Forgiveness is a gift to yourself.
It does not pardon the wrongs against you.
It does not mean your feelings don’t matter.
It simply means you have decided to move forward with your life and are making a conscious decision to not let anyone else keep you from being the very best you can be.
People will ask, how do I even begin the process of forgiving? What if the person doesn’t deserve my forgiveness?
The process of forgiveness is easier than you think. I will give you some tools for that in just a minute.
But let’s answer the “deserving” of forgiveness question first.
The truth is they may not deserve your forgiveness. They may not even be sorry. None of this matters. You are choosing to forgive for your own happiness and what they think and how they feel are not important. You are what’s important.
Here’s a tool on how to start the process of healing and forgiving the wrongs done to you.
Get a notebook.
Write on the inside cover, “What happened to me”
Next write, “It made me feel”
Then finally write, “I forgive”.
This is an outline for your forgiveness steps. Take time and write in your journal, as often as you can, but preferably at least twice a week. Choose something in your life that was upsetting to you. It can be something as broad as “my mother was cold and mean” or as focused as “when my wife cheated on me”. It can even be as small as “you lied to me that one time”.
Take your outline above. Write your story. Tell your truth as you see it. There’s no one to judge you. No one to tell you that’s not how it happened. No one else matters. Just you and your story. Then write how it made and makes you feel. Do you feel sad, lonely, betrayed, angry,….? Get it all out. No one will see your journal and no one will have any information to judge you, because this is your safe place.
At the end of your writing, state the name of the person who you’re forgiving and write, “I forgive you”.
Now some may not want any chance of anyone seeing their notes. If that’s you, simply tear out the pages and light them on fire. Let them burn. Let the past be the past and allow yourself to move forward.
Others may want to go back and read their progress. Maybe you have a great hiding space and feel safe keeping your stories there.
Whatever works for you. There’s no wrong way to forgive someone.
Let yourself be happy, let yourself be free from the past, give yourself the greatest gift of all… The gift of self love.