Learn to forgive: How?

Learn to forgive How

When you have been hurt very deeply, it can be difficult to forgive. You may have suffered a loss, or a relationship breakdown, and you feel bitter and angry. The truth is however, that real forgiveness can help you heal from grief and depression when bad things have happened to you - or to someone you love. You may well want to learn to forgive, but you’re struggling. Our tips may help you, or at least set you on the right path.

What is forgiveness?

Forgiveness is the act of letting go of a grievance or judgment you are holding against another person. Forgiveness allows you to let go feelings of bitterness, resentment, and vengeance. It is entirely for your own benefit.

What forgiveness isn’t

When you forgive someone, it doesn’t mean you pardon or excuse their behaviour which may have been illegal, criminal or immoral. Forgiveness does not involve you making excuses for the other person. You don’t have to tell the other person you forgive them either – forgiveness is a private affair. Forgiving someone won’t mean that you never think about what happened, it will always be something that was important to you -something that mattered. You never forgive for the sake of another person. Forgiveness is something you do for you because you love, honour and respect yourself.

What happens if you don’t forgive?

If you don’t forgive, you may experience a wide range of emotions that hold you back or down. You may feel oppressed or depressed. Your emotions can include anger, bitterness and hate. Sometimes these emotions can trigger physical symptoms, such as upset stomachs, anxiety, depression, or high blood pressure for example.

Tips to help you forgive

  • Recognise your anger. Anger can fill you with adrenaline, and adrenaline is addictive. You may struggle to let go of your ‘fix’.
  • Once you recognise the anger, you need to work on it. Express it and release it. Only when the anger has gone, can you truly forgive.
  • Take time to reflect of the situation that has caused you such pain.
  • Accept that it happened.
  • Acknowledge how you feel or felt. Give weight to your feelings.
  • Think about how you reacted.
  • Now think about the ways in which you have changed and developed as a person since that time. What did you learn. Has that been useful? Acknowledge you are a survivor. Have you withdrawn the boundaries of your life? Can that thing ever happen to you again?
  • What about the other person? Are they flawed and imperfect? What was their need when they hurt you? Why do you think they did it?
  • Consider whether you want to tell the other person that you forgive them or not. If you want to do so, then tell them. If you don’t, then choose how you acknowledge your forgiveness. You could say it out loud if you wish, or you could write a letter. No-one needs to read the letter. You can hide it or destroy it.

This is simplistic of course. It may take you a long time to get over what hurt you. Each of these steps may take weeks or months. It is an individual journey that you have to work through in your own time. You will always remember what happened, but hopefully you will be able to move on in a positive and life-affirming way.

Do it for yourself

It is said that a life well lived is your best revenge. You can choose how you react to something or someone that has wounded you deeply, by turning to the light and looking only for the good. Find the love, beauty and kindness around you. Don’t act on your anger. Don’t turn into a person you are not.

Sometimes, forgiveness becomes easier with the passing of time. You may not be ready to forgive yet, but in ten days, ten months, or ten years you might be.

Share

Other articles


goede-voornemens

A new year, a new me

It’s such a positive thing to do and hope springs eternal, so why not commit yourself to a change this year? Here’s our tips on how to stick to your new year’s resolutions.

Read the complete article

have you considered yoga

Have you considered yoga? The advantages of practicing yoga

Have you considered yoga? There are many advantages to practicing yoga. It is a holistic practice benefitting you physically, emotionally & mentally.

Read the complete article

What can you do if your kid doesn't want to go back to school

What can you do if your kid doesn't want to go back to school?

What can you do if your kid doesn't want to go back to school? Here are our hints and tips to help if your child is expressing a refusal to go to school.

Read the complete article

Choose for your happiness

Choose for your happiness!

Being happy is something everybody strives for, but unfortunately there are a lot of people who go through life unhappily. A lot of people take life how it is.

Read the complete article

5 tips to survive autumn healthily

5 tips to survive autumn healthily

We simply can’t avoid noticing the changes all around us. Autumn is here... Autumn is also called a transitional season. Slowly and steadily, it prepares us for the transition...

Read the complete article

Dealing with British Summer Time

Dealing with British Summer Time

Some people are overly sensitive to the time change and it can take days, if not weeks, for them to feel right again, while others barely even notice. 

Read the complete article

fear of fireworks dogs

7 tips to help your dog with a fear of fireworks

As nice as it is for a person to celebrate New Year, it's not so nice for a dog, especially when the loud fireworks go off the whole night. This is really frightening for many dogs. Read our 7 tips on how you can help your dog with his fear of fireworks.

Read the complete article

verleden-loslaten

Letting go of the past: 5 tips

Lynn Anderson told it very nicely in her song “I beg your pardon; I never promised you a rose garden”. Life isn’t all roses and everybody experiences something they would rather not once in their life.

Read the complete article

Free personal advice for your problem?

Are you unsure which Bach flowers can help you? Contact Tom for free advice.

tom vermeersch
Tom Vermeersch

Yes, I want free advice

No thanks, I will do my own research