Often people struggle with forgiveness. When those people that we trust betray that trust it can often be very difficult to let go of that resentment. Other times the hurt comes from people we barely know. For example, one could be a victim of hatred and discrimination. We witness people bullying, assaulting and even killing loved ones every so often. You can pinpoint a time in your life when you could not let go of what someone else did to you. Unfortunately, that anger and resentment are left as burdens for the victims to deal with.
One needs to understand what forgiveness is. Forgiveness simply refers to letting go of hatred and resentment. Depending on the degree of hurt and your personality forgiveness might seem impossible. Forgiving a cheating partner could be easier than forgiving a person who assaults you. However, despite the situation, retaining that anger and resentment impacts a person negatively. So there is a need to learn how to get to a point of forgiveness. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re struggling with forgiveness.
- Understand what forgiveness is
Most people struggle with forgiveness because they think that forgiving someone requires reconciliation with the other person. They imagine that once you forgive someone then you have to embrace them and rebuild your relationship. This might be the misconception, especially with close friends and family who hurt you. This is nothing but a wrong notion.
Forgiveness simply refers to releasing negative feelings of anger and resentment. As a victim, you need to get rid of the negative emotions that hinder you from moving on with your life. Once hurt, many people create a barrier in their lives due to resentment. They could avoid relationships because of past betrayals. However, this is just hurting the victim.
Once one understands that forgiveness is for individual benefit then it becomes easier. One can simply cut off the people causing the pain if it’s best for your mental health.
- Address the underlying pain
Understanding the cause of your pain is integral to the forgiveness process. People can hurt you in ways that can be rectified but other times it is more complex than that. For example, the imperfections of your loved ones could be the cause of your pain. Human beings are imperfect and it’s not always easy to change. Understanding such concepts helps one to deal with their pain and forgive them.
- Learn to forgive yourself
Many times the person struggling with forgiveness is also angry with themselves. Forgiving yourself is very difficult. It is easier to project that guilt on other people because you do not want to deal with your share in the problem. At times some of the pain stems from misconceptions that you were wronged yet you are also to blame for the situation in the first place.
- Forgiveness is a conscious decision, not a feeling
It is also important to remember that forgiveness is a conscious decision to let go of the past and its feelings. It’s not an emotion. So even if you decide to forgive someone, you could wake up the following day and still feel resentment. However, since it is a decision then you remind yourself why it is important for you to forgive and stick to that decision. Meanwhile, deal with other issues such as forgiving yourself or understanding the cause of your pain. Read more on The Importance Of Forgiveness
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