If you’re reading this, I’m sorry that someone has wronged you. Whatever the situation, no matter how angry you are and regardless of what has happened, forgiveness will make you happy. Forgiveness is an essential life skill. It gives you the freedom to take back control on your life so why is it so hard? Here you will find everything you need to know about forgiveness and how you can forgive a friend.
What is forgiveness?
Forgiveness is accepting the reality of what happened and finding a way to resolve it. It is really important to remember that forgiveness is something you do for you. It is not a sign of weakness but a sign of ultimate strength. By achieving forgiveness you have made peace with the reality of what happened and are ready to let it go.
But why is forgiveness so hard?
Forgiveness is hard because you have a lot of emotion attached to what happened. When you apply negative emotions to something it makes it a lot more powerful in your mind. Your anger may lead you to want to get retribution, revenge and to feel back in control. In some situations you may be enjoying not forgiving someone and using it to feel superior over someone else’s mistake. The adrenaline the anger provides can be addictive, you may be self-identifying as a victim or you’re afraid that by forgiving you have to re-connect with the other person.
Important things to remember about forgiveness:
- Forgiveness is something you do for you, not for anyone else
- Forgiveness does not mean you are saying the reality was acceptable
- You don’t have to tell the other person they are forgiven it can be a personal thing for you
- Of course you will have feelings still about the situation but forgiveness will help to ease them
- It doesn’t mean you have to forget the reality ever happened
- It doesn’t mean the person you are forgiving has to be in your life
- Negative experiences and people are necessary to encourage us to learn, grow and be the best version of ourselves
How do I forgive my friend?
Achieving forgiveness takes patience and work. It may or may not happen overnight but the end result will leave you feeling wonderful and ready to move on with you life.
Step 1: Accept the reality for what it is (don’t escalate it any further!)
The first step is to accept the reality of the situation. This is just the reality of what happened nothing else that you may have escalated it into in your mind – we are all guilty at times of making things seem worse than they were. Accept what happened, how you felt and how you were impacted.
Step 2: Learn & grow – (you’ve got this!)
Acknowledge the growth you experienced as a result of what happened. Did you learn about yourself, your needs and your boundaries? Even in really crap situations it is great to try and take a positive outcome from it, no matter how hard it may be. Use your emotion as a driving force to be a better person yourself.
Step 3: Think about the other person (ew!)
By considering why the other person acted like they did may give you some confirmation of the situation (this does not mean that you are condoning the behaviour). Are they flawed, did they act from limited beliefs or what need were they trying to meet? Although this is really hard, this will help you to see the situation from a different point of view. The situation will be a reflection of the other person not you.
Step 4: Decide to forgive & move on
Decide to forgive and move on with your life. Don’t be defined by your past but do use it to grow and be determined to live a better life because of it. It is completely up to you whether you tell that person if they are forgiven or not, but forgiveness should come from a place where you do it for you and no one else. Create peace within yourself. If you decide to forgive someone and remain friends, don’t bring up the situation again. Leave it in the past.
If you’re reading this and have someone to forgive…now is the time. By forgiving you are letting go of any grievances and judgements and allowing yourself to feel better. Release those negative emotions and gain a positive outlook. The best revenge towards someone that has wronged you is to live a happy life.