Have you ever had a tough time forgiving someone who had done something cruel, thoughtless or downright mean? What stinks is they are the ones who harmed you, yet you’re the one who feels bad! Doesn’t seem fair, does it?
You might have resistance even though you are aware you should forgive. The problem is, there is a lot of misinformation about forgiveness.
- Do you think forgiveness means you excuse the behavior?
- Do you want to wait until you feel ready to forgive?
- Do you think forgiving means you will forget?
You don’t get to know whether or not you feel better until after you have taken the action of forgiving. However we know that after you forgive you WILL feel better.
What is forgiveness anyway?
- Forgiveness is not a thought or feeling. It’s an action.
- Forgiveness is a selfish action taken by you, FOR YOU, so you will feel better
- The only one hurt by non-forgiveness is you
- Forgiveness is giving up the hope of a different or better yesterday
- Non-forgiveness keeps the past alive
- Non-forgiveness is an unrealizable demand that the past did not happen
- Forgiveness means you acknowledge the things someone did or did not do that hurt you and you’re not going to allow it to hurt you anymore
- The saying “I will forgive, but will never forget” puts you in a box
- You can forgive someone who has not apologized because forgiveness is about you, not them
- Never forgive someone directly
- Forgiveness does not mean you excuse the behavior
- Forgiveness does not benefit the person who harmed you
- Forgiveness benefits you
- Non-forgiveness limits your ability to be happy and live your life to the fullest
- Forgiveness gets rid of the resentment that has been renting free space in your head
- Forgiveness is empowering
- Forgiveness means you are taking charge of your happiness
- Forgiveness means you can be free
The Grief Recovery Method has a unique perspective on how to forgive. Using The Method you will write, then verbalize your forgiveness to a trusted friend or confidant.
The reason you should never directly forgive a living person is because they will have a different perception of the situation. Since forgiveness is about you, it isn’t necessary for them to ever know that you have forgiven them.
If you’re stuck with resentment and want to find a way to forgive, find out more about our 8-Week Grief Support Groups in your area or learn more about our 2 Day Grief Recovery Method Grief Workshops.
More more information on the topic of forgiveness and grief, here are some other articles from our Grief Blog: