How do you go about forgiving someone?
Forgiving someone might take you time and efforts. But don’t forget, you are doing it for yourself, not for the other person(the other person doesn’t really care if you forgive him/her or not!).
The following are 4 tips that might help you let go of things for a lighter future:
Forgiveness is a voluntary action but it should be internally motivated. Nobody else can force you to forgive someone. It should organically come from within yourself.
- How do I really want to feel?
- Am I secretly enjoying this bitterness inside me?
- Does this anger, hatred and frustration towards the concerned person make me feel contented?
- What kind of a person am I?
- What are my values?
- Why am I giving in to negative emotions?
- Do I want to hold grudges against the person just to feel in control or let go and be happy?
Introspection helps you tap the root cause of you holding on to the bitterness as it fosters self-awareness and understanding of our behaviour, actions and attitudes.
2. Thank the offenders for the lesson.
Having a disappointing experience from a person you trust isn’t the best feeling in the world. Every coin is two-sided so is every bad experience. Forgiveness becomes easier when you take the offender’s actions in a positive light.
Be thankful to the person who has taught you a lesson in life. And it is because of him/her that you could learn from your mistakes and never repeat them again. It just helped you move a step closer to resilience.
3. Step out of your victim mentality.
The easiest thing to do is blame others and circumstances for everything that happens to you. Stop for a while and peek within. Whining, complaining, cursing and planning revenge doesn’t solve anything. Instead, take accountability and responsibility for your choices.
When you start accepting the fact that you control your life and you have the power to make better choices of forgiving and moving on, you will gradually start witnessing change.
Our lack of forgiveness makes us hate, and our lack of compassion makes us hard-hearted. Pride in our hearts makes us resentful and keeps our memory in a constant whirlwind of passion and self-pity. – Mother Angelica
4. Give up on being ‘right’.
People who try to be too strict with what is right and what is wrong will never be able to forgive a ‘wrongdoer’. You have to know that your happiness is more important than your need to be a perfectionist. Let go of your past as no matter what means you take, you cannot change it. You can only make wise choices for the present.
However, I would like to add that certain behaviours (rape of any form, sexual abuse, sexual harassment at workplace, domestic violence, homicide, bullying) are illegal and need to be dealt by the jurisdiction. Forgiveness is never an option if you are a victim of such behaviours. But this also doesn’t give you the pass to take things in your hand. The legal authority is responsible for dealing with such issues. All you can do is keep alive your fighting spirit to establish justice.
Forgiveness takes you to be selfless, empathetic and self-loving. But it is one of the most powerful resources available to you.