Forgiving people is key to inner peace. But the true nature of the psychology of forgiveness is complex. It's hard to forgive people when someone close to you hurts you. It may feel impossible to move forward sometimes. The thought of resentment, anger, and toxic emotions become debilitating to your personal headspace. When you learn to let go of your hurt feelings, you will find inner peace.
To truly forgive someone means you are no longer hurt and angered when you think about what happened. You are able to move forward from what transpired. You do not display passive aggression towards that person. You stop feeling angry when you are reminded of that event. To become a forgiving person, you must stop holding onto emotional pain.
The topic of forgiveness is not easy. It's always easier to talk than it is to walk. But if you are ready to forgive, I have created a simple 7-step methodology to forgive a person who hurt you:
7 Steps to Forgive Someone Who Has Hurt You
Move On From the Past
You are not dictated by your past. By putting your focus on an event, you are giving someone free rent to live in your head. It continues to rain down suffering in the present and future. You handicap yourself from not letting it go.
Start by reminding yourself that pain is a necessary part of your growth. All the things you encounter are necessary for where you go. Embrace the chapter you're currently in, and learn that all things will eventually come to an end. As long as you are ready to let go, you are able to move on.
Focus on Happiness
Loving yourself means you will start allowing yourself to be happy again. Emotional intelligence comes from being able to find gratitude in any situation. I've learned that when you allow yourself to be in a state of happiness and gratitude, you no longer have the capacity to be angry anymore.
Start connecting the event of suffering to gratitude. Be grateful that you became a stronger person as a result of that suffering. Be grateful that you have become a more compassionate human being as a result of that suffering.
Have Empathy For the Person
Forgiveness comes when you are able to empathize with the other person. Understand that this person has feelings, insecurities, and problems too. When you understand that people who are hurt, hurt others -- you are able to forgive that person.
You are not a perfect human being. Knowingly or unknowingly, you have hurt people in your life. You have caused harm that people had to learn to forgive as well. Once you understand that, learn to forgive yourself for your mistakes.
Take Radical Accountability
Your ability to take responsibility for your actions, feelings, and behaviors allows you to learn from the errors of your way. You stop blaming other people for your circumstances. You start taking action to manage how you feel.
No one in the world can control your internal state besides you. You are the only person who can choose to feel angry, sad, or hurt. You are the only person who can choose to be happy, ecstatic, and at peace. At the end of the day, one's ability to manage their own internal state is critical.
Stop Trying to Controlling People
You will never, ever, be able to control people. So stop trying. Telling people what they are doing right or wrong is equivalent to the blind leading the blind. At some point, you are going to be wrong.
Stop trying to dominate in your relationships, Stop trying to play God. Listen rather than talk. Pay attention to yourself and how you feel. When you stop coming from a place of ego, you stop setting unrealistic expectations for people.
It's is hard to be kind. When you encounter a person who has hurt you, you want nothing more than to let them have a piece of your mind. It's easier to let them feel the pain that you are going through than it is to understand them at all.
As much as you want to believe that you are righteous, the truth is that you have and will be in the wrong at some point in your life. Forgiveness isn't simply just letting go of the past. It is also learning to be kind to the person who hurt you. That is true forgiveness.
Stop Judging Others
When you live in judgment, you are constantly in a state of unforgiveness. When you stop judging people, you are more willing to forgive peoples' trespasses against you. You learn to let things slide.
Judging people is the equivalent of standing on a hill while smashing others down. It's the act of inserting yourself as a moral authority against all people. The reality is that we are all very flawed people. At the end of the day, no one has the moral authority to play judge, jury, and executioner. So stop trying to judge people -- you will be happier for it.
Forgiveness isn't easy. It takes a lot of work to forgive someone who hurt you badly. You just want to make that person feel as bad as they made you feel. However, when you are unforgiving, you destroy yourself with your own resentments. When you are able to forgive people, you will learn to forgive yourself as well. Forgiveness is a powerful talent. It's a gift that allows you to stop holding onto negativity. Start practicing it today to immediately enjoy a better day.