When you carry a burden long enough, it doesn’t feel like a burden anymore. It just feels like life. I think about it rarely and when I do I pray that it will disappear into thin air and that maybe I will disappear with it.
Day after day my burden grows heavier and I am reminded of my need for forgiveness.
For all the whys behind forgiveness, I rarely hear anyone talk about how to do it.
It can be truly challenging to offer forgiveness. The truth about forgiveness is that it is not a natural response and it isn’t for the person you’re forgiving. It’s for you.
We must learn how to forgive if we are ever going to heal and enjoy our lives.
Here are some of the things forgiving someone DOESN’T mean:
- Forgiveness doesn’t mean you are excusing the other persons actions.
- Forgiveness doesn’t mean you need to tell the person that he or she is forgiven.
- Forgiveness doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have any more feelings about the situation.
- Forgiveness doesn’t mean that everything is okay now.
- Forgiveness doesn’t mean you should forget the incident ever happened.
- Forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to continue to include the person in your life.
- Forgiveness isn’t something you do for the other person; it’s something you do for you.
Try these following steps to forgive even when it feels impossible:
- Think about the incident that angered you. Accept that it happened. Accept how you felt about it and how it made you react. In order to forgive you need to acknowledge what happened and how you were affected.
- Acknowledge the growth you experienced as a result of what happened. What did it make you learn about yourself? Not only did you survive the incident, perhaps you grew from it.
- Now think about the other person. He or she is flawed because all human beings are flawed. When you were hurt, the other person was trying to have a need met. What do you think this need was and why did the person go about it the way they did?
- Finally, decide whether or not you want to tell the other person that you have forgiven him or her. If you decide not to express forgiveness directly, then do it on your own. Say the words, “I forgive you,” aloud and then add as much explanation as you feel you need.