Forgiveness is a controversial subject. Some say you shouldn’t forgive too quickly, that it takes time to fully process the injustice you just suffered. Others look at the persecutor and worry about letting him off the hook. Forgiveness, it’s one of the toughest things to do but I think, the thorniest and most difficult things we humans are ever called upon to do is to respond to evil with kindness, and to forgive the unforgivable. Generally, forgiveness is a decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge. When you think of some event in your past that still bothers you, and someone you haven’t been able to forgive. We re-experience past events every time we think of them. As for forgiveness, it’s likely that we are torturing ourselves with memories that are no longer accurate.
The kindest thing we can do both for them and us is not retelling the story, but instead create a new one: a story about letting go. The rule that I’m referencing right now is the one that says “I can’t forgive someone who has wronged. No one is purely bad, and everyone carries their own pain which influences the decisions they make. The moment to forgive is always now. The point is what you choose. Choose forgiveness now, and see what happens. We practice forgiveness for our own sake, to not be locked in anger, fear, and resentment. We need to learn to let go. We need to be able to forgive, so we can move on and be happy. There are certain tips, which can help you to forgive yourself and others:
- Understand that the best revenge against your enemies is to live a successful and happy life.
- We can remind ourselves that we forgive not for them but for us and that it’s easier to forgive than to hang on to so much anger, hurt and betrayal.
- Realize that the second best revenge is to turn the evil into something good. Think of your enemy as someone who has helped you to grow. Even though unfortunate things happen to us, the best thing we can do is take those opportunities as tests that will either destroy or strengthen us.
- Stop telling the story to yourself again and again. Do not keep thinking of the past or the bad thing that happened; when you let go of it.
- Tell “the story” from the other person’s perspective. Your willingness to tell the story from the offender’s perspective requires an effort at forgiveness.
- Make a list of the good things that emerged as a result of this awful experience.
- We must acknowledge that we are humans, so we are allowed to make mistakes.
- Remind yourself of how much forgiveness would mean to you if it was your turn for a mistake.
- I know that I need to forgive someone, not for their benefit, but for my own peace of mind. Don’t do it for them, do it for you.
- Retrain your thinking. When your enemy and his or her evil actions come to mind, send him or her blessing. Every time you think of them send them love. After a while it gets easy.
- Just look to the future instead of focusing on what’s past…think of creating new good memories to wipe away old bad ones.
- It becomes easy when you remember a time when you were forgiven, centering on how it made you feel.
- Understand your responsibility. Try to figure out how you could have been partially responsible for what happened. What could you have done to prevent it, and how can you prevent it from happening next time.
These strategies should be helpful in your journey of letting go and releasing the stress of the past. It may take time to forgive, but if you’re stuck on this point, repeat some of the ones above until you can get here.