Forgiving Others

Perpetrators have power over you for as long as you are unable or unwilling to forgive. They occupy space in your mind and play with your emotions.

That won’t hapen automatically,you will have to rise up and say, “I don’t care how hard this is,I don’t care how disappointed I am, I’m not going to let ke Responsibilitythis get the best of me,I’m moving on with my life-Joel Osteen

Forgiving wrongs done to you gives you an opportunity to grow and heal.But forgiveness is not simple,it’s a complex process. For some people,professional help is required. Others can do it on their own. Below is a series of steps to help you forgive others. Implementing these ideas may be all you need.

Step One:Make The Decision

It is essential that you first make the decision that you want to forgive the one who injured you. This is a courageous, heroic choice.

Step Two: Take Responsibility

Realize that it is your responsibility to heal yourself. Nobody else can do it for you. Unforgiveness saps your energy and may even make you ill. Studies have shown that heart attacks and cancer can be linked to the retention of anger and resentment.

Step Three: Confront Your Pain

Journal about your pain and who you want to forgive. Confront and recognize your hurt. Allow slmeone else to validate your pain; a good friend,partner,pastor,or therapist. When you reveive emphathy and compassion, you can heal faster.

Step Four:Take A new Perspective

Be willing to find new perspective about the person who wronged you. This is not condoning the behavior or making excuses for the person. The fact is that people hurt other people because they have been hurt themselves. They act out of their own pain.Ask yourself:

  • What was their life growing up?
  • What was their life at the time of the offense?

These two questions helped me understand my mother’s aggressive behavior,where he was coming from and why she acted as she did.I was able to forgive her by seperating her from her behavior.

Step Five:Acknowledge Your Part

Acknowledge the part you played in the wrongdoing if any.This will help you move from being a victim to taking some responsibilty. Forgive yourself for this part.(In some situations,In a brutal rape for example,you will be completely innocent and in no way responsible)

Step Six: Learn From The Pain

Seek to learn from your pain inorder to stop any reoccurrence in the future. Did you gain anything in your life as a result of this pain?

Step Seven?The Total Truth Letter

When you are ready,use the Total Truth Template and write a letter to the offender. There’s no need to mail it.Express your thoughts clearly and honestly. Starting with your anger. Write about how the offender heurt you. Get mad.Allow yourself to fully express your feelings. Anger is the place to start. Then follow the steps through hurt fear,regrets,and wants to forgiveness. This is where you will find emotional completeness.

Step Eight: Closure

You can use the letter symbolically to bring closure to the forgiveness cycle. Some women like to bury it or burn it,others like to tear it into pieces and let the wind take it.Create a ceremony that’s meaningful to you. Close your eyes and see the link between you and the offender being severed. You are now freed from this memory. Visualize the person you are forgiving being surrounded by the love of forgiveness.

Step Nine: Release Expectations

Let go of any expectations you have for the offender. Forgiveness may not lead to reconciliation. That may be desirable but it’s not a requirement. Forgiveness does not depend upon repentance by the offender. In reconciliation, both the victim and the offender need to be mutually committed,and this may not happen. You may not choose to share the fact you have forgiven him or her,let alone express this in a face-to-face setting. If you do choose to share your forgiveness,check your intentions,making sure they come from love,not pain.

Step Ten: Practice Forgiving

Think of forgiveness not so much as an act but as a lifestyle. Make a practice of forgiving. As soon as you realize you are injured,forgive. You will feel freer and healthier. Conserve your energy for living to wasting it on resentment and pain.When you see the hurt child in others,it enables you to forgive faster.

Step Eleven:Give Thanks

You can ask God to help you forgive. He is the great healer and forgiver and is deeply concerned about your well being.

Your job isn’t to Judge. Your Job isn’t to figure out if someone deserves something or decide who is right or wrong. Your Job is to lift the fallen,restore the broken and the hurting-Joel Osteen