It’s vital to forgive yourself and others to release your guilt and decide to not allow it to choke you and your future opportunities.
Forgiveness isn’t acceptance of the hurt. It’s about taking care of yourself so that you can move forward with your life without being controlled by the guilt or the person who has hurt you.
It’s crucial to allow yourself to move forward with your life on a positive course. When you don’t forgive yourself, you aren’t able to forgive others. So, start forgiving yourself and know that just being human means that you’ve made mistakes and will continue to make mistakes. Mistakes are occasions to learn and grow.
Here’s a four-part process to forgiveness as we’re dealing with suffering brought upon by others:
- Recognize no one’s perfect: When we hate somebody, we tend to lose our perspective about that person. When we’re filled with bitterness and hurt, we tend to dehumanize the offender. We treat them badly — but we’re all in the same boat.
- Relinquish your right to get even: This is the heart of forgiveness. You deserve to react, but you must commit not to do so. It isn’t fair, but it’s healthy.
- Respond to the evil with good: This is how you know you’ve fully released someone from the wrong that has been committed against you.
- Refocus on God’s plan for your life: You stop focusing on the hurt and the person who hurt you. Instead, you refocus on God’s purpose for your life, that’s superior to any problem or pain you might be currently facing.
Forgiveness isn’t just saying SORRY but there’s more to it. There’re four steps to forgives and they’re really simple:
- Acknowledge: Let the one(s) you’ve hurt know that you understand that you’ve hurt them and are ready to forgive.
- Remorse: There may be not much you can do but you can repent of the hurt you caused to someone. Do it with a sincere heart.
- Explain: This is hard but you can do it if your heart knows the reason. Don’t fake — be honest. An explanation can open new doors to healthy relationships.
- Repair: What has gone may never come back but there’re many things that you can still repair. You can mend broken things, apologize publicly, etc.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting, nor does it mean overlooking or excusing offenses. Though forgiveness can help repair a damaged relationship, it doesn’t force you to reconcile with the person who harmed you or release them from legal accountability. Instead, forgiveness brings you peace of mind and frees you from corrosive anger.