Steps to forgive others is advice we could all use at some point in our lives. We all have people who have wronged us. Chances are pretty high that while you are wallowing in hurt, sorrow, and festering with anger, the other person has long since moved on and forgotten about the incident. In fact, if you never even confronted the other person, they may have no idea they’ve hurt you. I urge you to follow these 7 steps to forgive others to set yourself free from the grudges, anger and resentment and move on.
1. Set Your Mind on Forgiveness
The first thing you have to do is the face the truth. Forgiveness isn’t about the other person. It’s about letting go of those negative feelings inside of you. If you’ve been holding on to something for a long time after the fact, then you’ve let it eat away at you for long enough. It is time to let go and forgive. Don't stop here; there are 6 more steps to forgive others.
2. Letting Go of the Anger
I know it’s hard. I had to do this recently. It’s a very personal journey, but forgiveness starts with clearing your heart and your mind from the anger. Sure, the wrong that was done against you justifies your feelings of anger, but you’ve already resolved to forgive so now you have to let go of the anger.
3. Write It out
By now you know I am a big fan of keeping a journal and writing out feelings. It’s a good form of self-therapy. It helps to unleash those pent-up emotions. Start this journal entry out like a letter to the person you are forgiving. Start off by saying, “I forgive (such-n-such) for…” and then write out everything that took place. Include all your feelings and how you have been affected over the past days, months, or years.
4. Accept Their Ignorance
The person who harmed you may not have been acting deliberately. Consider the possibility that they may have been hurt and upset themselves, and acting harshly against you offered them some sort of relief. Hurt people tend to hurt other people. If you know this to be true in your situation, then forgiveness may be a little easier. Also know that sometimes people act selfishly and without weighing out the consequences of their actions.
5. Shout It out
Sometimes things seem more real when we say them out loud. Your words have power and you need to use them for good. Speak your forgiveness, you can even read your journal entry out loud. You don’t have to share it with anyone. It is okay to simply read it out loud to yourself, but the power of hearing those words will help set you free as well. Be sure to repeat that you are forgiving the person several times. The more you hear it the more you will feel it.
6. Seek Your Own Forgiveness
Maybe in all this you have come to realize that you also need forgiveness. It doesn’t have to be for this particular situation. It could be for anything. Maybe your anger and wallowing has led you to hurt others. Free yourself by offering an apology to anyone that you feel you may have wronged in the past.
7. Journal It Again
I am bound and determined to turn all of our readers into journal writers. After you finally feel free of the anger and resentment, write about your feelings of forgiveness. I feel this is a very important step in finalizing the forgiveness process. It closes the door and puts it all in the past. It also gives you a reference for the future to see the forgiveness process in action.
Is there someone you need to forgive? How do you think these 7 steps to forgive others will help you? Remember forgiveness isn’t about the other person, it’s about you.