This post is the sequel to last week’s post How Heartache Taught Me to Forgive, where I shared my journey to forgiving those who have hurt me, going back to my childhood.
If you’re ready to take steps to forgive yourself and others, and want to determine whether or not you have truly forgiven, then read along!
MY 7 STEPS TO FORGIVENESS
- Give yourself time to grieve the loss of who you thought you were/who you thought the person who hurt you was.
- Realize that someone can love you yet still hurt you deeply. Replace your idea of what love looks like with the fact that love from ALL human beings is flawed.
- Accept that you aren’t perfect, and never will be, nor will anyone else be. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone operates out of insecurity, fear, lack, pain and ignorance at one time or another.
- Make the decision (repeatedly) to free your heart, soul and mind from the hurt caused. When negative thoughts come to mind, find an affirmation to replace them with. Keep doing it, no matter how many times you have to do it.
- Release them and/or yourself from what you wanted and expected them (or you) to say or do. What is done is done. You can’t change the past.
- Make a list of each transgression/wound you forgive each person in your life for, including yourself. For example, in my journal, I wrote “NAME, I forgive you for the wound you caused when you LIST OFFENSE”.
- Talk to God about your pain (like you would talk to your best friend), and He will fill your heart, soul and mind with an abundance of love, peace, comfort and strength.
5 WAYS TO KNOW WHETHER YOU HAVE FORGIVEN (OR NOT)
From my experience, there are several indicators of forgiveness. You have forgiven when:
- You think about what the person/people did to you and no longer take it personally.
- You no longer view what they did to you as a deliberate attack against you or to hurt you, but a consequence and/or reflection of who they are or were.
- You realize that the pain they caused had nothing to do with wanting to hurt you but everything to do with their personal limits, struggles, vices, etc.
- You think of what they did or said and are no longer angry, revengeful or hate them, but have understanding regarding what led them to be, do or say what they did or said.
- You can look at the people who have caused you pain and not focus on what they did but see their potential for redemption.
BE LOVE. CHOOSE FORGIVENESS.
Hurt people really do hurt other people – it’s real, it’s true, it’s why God tells us to love others as we love ourselves. The way we love (or neglect to love) others reflects how we love ourselves. If we are living in hurt, guilt and rejection and not working through it, then our actions and behavior in our relationships will reflect our hurt, guilt and rejection.
If we want to be love, we must work on our own healing, and love ourselves so we can be love to others. If we want to be a source of healing for others, then we must first heal ourselves. If we want to be honest with others, then we must first be honest with ourselves!
Everything begins and ends with us.
Whatever you do, be sure to forgive and use the pain you have endured or healed from to grow. You don’t want to remain in a state of pity or become mad at the world, enclosed in a shell of anger, disappointment or fear. Release the pain to become anew – a more loving, spiritual, powerful version of you!
What is your process to forgive? How do you know that you have forgiven for good?
Be loved. Love you. Be love.
*Photo Credit: Brown Girl Bloggers