Forgiving others isn’t always the easiest task in the world. When you’re finding it difficult or even impossible to forgive and forget, remember these two steps.
“Ask not to be forgiven, for this has already been accomplished. Ask, rather, to learn how to forgive, and to restore what always was to your unforgiving mind.”– A Course in Miracles
To me, forgiveness means to give up the desire and power to punish.
Research tells us that forgiveness helps us live happier and healthier lives. Indeed, if you give up your desire to punish someone for their wrongdoings, you become closer to peace in return.
You may feel as though you’ve been burned, battered, lied to, or walked on, but you always retain your power of choice. You always have the ability to choose love over revenge and peace over suffering, no matter how many times you’ve been hurt and no matter how much time has passed.
Forgiveness is a vital spiritual and emotional practice, one that allows us to let go of revenge and bitterness, even when the memory is still sharp. Offering forgiveness doesn’t mean you condone or continue to tolerate another’s behavior, and it doesn’t necessarily mean you forget about the incident; forgiveness is the choice to rise above and give yourself the gift of peace and freedom.
Not forgiving others will hold us back from living our best lives.
Embrace the healing power of forgiveness with the two-step process below. It certainly sounds simple, but try putting it into practice; sometimes the questions are hard and the answers are simple.
Two Steps to Forgiving Others
1. Forgive yourself.
Granting someone else relief of payment begins when you’re able to forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for your bitter thoughts, feelings of resent, naive judgments, or any other signs of anger and hurt that have stemmed from the situation.
This situation, as is every situation, is an opportunity to strengthen your soul. Ask yourself how you can grow from this. Ask yourself how you can move forward with an open heart in light of their offense.
2. Be willing.
Forgiving others is easier said than done, and there are many different approaches you can take to help yourself along the path. The most important step in forgiveness, no matter the approach, is your willingness.
Practice this mantra:
While I don’t know how, I am willing to forgive.
You may not be ready to actually forgive someone, but you can be willing to try, whether that’s today or tomorrow or next week. You’re likely going to face some internal resistance, but this slight shift can radically change everything. Your simple willingness to forgive melts the walls around your heart so you can begin to truly forgive from a sincere place.
- Has this, or any other, approach helped you forgive someone?
- What resistance have you faced, or are you facing now?
- Are you willing to try this two-step process?
- Are you willing to forgive?
Please share any thoughts and experiences of your own in the comments.
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Forgive yourself, and then be willing to forgive someone else. Forgiveness is love and it brings peace and happiness with it.