They Did What?!
Forgiveness is hard, especially when someone does something cruel, inappropriate, or simply doesn’t have your back. You may find yourself feeling angry and frustrated. You may even be fighting back verbally in an attempt to defend your point of view or get your emotions across. The worst part is that even after all that confrontation; you don’t feel any better than when the whole mess started.
So how do we learn to forgive people who have hurt us? How do we learn to let it go so that it doesn’t fester and take away from the more joyful areas of our lives?
In order to find forgiveness you should be focusing on one thing. Your goal is not to sit there and judge, but to understand the situation clearly. As I’ve gotten older I’ve come to realize that most of the time it’s not usually about me. And that many reactions I deal with come from a place of someone else not being healed or mindful in some way. If you want to get to the heart of the matter, it’s worth considering the different energies that can be causing your discomfort. So how do we find our forgiveness?
Accept the fact that people make mistakes.
If you’re perfect and have never screwed up, go ahead and be judgy about it. But the reality is that no one is perfect. Sometimes people make bad choices in life for whatever reason. Maybe it happens because of someone’s age or life experience level, or from a lack of knowledge about a situation. Sometimes it can even occur from a simple lack of mindfulness. Try to remember a decision you made in the past that you regret or are embarrassed about. I’m sure there’s a few to choose from. Then look again at the situation that is currently bothering you and see how mad you still are at the person you are having an issue with. I think you’ll be a little less judgmental about it.
Cause and Effect
The ripple effect is real! Unfortunately people just do not realize what they do affects others on a level beyond their own personal space. Everything we say and do, flows out of us energetically and into the universe. When that flow is negative, it can damage someone emotionally, physically or materially. It’s important to recognize that not everyone is mindful of their actions or behavior. We are all on different stages of this journey and some of us are farther along on the path than others. Cut people a little slack where you can. We all develop and learn our lessons at different times. You can’t expect everyone to be where you’re at. And forgiveness will help you process the situation and move on.
Let go or be dragged.
It’s absolutely no use to carry a steamer trunk of anger, resentment or hate with you for the rest of your life. All it will do is give you grey hair, wrinkles and probably an early heart attack. And you can bet the person who put you in this position hasn’t given it as much as a second thought. So realistically, you’re now in an epic battle with yourself. This can be a great spot to ask yourself what you are trying to prove or accomplish with this behavior of yours. Then ask yourself if it’s working. I bet it’s not. You’re better off letting it go and moving forward with your fabulous life.
Don’t blame yourself.
This is the first place people head when things go south even if it wasn’t their fault. It tends to happen because taking on the blame is a way of rationalizing the situation. But guess what? Sometimes there isn’t a perfect answer or a reason as to why certain things happen to us. And even if there was an explanation, it probably wouldn’t be enough to settle down your feelings. The only control you have is to decide if you want to let this situation affect the type of person you are when you come out the other side of it. Sometimes it’s really not about you. Don’t take on extra weight that’s not yours to carry. Practice forgiveness and move on.
People aren’t Fully Healed
Like I mentioned previously, sometimes people are operating from a place where there is a strong emotional trauma or wound. Things they have experienced cause them to behave a certain way when triggered. And unfortunately you are now the person who has to deal with their reaction to it. Be conscious that this particular individual is simply operating from a place of needing to be healed in some way. It is not a sign that you have done anything wrong! What has actually happened is that you unintentionally reflected their wounds back to them as a signal they need to be worked on. Unfortunately this can seriously irritate people who have no interest in self-growth or healing. Even though it still feels bad, it truly has nothing to do with you. Try not to take it personally.
Accept that You Cannot Change Anyone.
I think this is the most important one of all. I see so many people making excuses for others who are not behaving appropriately. “If I just do this” or “I know I can change their mind” are common excuses people create. Remember that you can never make anyone do anything they don’t want to do. And sometimes it’s simply not your responsibility to take on. We all carry different perspectives on the same situation, and you cannot force anyone to see things from your point of view. Especially if they aren’t ready or open to it. Sometimes it’s better to cut your losses and walk away with a lesson learned.
If we are lucky we will all live a long and healthy life. But within those constrains we will experience moments that challenge us, and go through times that don’t seem fair. What is most important is that we learn and grow from these opportunities to develop into the best versions of themselves. Learning forgiveness is a big part of that. Next time you come into conflict with someone, I hope you remember everything you have just read. And that it makes your situation easier to handle.
Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got.