Do you find that you often hold grudges against people or find it difficult to move on when someone has wronged you? Constantly looking back with anger, hurt or frustration? If so, read to learn how finding forgiveness can free you…
One of the hardest things to do is to forgive someone who has wronged you. Any time you are dealing with other people, there may be times when you feel someone has betrayed or taken advantage of you, and it can be difficult to move forwards. By holding on to these feelings of hurt and anger, you’ll experience struggle in every other area of your life.
While it’s unrealistic to expect to go from being emotionally destroyed to simply finding forgiveness for someone, there are things you can do to get from here to there.
There are so many reasons why you should try finding forgiveness or, if you can’t forgive, at least move on and and free yourself from the harm it does to you. There are generally four steps you need to go through to really be able to let go.
Four Steps to Finding Forgiveness and Letting Go
1. The Uncovering Phase
The first step in letting go is to acknowledge how the resentment and anger is affecting you. If you can see how holding on to the thoughts of the person or event continues to have a negative effect on you, it’s time to seriously considering ridding yourself of it.
When we hold on to resentment and anger, it can be all-consuming. Instead of enjoying life, your time and energy is taken up with thoughts of revenge. The person or event keeps playing over and over in your head. This just continues hurting you over and over again, and forces you to relive the feelings of humiliation, hurt and anger. Who wants to hold on to that?
2. Decision Phase
Once you realise how much time you’re spending thinking about the negative person or situation, you have to decide if you want to continue down this path. It is downright exhausting to constantly live in a state of anger and bitterness.
By trying to understand and feel empathy towards the offender, it softens the negative feelings. By trying to understand why the person did what they did, it’s easier to make a decision to let go of the negative feelings.
Realise that the person may have personal or emotional issues of their own which resulted in a negative event for you. By doing so, it helps you to see that it may be about them more than you and help you to find forgiveness.
3. Working Phase
Once you’ve made the decision to let go, it’s time to do the work to get through it.
You have now uncovered the understanding that negative feelings are hurting you. You’ve decided to try to
understand why the offence occurred. Now it’s time to accept the situation; it happened and it cannot be undone.
Now think about the reasons you came up with for the person acting the way they did.
It’s at this point you should be able to let go and find forgiveness for the person which means you are taking back control of your emotions and your thinking. By letting go of these negative emotions, you are opening yourself up to the possibility of positive feelings. A feeling of “the weight of the world off your shoulders” or feeling a lightness is now possible.
4. Deepening Phase
Letting go or forgiving those you feel who’ve wronged you allows you to understand yourself at a much deeper level. You grow in compassion and empathy for others who may have gone through a similar situation. It’s very healing and allows you to grow and become stronger on many different levels.
The biggest reason for forgiving or letting go is not to let the offender “off the hook” or excuse bad behaviour. Sometimes a situation will occur and you know that you don’t want someone to be a part of your life any more. However, the whole point isn’t to let someone back into your life. The point is to let go for yourself and by doing so, free yourself from the negative feelings that only hold you back and hurt you. From this point you can make better decision that are right for you as you think more clearly and more positive as you’re more solution-focused,
Remember that letting go heals you, which allows you to enjoy more peace and freedom, as well as increasing happiness in every area of your life.
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