Strategies To Help You Forgive And Move On
Why Is It So Hard To Forgive?
Forgiving someone who hurt you is so difficult because it feels so unnatural. We are not wired that way. Feeling angry, sad, betrayed or disappointed are natural reactions. Holding a grudge and/or wanting revenge is natural.
It is not in our nature to let go of the feelings and memories of someone hurting us, and even if we try not to remember, our minds will keep thinking about what happened over and over again. And each time we replay the incident, all of the bitterness and pain comes pouring back in. Time doesn’t seem to matter; several years may pass, and you will still feel like it just happened. This is especially true if the person who hurt you is someone you’re close to.
Forgiving the person who hurt you does not absolve them of their responsibility, nor does it erase what happened. The past is the past and nothing can change what has happened. Forgiving them, however, will change you. It will allow your memories to heal, and free your mind from the: replay the memory, relive the pain cycle. Although it will take some time and effort on your part, the benefits you will receive are so worth it. As long as you are willing to forgive. you can do it. If you are not willing, it is not going to happen. It’s just that simple.
To make a change, you must be: willing to commit, willing to change, willing to have an open mind, and willing to take action! ~ Dr. Tae Yun Kim
Here are 5 strategies that will help:
When your child is hurt you hurt. You want to hold, hug and soothe them for as long as it takes. You want to take on their pain so they don’t feel it anymore. You can’t even smile until they are able to smile again. God feels the same way about you. You are His child. You do not have to carry the anger, disappointment, pain, and bitterness in your heart. “Cast your cares upon Him because He cares for you.” If you let Him hold you, He will heal you.
Take time to regroup.
Healing doesn’t happen right away; it takes time. Staying away from the person from who caused you pain may be the best course of action. At least, for a while. You have every right to take a step back and spend as much time as you need, loving and nurturing yourself.
Acknowledge your feelings.
Trying to deny or control your feelings is a waste of time and will only delay your progress. You need to express them. If you want to scream, cry, punch a pillow or yell at the moon – do it. If that’s not your style, speak to the person directly and tell them how you feel. If you can not do that, then write them a letter. You don’t have to send it unless you want to. The simple act of writing out your feelings can be cathartic. One thing that has always helped me is journaling. I write everything – it keeps me sane. The main goal is to get the thoughts out of your head so you can process your emotions.
Stay in the moment. Do not dwell on the past or think about the future as this will only drain your energy. Focus on where you are, what you’re doing, what you see; hear and feel right here, right now.
Affirm your intent.
I firmly believe positive affirmations that are fueled by faith and expectancy have the power to transform your life.
- I AM willing to forgive. I AM a kind and loving soul.
- I choose to show love and mercy. I receive the peace and joy that is my divine inheritance.
- I AM FREE of all anger, bitterness, hate, and unforgiveness.
- I AM grateful to God for my ability to forgive myself and others.
- The fruit of joy grows in my spirit and fills my life.
- I AM whole, healthy and complete.
Remember, at some point, we’ve all hurt or disappointed ourselves and others, whether intentionally or unintentionally. God forgives us every time. We have His grace and mercy; it is good for us to be merciful and gracious to others. Forgiving and releasing those who caused you harm brings peace.
Do you still struggle with forgiveness? If not, what has helped you? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
*Note: This is the updated version of a post that first appeared on this blog May 18, 2011.