We all have things that were done to us that we wish hadn’t been done.
Where we all differ is in how we manage our thoughts about these events.
Some will just go about their normal life forgetting about it, some will take more time and make a conscious effort to forgive and move on, others will hold on to those thoughts for years and years.
Anger and resentment are unhelpful thoughts.
They take a lot of energy and end up holding us back.
How can you move forward if you constantly think of past hurt?
Past hurt is unnecessary baggage that weighs us down, that stops us from making new experiences and taking risks.
Don’t get me wrong, it is good to learn from past experience.
What is not good is to hang on to unsuccessful, painful outcomes and – whether consciously or unconsciously – use them to shield us from taking any new risks.
Not only are anger and resentment unhelpful thoughts but by keeping such thoughts bottled up you can also cause physical conditions to yourself such as stress, long term depression of the immune system, heart problems, ulcers and ultimately cancers.
By keeping these thoughts, you are harming yourself further – mentally and physically!
How To Forgive
It is, therefore, essential to learn to let go of these very harmful thoughts.
This is where forgiveness comes in.
By forgiving, we let go of a feeling we have associated with a person.
This frees us to go on our way and create more positive changes.
Forgiveness can be very difficult and often almost impossible to do consciously, whatever perceived advantages it might have… but by changing the way we think about a person, we can change the way we feel about them.
Before embarking on this process to forgive others, make sure you follow this process to forgive yourself first should you need to.
Step 1: Recall
Consciously recall the thoughts you need to let go of and recognize them as unhelpful and unnecessary.
Write them down.
This will help you formulate clearly in your mind what it is that has really hurt you.
Step 2: Adjust
Change the way you think.
“Everybody has a positive intention”.
This is an NLP saying that helps you see things differently.
Yes, people have hurt you and they may have had no positive intention towards you but they have done it for a reason that was positive to them.
Try and think about what positive reason was there for them.
By seeing the person and their wrong-doing from a different perspective, it is possible to start to challenge old thoughts and assumptions about the person and, by persevering, it is possible to reach the point where forgiveness is possible, or at least, the wrong can be let go of, allowing for new beginnings.
Write down (in your life-coaching notebook if you’re keeping one) what positive intention the people who hurt you may have had.
Step 3: Meditate
If you can’t achieve to forgive in a conscious way, try using meditation.
This involves imagining acting in a way, which is kind and loving towards them and thinking what their response might be. It is done during meditation from the security of a ‘safe place’ in the mind, where the meditator feels relaxed and in control.
It is important that you are able to love yourself, before you are able to make this meditation work effectively.
If you can’t love yourself, you can’t effectively love anyone else.
Step 4: Accept
If forgiveness is still too difficult, accept to be unsuccessful in forgiving but be willing to move on.
Forgiveness Can Be Really Difficult…
Depending on the level of pain, forgiveness can be very difficult.
Sometimes, it helps to simply accept that the person has wronged you, but that you let go of any influence their wrong doing has over you.
You learn the lesson and release them to get on with their own life, while you get on with yours. But you must do this honestly, and be free from the hatred at the end, otherwise you will have achieved nothing.
Do try and free yourself from unnecessary baggage.
However hard forgiving is, you deserve to get on with your life. Hatred, resentment, anger are stopping you from doing just that.
Give it a try and let us know what kind of results you get (or what you think) in the comments below..