Many people have reached out to me for advice on how to forgive someone since writing the article about what happened when I came face-to-face with the man who attacked and assaulted me a few months back.
is important to realize that sometimes it feels harder to forgive a
parent, spouse or lover for something they did that hurt you than it is
to forgive a total stranger for a much "bigger" misdeed. The reason for that is your emotional connection to that person, and the sense of betrayal that naturally arises when someone you trust lets you down.
A Course in Miracles says that there is no order or hierarchy in acts of kindness or love and that all mistakes should be forgiven. Keep in mind though that forgiving someone, doesn't mean that you should put yourself in a position for them to hurt you again. It means that you let go of the anger and pain around the incident. It means that you stop punishing them and yourself for what is already passed.
Coincidentally, over the years I've published many articles with specific strategies on how to forgive someone right on this site. They all start with the same first step: Deciding that you WANT to forgive and let go.
I know that that is not always easy. but it is essential for your happiness in life. If you feel blocked in this regard, you may want to begin with heart-opening exercises like this self healing technique.
This interview by the founders of the Marriage Restoration Project, Shlomo and Rivka Slatkin, on the topic of letting go of emotional baggage in relationships, happened soon after I forgave my attacker. .We talk about getting to that first step of forgiveness here:
Think about it: You can NOT possibly be happy and resentful at the same time. Pick one!
1. If you can't go all the way, loosen your grip.
Most people dig themselves into a
position by needing to be “right.” If you are not ready to let go and you
choose to remain resentful for now, that is okay. Forgive yourself for
your humanity, then open yourself up to
the possibility of choosing again by affirming that you indeed want to "let go" of the grievance.
In other words, choose consciously and when your choice in not in line with your greater good, do your best to loosen your grip a bit and say something like: "I really want to let go of this grievance and release myself from these negative feelings. Perhaps I'm not ready at this moment but I am growing each and every day. I pray that I am able to let this go. I want to let this go and I will let this go."
2. Changing perceptual positions in your mind is very useful exercise
for loosening your grip on a position. If you imagine a situation from different points of view, experiencing it from an observer position -- and, depending on the situation -- the person who hurt you, it helps you to see a situation in a more balanced way. It also helps you get honest with yourself about you own role in the circumstance which is helpful to personal development.
3. Practice makes perfect. The more you practice forgiveness, the easier it gets.
4. SELF–acceptance and self-forgiveness plays a huge role in forgiving others. Healing deep wounds of unworthiness and unconscious guilt makes everything easier. That is because a lot of our outward "suffering" is a projection of what is happening inside.
Forgiveness is possible for each one of us, we are all capable of it and most importantly, deserve it.
To order Mandy's Forgiveness and Self Appreciation Audio Program You can do that here