It can be difficult to forgive oneself or others after making a mistake or causing harm, but it is an important step towards emotional well-being. Holding onto anger and disappointment can consume you and hinder your ability to move forward. However, by letting go of these negative emotions and forgiving yourself or others, you can release the burden you are carrying and feel more confident and capable of moving forward in your life.
“According to Robert Enright, PhD, a professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and author of Forgiveness Is a Choice, when you forgive someone, you recognize their humanity and consider them as more than just the person who hurt you. By doing so, you also recognize that you are more than just a victim of their actions.”
Many people have misconceptions about forgiveness, which can make it seem more difficult than it actually is. Forgiveness does not mean letting someone off the hook for their wrongdoing or condoning their behavior. Instead, it is about letting go of resentment and anger towards someone, even while holding them accountable for their actions. According to Enright, forgiveness is not about giving in or letting injustice go unchallenged, but rather about choosing to release negative emotions and find a way to move forward.
1.”Decide to forgive.”
“The first step in the process of forgiveness is the uncover phase. This is when you identify the specific people or events that caused you pain or upset through therapy or self-reflection. If it is safe to do so, you may also choose to communicate to the person how their actions affected you. The next phase is the decision phase, during which you decide whether or not you want to forgive. It is important to recognize that it is okay if you are not ready to forgive or do not feel like forgiveness is possible at this time.”
“According to him, living with resentment often leads to frequent thoughts about the person who caused pain. This can cause a negative outlook on life and reluctance to form new relationships. The power that one person holds over another through their actions can lead to difficulty trusting and experiencing happiness. Forgiving can be a way to regain control and move on from this hurt.”
“By refusing to forgive, you may try to avoid vulnerability and discomfort, and maintain a sense of being ‘right,’ but in reality, you are missing out on valuable time and the ability to move on with your life,” says [the speaker].
2.”Take the steps to forgive others.”
To begin the third phase, consider the background and experiences of the person who has upset you. Think about how they were raised and what hardships they may have faced. It’s possible that they are acting out of vulnerability, fear, or confusion, and taking their frustrations out on you. Remember that everyone has their own struggles and it’s important to try to understand where others are coming from.
“One way to approach the situation is to focus on our shared humanity. You could ask the person who wronged you, ‘Don’t you also recognize that there is no one else in the world just like you? Doesn’t that mean you have worth?’ By acknowledging that we are all unique and have inherent value, it may take time, but eventually the person may come to realize that the individual who wronged them also has value and worth.”
It can be challenging to come to terms with this realization. However, it is important to allow yourself to feel the pain and not deflect it onto others. According to Enright, this process can lead to healing. As a next step, try expressing kindness towards the person who wronged you by saying something nice, reaching out to them, or even making a donation in their name. This can help to show that you do not harbor any resentment and may even encourage the other person to improve their behavior.
3.Embrace the benefits of forgiveness.
In the final step of the process, the discovery phase, it is recommended to reflect on your personal growth through journaling. Consider asking yourself if you now feel more deserving of compassion, more empathetic towards others, or if you have found a new purpose in life. If you can confidently answer “yes” to any of these questions, congratulations on completing your mission!
4.”Remember to also forgive yourself”
“To build confidence, try getting into the habit of asking yourself what you can do better when you make a mistake,” suggests an expert. “This helps improve your self-worth and shows your ability to take responsibility and find solutions. To take it a step further, write down your goals for who you want to become and start working towards that vision.”