Today I am writing about how to forgive. Okay, that might be impossible, but at least, I am writing about ways that allow you to move forward with forgiveness. This post follows yesterday’s when I laid out the situation that creates a grudge. How can you forgive someone who has harmed you? You get into a more peaceful place by undoing the three components that I previously described.
Undo the three components that created your grudge. This is accomplished by:
- Instead of taking strong personal offence, find the impersonal in the hurt. You do this when you recognize that some (maybe much) of the hurtful event had nothing to do with you. You understand that something bad happened but the past cannot be changed. Instead of dwelling on this offence, concentrate on all that is good in your life. When you feel disappointed, limit dwelling on disappointing thoughts.
Make a plan to improve your life instead of blaming the offender for how you feel. In the short run, blame feels good because your hurt becomes someone else’s responsibility but ultimately, blame is useless. Having a plan to improve your life is healing. Holding on to blame keeps you stuck and attached to the person or event. It keeps you vulnerable and helpless. You make someone else powerful. Take the power back. Refocus your emotion with the following techniques:
- Be grateful;
- Remember the good, beauty and kindness in life;
- Learn to slow down and breathe;
- It does not mean that what happened is your fault; just that you have to be in charge of how you think, behave and feel today.
- Give up your grievance story by learning a different story. Stop using the old ways that probably never worked.
These ideas are taken from Dr. Fred Luskin’s work. I would like to hear your experience – and so would many others.