The Art Of Forgiveness
Yes, being able to forgive is an art. It can be incredibly hard to forgive; to do it the right way; and to do it at the right time when everyone, including yourself, is ready for it.
It’s in our nature to actively seek happiness. We’re always looking for satisfaction within our own person, our relationships, work and daily activities.
But when we finally find happiness we don’t always know what to do with it. You, and others around you can experience an almost uneasy feeling once we finally reach IT. We are literally blown away when we do get that successful career or relationship we’ve always wanted.
When we finally reach the happy state we’ve worked so hard for, it might feel so completely out of our comfort zone that we tend to sabotage ourselves to go back to our “familiar” unhappiness.
That’s when mistakes are made and things are said that shouldn’t have: it’s all natural behaviour and it’s what makes us human.
This video by The School Of Life explains why happiness can feel so unnerving:
Forgiving ourselves and others is the key factor in overcoming self-sabotage.
Whether it was you, or someone else, without forgiveness you can’t reach long-term happiness. When you don’t forgive, you let sabotaging get in the way. Not forgiving creates negativity that will deeply root itself into your mind ánd body. A tense unbalanced mind will give you a tense unbalanced body.
When you can forgive, a self-sabotage is just a bump on your road to happiness, something you can overcome. We need to be happy to be healthy, and that’s exactly why I want to help you with one of the most important personal abilities in your life: the art of forgiveness.
5 STEPS TOWARDS FORGIVING YOURSELF & OTHERS:
The world isn’t perfect. Neither you are perfect, nor anyone around you.
People make mistakes, and a lot of them! Accepting this helps you to accept the simple fact that you, or someone else, did something wrong. It’s the starting point of forgiveness.
And it’s a logical one, it already happened, so before you can do anything with it emotionally, you need to realize there is nothing you can do to turn back time and undo it. So you can start moving forward from there.
2. Think In Solutions
Think in solutions, not in problems. So, you did something wrong. Now that we realize and accept that, we can do something about it!
Taking too much time to think about why and where it all went wrong will not help you move on, but only creates negativity.
Of course it’s a good thing to take some time to figure out what it was, but if you can’t find an answer quickly (80% of the time you’ve just been stupid and didn’t think something trough before you did it so that’s easy) you need to focus on how you’re going to fix it:
3. Speak Up Your Mind
Honesty is also part of finding a solution to help you forgive someone, or ask for forgiveness. If you don’t tell people what’s wrong they’ll never know and they can’t come up with a solution to make it up to you.
Let them know honestly and upfront.
Explain what you think, and come up with something to make it up to you.
Try something like this: “You haven’t been fully there while working on this project together, I feel like I’ve been doing most of the work, it’s okay but let’s make sure that this doesn’t happen again. Maybe we can make a schedule?”
And if you feel like you’ve done someone wrong, it also works the other way around. Ask about their feelings on the topic, explain yourself, and come up with a solution to make it up to that person.
Sometimes you need to set some personal views or values aside for the greater good. Believe me, this is not about abandoning your principles or boundaries. You can still point these out. Them being passed is just not a reason to keep resenting someone: it’s just not worth your energy!
4. Forgive Yourself
When something bad happens in a interpersonal relationship, you’ll always partly blame yourself. Even though you didn’t really do anything wrong. If someone passed on of your deepest, creepest secrets you told them specifically not to share, at some point you’ll always think: I shouldn’t have..
“I shouldn’t have told anyone.”
“I shouldn’t have trusted that person, I know she/he can’t keep a secret.”
“I should’ve known somehow this would backfire.”
But if we would really give in to all those thoughts we would never be able to trust a loved one again, or share our pains or problems with our friends.
And even in non-interpersonal relationships we still tend to be unforgiving towards ourselves. It seems to be somewhat in our nature to constantly look for what we are doing wrong or what we didn’t do at all.
Forgiving yourself may even be the most important part of your path towards happiness and positivity. Too much of our precious time in this wonderful life is spilled worrying about what we did or didn’t do.
Let it go and forgive yourself.
5. Forgiving The Unforgivable
There are things that can’t be fixed. Cheating, physical or psychological abuse, or breaking other fundamental rules in interpersonal relationships.
When someone really hurts you, or your loved ones, it’s easy to indulge in negativity and keep getting angry about the situation.
Forgiving yourself and others in this case is not about finding a solution. It’s about finding peace about the situation, so you can start the healing process.
By letting go of the resentment and negativity that you remember the situation by you can learn from it, re-evaluate and find out how you can make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Well, that might have been quite the heavy read for you. Especially if you’ve been in one of those unforgivable situations, I can imagine it’s hard for you to “just let go”. Don’t worry! It’s a process! Trust your gut feeling and do what’s right for you, take your time, and you’ll get there:)
Photo Credit © Shutterstock
I think forgiveness is the most difficult thing to do – ever. Everyone keeps saying that forgiveness is for you not them. But it lets the perpetrators off the hook – it lets the wrongdoer know that he/she has a clear path to wrongdoing once again. I am forced to forgive, but I can tell you one thing – I will NEVER EVER go back a second time to anyone who knocked me down. They are cut off completely – it’s not holding a grudge. It is protecting myself from ever allowing that particular wrong from happening ever again. I’m sorry simply doesn’t cut it – and that street runs both ways, you know. I’ve tried to say I’m sorry – and mean it! – but most of the time, my apology was not accepted. Fool me once – shame on you. Fool me twice – shame on me. Maybe it’s not the best way to live one’s life – but it’s how I’ve managed to survive the humiliation and betrayals.