by Linda-Ann Stewart
Wounds caused by what loved ones, friends, colleagues and employers say and do can affect you at a deep level. However, hanging onto the hurt can harm you even more. Not only is it bad for your mental, emotional and physical health, but also it can draw more distress into your life.
Unforgiveness poisons your mind, body and affairs. Healing traditions from religion to psychotherapy to 12-Step programs agree that forgiveness of self and others needs to occur before you can have peace of mind.
Forgiveness is a powerful process that will give you greater understanding of yourself. It will also free more of your energy and access to your power. But forgiveness of these deep wounds shouldn’t be done lightly; otherwise, you’re just covering up the hurt.
For true healing, you need to acknowledge what happened, how it affected you and discover what you can learn from it. Any true forgiveness changes you at a deep level. It clears a path for the Law of Attraction to flow smoothly, to draw what you want into your life.
To work towards forgiveness, apply these five points when someone has hurt or offended you.
1. Identify the injury. This doesn’t mean relating what actually happened, but what you feel was broken. Before you can actually forgive, you need to understand what you’re forgiving. What principles, beliefs or expectations were violated? Whatever you feel was shattered has to be identified before you can truly forgive.
2. What do you feel about the offense. What did the injury mean to you? Journaling about how it made you feel can help you understand it better and reprocess the experience. Most people experience anger as a result of some wound. If you hold onto anger, you’re doing so to try to protect yourself and keep the event from happening again.
3. Mourn what has been lost or changed. You may feel a loss of belief in another person, in fairness, or safety. Grieving over the loss in necessary and appropriate. Your life has changed irrevocably. The relationship with the other person has also altered. But you will emerge stronger from this process.
4. Uncover the lesson for you. You could decide that no one is trustworthy, but is that belief going to be useful for you? That’s not necessarily the best lesson from what happened. You can decide what message you want to take from the event. What do you want to believe that will help you in the future? Wouldn’t a more reasonable belief be that some people can’t be trusted, and to be more vigilant for red flags in the future? By doing this step, you’re reprocessing how you fit into life and adjusting your beliefs to reflect the new you. This can help you learn what values you hold most dear.
5. Choose to forgive the person. You are not pardoning or excusing what happened. In this step, you’re making a choice to let go of any anger towards them. They’re human, with their own faults and character flaws. By accepting them as they are, you recognize that they can’t fill all your needs. The relationship will be different, because you’ll be more self-reliant and aware of their imperfections.
Copyright 2012 Linda Ann Stewart
All Rights Reserved