Can I forgive you?

Photo by Karim Manjra on Unsplash

What is forgiveness?

What does it mean to say “I forgive you”? Forgiveness is a conscious decision to let go of those feelings of hatred, negativity and resentment. Forgiveness does not mean that you forget. You don’t forget the hurt. What forgiveness does mean is that you’re going to let yourself off the hook. You are going to allow yourself to be happy.

Why do we forgive?

Forgiveness is not for them. Forgiveness is for you. It’s for you to have freedom from that burden that you carry and with it all that hatred and all that negativity and all that resentment on your shoulders. By forgiving, you allow yourself to have the freedom from all that heaviness and allow yourself to be happy. According to the Harvard Medical School “hanging on to those negative feelings can do great harm to your health.”

How do we forgive?

How do we forgive when it just seems impossible? Here are four steps to work through when you are looking for and searching for forgiveness.

Step 1

The first step is to think about what happened.  Ask yourself these questions:

  • Why does it hurt so much?
  • Why are you so angry?

Step 2

The second step is to acknowledge your growth. Think about these questions:

  • What have you learned from the incident?
  • What do you now know about your needs?
  • Have you learned anything about your boundaries? If so,what?

If you work through these questions and can’t take anything from them, just acknowledge to yourself that you have survived this incident. You have got through this! You are still standing! Acknowledge that you are strong!

Step 3

Next, think about the other person:

  • What was going on for them?
  • What was going on in their lives at the time?

As humans, we are all flawed. We are all imperfect. All humans make mistakes. We are not making excuses for that person, whether that be you or somebody else We are just acknowledging the reality of the situation. Think about why the other person went about what they did and what they were thinking. What was going on for them at the time?

Step 4

Woman looking happy after forgiving her partner.

Photo by Freestocks on Unsplash

For the final step, you need to decide whether or not you are going to tell the other person that you forgive them. In essence, it really doesn’t matter because we know that forgiveness is all about you. But, if you decide to tell them you might say:

“I forgive you because I can see what you did and why you did it. That doesn’t mean that I forget what you did, but I’m forgiving you because I’m going to be happy.”

You might choose not to actually confront the person and say those lines to them. You may not even have the other person in your life anymore. If so, a simple solution is to find a place just for you and to voice your forgiveness. Say out loud:

“I forgive you.”

Allow yourself to have the freedom from all that negativity and all that resentment. Give yourself permission to no longer carry the burden. Allow yourself to be happy. Allow yourself to forgive.

Let us help you

If you would like to know more about forgiving and moving on with your life, please contact us at Blissful Minds. Our expert counsellors look forward to helping you lead a happy life.

Watch Elissa talk about forgiveness: