It’s essential to forgive yourself and others in order to release your guilt and decide to not allow it to suffocate you and your future opportunities.
Forgiveness is not the same as 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.
Forgiveness is key to allowing yourself to move forward with your life in a positive direction. When you don’t forgive yourself, you are not able to forgive others. So, start forgiving yourself and know that just being human means that you have made mistakes and will continue to make mistakes. Mistakes are opportunities to learn and grow.
Here’s a four-part process that we should walk through as we’re dealing with pain brought upon by others:
- Recognize no one is perfect: When we hate somebody, we tend to lose our perspective about that person. When we’re filled with resentment and bitterness and hurt, we tend to dehumanize the offender. We treat them bad – but we’re all in the same boat.
- Relinquish your right to get even: This is the heart of forgiveness. You deserve to retaliate, but you must commit not to do so. It’s not 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, which is greater than any problem or pain you might be currently facing.
Forgiveness is not just saying sorry but there is more to it. There are 4 steps to forgives and they’re really simple:
- Acknowledge: Let the one (s) you have hurt know that you understand that you have 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 make it up – be honest. An explanation can open new doors to healthy relationships.
- Repair: What has gone may never come back but there are many things that you can still repair. You can mend broken things, apologize publicly etc.
Forgiveness does not mean forgetting, nor does it mean condoning or excusing offenses. Though forgiveness can help repair a damaged relationship, it doesn’t obligate you to reconcile with the person who harmed you or release them from legal accountability. Instead, forgiveness brings the forgiver peace of mind and frees you from corrosive anger.