For many of us, forgiveness seems impossible. “How can I forgive her? She won’t even admit she hurt me.” Sound familiar? Forgiveness is not letting the offender “off the hook,” but rather, letting yourself off the hook. Forgiveness doesn’t mean we forget what happened. We can’t forget, or we won’t learn what we need to from the experience. Forgiveness is about us shedding the weight of the past. It’s letting go of the sadness, anger, and resentment that weighs heavy on our hearts. We all have the capacity to forgive and move on. We each have to decide when we are ready. If that time is now, consider these tips from the trail:
1. Grieving looks and feels different to each of us. Walking through the 5 stages of grief is not a straight stair step process. For many of us, it’s stepping up and stepping back multiple times. We can move through denial into the anger phase, and think we are getting close to acceptance, only to fall back into anger again. It’s a process unique for each of us.
2. Turn the mirror toward yourself, shift your perspective, and work at figuring out what you’ve learned from this experience and how you can live in freedom by choosing forgiveness. Freedom from carrying the heavy load of anger and resentment is the gift of forgiveness.
3. Seek help from a therapist if you find yourself isolating, losing interest in most things, or are struggling at work or home. Sometimes we need someone to walk along side us as we move through our grieving processes. Click here for more tips from Positively Positive on how to let go, and shed our heavy loads.
“As I have said, the first thing is to be honest with yourself. You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself… Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty, but humility.”