How do I forgive? How do I let go? These questions are often asked to me in the therapy room. When someone you love hurts you in some way it is very hard to come to terms with. It is easier to let go when that person is not so close, such as a work colleague or an acquaintance. We can take the view that we don’t really need them in our life or even like them that much. Its easier to see them as a negative person or difficult to get along with. For example a work place bully will in time become background to your life. Once you have left that environment you will look back and see that person for who they are and by then you will have moved on to a more positive environment.
But if that person that has hurt you is your close friend, your partner or a parent it feels a whole lot different.
There are lots of meditations out there on forgiveness. There are lots of poems and positive thoughts that can help.
Honest communication is always to be recommended if possible. In that way you can tell your side of the story and how you feel. Then the other person has an opportunity to reflect. I believe that it is easier if the person who has “wronged” in some way is ABLE to be self-reflective and take some responsibility for their actions. This can be in the form of an acknowledgement or an apology. If that happens it becomes easier to forgive. Of course you may not trust that person in quite the same way or you may decide you don’t want to be around them too much or at all. There are two sides to every story and in this same way we all need to look at our part in events. *Please see below for exceptions to this
If there is no acknowledgement or responsibility taken by the other person then you have a choice. You can stay in resentment and anger or you can choose to forgive anyway. If you stay in resentment then you will be the one who hurts and suffers. If you forgive then you bring freedom to yourself.
You don’t have to forget but why would you want to suffer because of someone else?
Forgiveness comes when you can see that other person as a human being that has made a mistake. When you can if possible send them love and forgiveness for their own healing (might be hard to do) – then you will liberate yourself.
Be the best that you can be. Live your life for the highest good of all. Act with integrity and love to those around you. Be caring and thoughtful. Know that you are being the sort of person you want in your life.
In peace X
* (There is an exception here for anyone abused as a child – please know that you have played no part in allowing this to occur. The fault lies absolutely and completely with the adult involved).
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- When I ask you to Listen