Forgiveness is hard. Really hard. Here are 5 ideas on how to forgive and move on:
One night while listening to Tim McGraw’s song “Humble and Kind,” I was struck by one line that says not to hold a grudge because “bitterness keeps you from flying.” The song is an inspiration of how to live a good life, but that part of the song just stopped me in my tracks. Learning how to forgive is a lesson we should all learn.
“By far the strongest poison to the human spirit is the inability to forgive oneself or another person. Forgiveness is no longer an option but a necessity for healing.” – Caroline Myss
Forgiveness is one of the most difficult things we can do in our lifetime, but when you realize you are allowing someone else continue to hurt you long after the darkness has passed it means they have control over your future.
I wish the world were filled with only kind and loving people, but as we all know that’s not the case. I’m not an authority on the matter, I have had a hard time forgiving a couple of people that have crossed my path. I think listening to that song shifted things a bit for me because I realize that it’s so important in life to offer the world your finest self. Your best isn’t offered when you’re spending your life reviewing the bad things that have happened along the journey.
Forgiving someone doesn’t mean you approve of person they are or that what they did is acceptable, it just means you love yourself enough to go forward in life and let go of what no longer serves you. You owe that to yourself and those that you encounter in your life. Forgiveness also doesn’t mean you’re obligated to have the person in your life anymore.
Some people can say a prayer and offer forgiveness, and the weight immediately lifts off their shoulders. Others forgive bit by bit until the negative thought of the individual is finally released and they can move on. Unfortunately, most of us continue to hold on to the anger and play the movie of what happened in our head over and over again, until it does so much damage you are uncertain how to fix it.
5 Ideas on How to Forgive Someone:
1) Best Version of Self. You know for your well-being you should forgive. You’ve tried, but it was just too hard. Even when you know by not forgiving, you’re only doing continuous damage to yourself. When you finally realize that you’re part of a bigger picture and that by not forgiving you’re not allowing yourself to be an instrument to create greater things – this awareness might be enough to shift your perspective.
This outlook changes the focus from the person that hurt you to the gifts you have to offer the world that is still unrealized. The world needs the light that only you have to offer and no one is worth dimming it. After encountering someone in my life that caused a lot of damage, I have chosen to bring those projects that have been languishing in my file cabinets to life, because I know by doing so I’ll be bringing positive things out into the universe. Whenever the thought of the person enters my mind, I immediately start working on a task that will help me complete a project.
2) Hold a Ceremony. Write a letter to the person in question detailing your version of what happened and how his or her actions caused you so much hurt. Once you spill every ounce of thought of this person on paper, build a bonfire and burn those words because you are willing to let the past go up in smoke and find out who you are without those anchors. It might take you more than once doing this to release the pain.
3) Focus on the Lesson. Sometimes people come into your life to teach you something about yourself. We are too close at times to understand what the purpose of the interaction brings about, but if you can distance yourself enough to view the problem without emotion, you might be able to find a lesson that you needed to learn.
You hear of victims who went on to create a support system to help other victims of the same situation. What was one thing you learned from the experience and how can you help others who encounter the same thing? Is there a new path that this experience took you on and how has that improved your life? Perhaps what you gained was the strength to get you through other hard times.
4) Refuse the “Gift.” Someone I once knew that was incredibly wise told me every day you have the choice of whether you accept someone else’s present. He said the gift is usually cheerfully wrapped the package with a colorful bow, but inside the present is hate, anger, insecurities, emotional immaturity and fear. These “gifts” come in the form of gossip, personal jabs, racism and hurtful acts.
These people are suffering, and they’re trying to share his or her burden with you. Participating in these acts will cause others harm as well as yourself. He told me you always have a choice in life whether or not you want to accept the box. If you decide to take the gift, you then get to carry the burden as well as the person that gave it to you. It’s time to drop those perfectly wrapped presents into the trash, forgive the person that gave them to you and realize you had the power to refuse them all along.
5) Bless Them. This one is a bit hard. Instead of replaying the scenes in your head of what the person did to you, every time this person enters your mind, bless them and send them on his or her way. Realize that you are dealing with an individual with hurt they are dealing with themselves. Once you feel betrayal or hurt at a deep level, you don’t want anyone to experience what you went through. In your mind thank them for coming and letting them know you no longer need his or her visits. Bless them and refocus your energy. Do this until it becomes a habit.
Never underestimate the power of prayer. We could all use a little help getting us out of our way and praying for guidance might be just what you need. If you’ve tried everything and you still don’t have the results you need, then you also might want to consider getting professional guidance.
Who would you be if the unpleasant memories of the past hadn’t happened? Envisioning our best selves might be something every one of us needs to reflect on. It’s not too late.
My hope for you is that one of these ideas will help you find forgiveness and you’ll begin able to move forward with your life. Do great things with your time on earth in spite of what has happened to you in your past. You were meant to fly little eagle. So fly. Then soar. The world is waiting.
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