Learning to forgive

The practice of forgiveness has been shown to reduce anger, depression and stress and leads to greater feelings of hope, peace and self-confidence. What better reasons to embrace forgiveness in your life…

STEPS TO FORGIVENESS…

Talk it out

Try to understand how you feel about what has happened and articulate those feelings to someone you trust. Let your emotions out and don’t apologise if you get upset, the pain is more bearable with someone there to listen.

Recognise that nobody’s perfect

You cannot control the thoughts and actions of other people, and you shouldn’t try. But you can try to understand why that person did what they did. They might not necessarily be a bad person – they just did something wrong.

Get the right perspective

Recognise that the pain and distress you are experiencing is a result of the thoughts and physical upset you are feeling right now, not what off ended or hurt you two minutes – or 10 years – ago. You can stop reliving the hurt and choose to move on. You have this power, you just need to learn how to exercise it.

Forgiveness is for you

Try to understand that forgiveness does not necessarily mean you will reconcile with the person who hurt you. What you are trying to achieve is an acceptance of what has happened in order for you to find peace and move on. Petrea King, CEO of Quest For Life believes “Forgiving is not the same as condoning. True forgiveness is an internal act and doesn’t need the involvement of the person or situation in which we felt wounded. The essence of forgiveness is that we liberate ourselves from reacting from feelings of being hurt or wounded.”

Acceptance

If the person is still a part of your life, now is a good time to accept that individual as they are, without wanting to change aspects of their personality or behaviour.

Move on

Instead of replaying your hurt and anger over and over again, stop, seek out new friends and new situations that can make your life more happy and positive.

This article was originally published in Issue 1, Breathe Magazine – Make Time for Yourself.