When actions are especially hurtful, it is very easy to hold a grudge. It may be difficult understand how it could be possible to forgive someone who has treated you wrong. You may think forgiveness is about the other person and that somehow they will benefit from you forgiving them. In fact, forgiveness is not about the other person, it is about you.
Forgive to Free Yourself
Forgiving someone else does not always mean they need to stay in your life. Sometimes you do not even need to let them know that you are forgiving them. Choosing to forgive them to eliminate the negativity in your life is enough.
Even dreadful crimes can be forgiven. In interest of safety, using an indirect way of forgiving them instead of contacting them directly may be best.
“True forgiveness is when you can say ‘Thank you for that experience’.” – Oprah Winfrey
So for situations in which contacting someone directly is not an option, write a letter. Use the following steps:
1. Take out a sheet of paper and write a letter as if you plan on sending it to that person.
2. Talk about how it made you think about yourself, and how what they did made you feel. Indicate how you forgive them for what they did to you and how you are no longer going to allow them space in your head.
3. Put the letter in an envelope and seal it with their name on the front.
4. Then either shred it or burn it! The person you are writing to does not have to actually read it.
This exercise is to help you dump the negativity and free yourself from the chains that are holding you back.
When You Can’t Forgive
If you are finding that you can’t forgive on your own, you may want to talk with a professional. Talking to someone can really help you get past this hurdle. This is especially important if the person committed a serious crime. If you have been abused, particularly over a long period of time, you may need assistance from a therapist to help you get past what was done to you. There is never anything wrong with seeking help.
Once you have forgiven, it will feel like a weight has been lifted and chains have been broken. Keep in mind that grudges do not affect the other person and are not healthy. When you keep feelings bottled up inside, you can increase your risks of developing heart disease, and other health conditions. This is where self-care becomes really important. Choosing not to forgive others can diminish your overall outlook on life. So why even consider the idea of not forgiving someone?
Remember that forgiveness is not about the other person, it is about eliminating the negativity in your own life. So free yourself by forgiving someone else for the wrongs they have done to you.