realize they did anything to begin with).
Find a trusted mentor and tell them about the situation and what you are feeling. This is someone you trust, who won’t go spilling it to everyone. This isn’t permission to gossip. This is counseling. Don’t spread gossip. It’s stupid.
Release Them and Yourself
Forgive and then let it go. I mean really let it go. Sing the frozen song if you have to. Releasing them does wonders for you more than anything, and it releases you from being enslaved to these corrosive, poisonous emotions.
Wait, there’s more? Yeah, just some tidbits. Calm down. I said Five-ish
– Forgiveness is not something you have to tell someone unless they asked for it. Don’t just go up to someone and tell them you forgive them. That’s obnoxious, and will probably start an argument and/or fight. They might just punch you.
– If their behavior continues, you don’t have to keep proximity to them. Don’t take back forgiveness, but don’t allow yourself to be captive to them any longer. If you are in a bad situation, get out.
– Forgiveness does not mean acceptance. You don’t have to accept bad behavior (especially violent, destructive behavior), and you shouldn’t stay close to someone who harms you. Get help.
– Admit your part. No fight is 100% on one person. It is usually shared. Admit you’re wrong to yourself and then to them, even if they don’t reciprocate.
– Is it YOUR offense? Is it REALLY? Too often in this modern, connected culture, we take offense for OTHERS on social media and then hold ourselves and others captives to our unforgiveness. Stop it! You weren’t wronged. Let the other person hold resentment until they can see this list and resolve things. You are only meant to help people along in this situation. You aren’t supposed to be held captive to unforgiveness over something that wasn’t even done to you! Just stop it.