Carrying around resentment and anger is so unhealthy. It is hard to forgive someone who did you wrong, but forgiveness is a powerful thing. Forgiveness is accepting what happened, acknowledging your feelings, and then letting them go. Forgiveness isn’t just for the person who hurt you, it for yourself too. Here is how you know you are ready to forgive and how to do it when the time is right.
- Forgive yourself and let go: Give yourself time to release all of the emotions you are feeling and recognize when you are ready. Next, understand that it is ok to feel shame or embarrassment or shame because of what happened. Then forgive yourself. Realize we all make mistakes and that no one is perfect.
- Talk it out: It doesn’t have to be out loud. Talk through the whole thing in your head. And next time you see the person who hurt you, you don’t have to verbally say “I forgive you” because that may just be plain awkward. You can show them you have forgiven them by your actions instead. But then again, sometimes it is good to verbally talk things through. It may make you feel better if you are able to communicate your hurt to the person but at the same time let them know you have moved past it. It really depends on you and the situation!
- Know the boundaries: Forgiving the person doesn’t mean things are going back to the way they used to be. That may take time, or it may never happen. Setting boundaries like limiting the amount of time you spend with that person, or avoiding certain situations that you know could be trouble is wise. Avoid falling back into the cycle that caused the hurt and know how to avoid it.
Forgiving someone takes a lot of humility and it takes a strong person. It isn’t easy, but it is so worth it.