We have all heard the phrase, “Forgive and forget,” but how easy is it do either of those things? If only we could forget… maybe it wouldn’t be so hard to forgive. And sometimes we’ll offer someone our forgiveness… but the truth is that the scar of their unkind words or deeds remains.
How do you “get over it?” When our emotions get hurt, it can take some time to heal. Arguments can lead to resentment, especially if we tend to repeat the same misunderstandings with the same person over and over. It’s easy to take another’s actions personally, as well. And sometimes, it’s really just a matter of them not realizing that whatever they did or said (or didn’t do or say) might offend or disappoint you. It’s also easy to fantasize about taking revenge out… especially if you’ve been hurt by someone whom you had (have) very deep feelings for.
Cultivating healthy relationships is so important. It’s refreshing to commune with like minds (and even to get a new perspective from a mind who is not so like our own). It feels good to share common interests. It makes us happy to cheer on others and to be cheered for… to give and get support through adversity. Other people open our eyes to new experiences and bring us joy in togetherness – whether it’s attending a sporting event, enjoying a good meal, or getting out for an adventure. So when we have a falling out with a friend, or a lover, we can really feel the absence of this person in our lives, even though we’re angry or hurt. Working to understand each other, cultivating good communication… learning to get along… these are the keys to happy relationships with people we care about.
Relationships are important and not always easy. Value one another. Here are some steps that can lead to forgiveness.
- Let the feelings out appropriately. Journal. Talk with a friend. Write a private letter to the person who has hurt you and be brutally honest – but then don’t send it! This is about purging your emotions and releasing your pain.
- Consider the other person’s perspective. Are they REALLY bad, evil and wrong in this? Or were they just trying to do the best they could? Perhaps the slight that you felt was due to someone having a stressful day, and that whatever they “did” was unintentional.
- Discover what you can learn from the experience. Embrace a space of gratitude. Finish being angry, and remember all the joy that this person has brought into your life. Think about all the times you laughed together, all the times they were there for you.
- Talk it over with them with an Honor Talk™. Have an open mind. Express things from the “I feel” perspective rather than taking the accusatory, “You are (or you do) this or that” approach. See how you can create more intimacy and closeness because of the disagreement. Learn to understand each other better.
And, remember that forgiveness is also a gift to yourself. By letting go of your resentment and allowing someone to be human, you get to reclaim your energy to put toward something positive.
Comment on this question:
What are you willing to forgive?
Susan Liddy is the author of the “Body Benevolence eBook; 8 Weeks to Loving Your Body” and “The Secrets to Ultimate Living; What You Wish You Knew When You Were 20!”. Find more of her tips and articles to create an ultimate life and an extraordinary business here: SusanLiddy.com
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