How do You Really Forgive

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I, like most people, want to forgive myself and others for past transgressions. But, I’ve been asking the following question, “How do you know when you really forgive?” I provided steps (see below) which are meant to be guidelines on forgiveness. Incorporate your own ideas and or other resources. You can forgive, but you need to make a conscious decision to do so. This isn’t easy if you’ve suffered from abuse and neglect. Remember, parents do the best they can and usually parent based on how they were raised. If no one questioned their parenting methods or showed them alternative methods, they more than likely repeated the patterns of their parents. Unfortunately, ‘Parenting 101′ is not taught in our school systems.

How do you truly forgive?

1. Feel all of your emotions. Many spiritual experts or gurus tell you not to feel your emotions because the energy will attract more negativity to your life. The opposite is true. If you don’t feel all of your emotions, i.e., anger, hate, rage, sadness, despair, hopelessness, frustration, aggravation, irritation, etc. Hit a pillow, journal, work out, run, go for a walk, or do whatever will help you to process and feel your emotions. Carrying emotions that burden or weigh you down aren’t healthy. They can wreak havoc on your body, mind, and soul.

2. Write the person a letter. Another technique is to write a letter to the person who hurt or wronged you but don’t mail it. Tell this person how you feel and how they hurt you. Don’t hold back; allow everything to pour out of you and into the letter. Once you’ve finished read your letter and burn it, tear it up, freeze it, or put it in a “God” box and turn it over to a higher power.

3. Say an affirmation. An example of an affirmation is, “The time has come, the time has come to let go of the past, the time has come to forgive and move forward.” Another example is, “I forgive my family and embrace them with love and compassion.” Or you can say, “I easily forgive others and I AM easily forgiven.” You can make up your own affirmation or use the examples above.

4. Be willing to forgive. You must be willing to forgive. If you’re not, you won’t truly forgive people and situations. Be honest with yourself. If you’re not willing to forgive, it’s okay. Don’t be too hard on yourself.

5. Step back and gain perspective. Why did someone hurt you? They probably weren’t aware they were hurting you. They could have been too involved and wrapped up within their own pain. Most people aren’t conscious of their actions and how they affect others. Be grateful if you’re aware how your actions may affect others. It will make you more compassionate and understanding.

6. If you don’t forgive, the person or situation will have control over you. Who wants this? When you forgive a person or situation, your power returns to you. Take your power back and cut the ties that bind you. Say an affirmation or prayer such as, “I now release and cut any negative chords attached to me from (fill in the blank).” If you don’t forgive, you’ll be forever tied to the person or situation that caused you pain. What’s healthy about that?

How do you know when you really forgive?

1. When you hear the person’s name and it doesn’t irritate you. If you hear the person’s name that hurt you and you remain calm and peaceful then you know you forgave them. If you think about them without getting upset, you know you truly forgave them.

2. When you stop dwelling on what someone has done to you. When you stop thinking about what a person did to you or how a situation caused you pain, you know you truly forgave the person or situation.

3. You feel at peace. You no longer have anger, hate, guilt, shame, or resentment around a person or situation.

4. When you forgive yourself. If you can look in the mirror and say “I love you” without flinching or doubting yourself, you know you’ve experienced forgiveness.

5. When you can be around those who’ve hurt you without flinching or harboring anger towards them. Thanks to social media, you can connect with family and friends, the same people who may have hurt you. If you can look at their pictures and communicate with them without thinking about how they caused you pain and ways to harm them, you definitely forgave them!

If you don’t forgive, you’ll lash out at people who haven’t wronged you because you’re still filled with anger and hate. Disease will settle into your body and will keep you trapped. You’ll attract more negativity into your life which can eat you alive. Forgiveness begins with you. Shift your feelings and thoughts and you’ll change your life. Once you forgive people, you don’t have to hang out with them. Forgiving others means lifting you and your soul to a higher place. You’ll break the chains that have kept you bound and move forward in life. If you don’t forgive, you’ll suffer in silence and that’s no way to live. Forgive today and tomorrow watch as the sun rise above your head.


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