There is not a person walking on this earth who can say they have never had to forgive someone.
The same, therefore, is true in reverse – I have also hurt people and have caused them enough pain that they found themselves in a place where they had to forgive me.
I am not talking about someone spilling your coffee, stepping on your toe. I am talking real heart wrenching pain caused by the actions of another person. I am talking about a pain so deep and real that you cannot breathe. A hurt so big that your body aches. You find yourself thinking about very little else except the pain and the actions leading up to it.
You know the only way forward for you is to forgive this person, but if you can just forget that it happened it will be so much easier. Unfortunately, that luxury does not exist.
The only way out of here, is through it.
But how do you do that? How do you arrive at a point of forgiveness?
The most important point about forgiveness is to acknowledge that it is a very “selfish” act – a beautiful “selfish” act. Forgiveness is all about you! Through forgiveness you can release your past and move forward. Until such a time as you have not found forgiveness, you are stuck in that situation. All your power lies with that person and situation. Forgiveness is about giving you the permission to move forward.
You do not even have to inform the other person that you forgive them. Once you feel the forgiveness and freedom in your heart you know it is done – that you are free. You also set the other person free – you no longer wish them harm, hurt. They do not have to be in your life because of forgiveness, absolutely not! But, forgiving them means they are completely out of your being.
People asking for your forgiveness so they can move on? That responsibility lies with them to forgive themselves – your forgiveness cannot give them peace, sadly. They will find little release in your forgiveness in the bigger picture. If you can find it in yourself, please help them. It might be what they need at that moment to hear, that there is love out there in the world. Heaven knows, there is very little love going around on this earth.
But how do you arrive at the point of forgiveness? Here are 6 pointers along that hard road to finding the freedom and love of forgiving someone:
· Take Responsibility. What was your role in this relationship. And a relationship is any time two or more people are connected. You cannot get hurt emotionally to a point where forgiveness is needed, unless you have been in some form of relationship. (I am not talking about rape, murder, etc.) But within that relationship you played a role. Maybe it was to step on the other person’s “toes”, by stirring up emotions that they were not ready to face. And you, not wanting give in, kept on pushing. It does not matter how you look at it, you were not completely innocent. Your actions awakened something, and your actions came from something awakened in you. What was that? Become still, identify it, because your healing is very dependent on that. What role did you play in the lead up?
· Their path. When we are hurt intensely, we want to tell the person and we want them to change “their wayward behavior”. Please do tell them when they hurt you. It is your responsibility to speak up and set that boundary. The outcome of you speaking up, does not mean you have control over the outcome of it. The person may or may not change. That has nothing to do with you. They are walking their path. It might be that they will hurt ten more people before they realise what they are doing, maybe they never will learn and change. Our instant reaction is that of revenge. Please do not. Read my blog on revenge – do not hand your power over to the other person. Read the blog here: https://www.sueleppan.co.za/blog/revenge-the-ultimate-revenge-take-your-power-back
· Their Role. As I said above in taking responsibility, this person played a role in your life. Why did their actions or words hurt you so much? What emotions did it bring to the fore in you? What do you need to learn from this process? If you think about it – if you did not have unresolved issues in your life, these words or actions might not have had any impact on you. You might have brushed it off, looked at them and turned around and walked away. But you did not. Why? What do you have to work on? We all have heard that people come into our lives for a reason, some for a day, some for a season and some for a very long time. And in cases where we are badly hurt, the issue is even bigger than you might think. If I can give any advice, learn that lesson today, otherwise it will come back again and again.
· Thank them for the lesson. Sounds crazy, but if they had not crossed your path, you would have walked with this “internal emotional scratch” for a very long time. And while the “scratch” sits there, we add to it and it festers. You now are given the opportunity to break it open, clean it out and let it heal out in the open. Thank them. Had they not come along, who knows how long before you would have had the opportunity to become quiet, recognize your inner/hidden “scratch” and then to heal it.
· Self-forgiving. Quite often with a huge hurt like this, the emotions pushed to the surface, are scary ones, but we now have them right in our face. Why did I allow it to happen? How could I walk into the same kind of relationship? Why did I not speak up? Forgiving someone else is a piece of pie compared to forgiving yourself. You walk with that emotion and the thoughts 24/7. Let me rather blame the other person than to look at my own issues. There is virtually no escape, unless you actively work on it. You cannot deny it, because that will not put you on a path of self-forgiveness. Finding peace with yourself, only comes from a place of self-love. Of accepting yourself warts and all. Easier said than done – but you can find self-love. And you owe yourself that luxury – be kind to yourself, just as you would have been to someone you love unconditionally.
· Acceptance. Acceptance does not mean that what happened is right. It means you accept that it happened, you accept that it was put across your path for a reason. We all are on this beautiful planet for a reason. No matter how small or big, you have a role to play on this planet, at this very moment. It is the age-old story of having to crawl before you can walk and then run. Your dream, aspiration, purpose or goal requires certain qualities from you. They are dormant inside of us and they need to be awakened and fine tuned for us to play our part. This “thing” happened to prepare you and ready you for your future. It happened, you cannot turn the clock back, or speed the clock up to get as far as possible away from it. It is what it is.
There is no specific order in which these steps happen. You might work on two at the same time. It does not matter. What does matter is that you need to handle it as it comes up for you. And suppress it will not solve the problem and take you to forgivenes.
Actions from other people that hurt us to a point where we feel it is impossible to forgive, is really a blessing. They come for a reason and that reason is a lesson on our path to a better me. It stirs emotions inside of us, brings them to the surface and forces us to face them. Through this process of forgiveness, we heal. I know, it is hard.
But, your sun lies on the other side of this process.
It is not worth it to walk with a blackness of hate inside you, dwelling on the happening, giving your power away, putting your life on hold.
Finding forgiveness will set you truly free.
Transformation Life Coach
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