Coming from a girl who grew up feeling like I couldn’t trust anyone because of the trauma I went through, forgiveness helped me overcome a lot of situations internally.
Forgiveness is a powerful tool in helping you heal. In this post, I explain ways to help make forgiveness easier for you, how it can brighten your life and make you feel happier.
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Forgiveness for someone who has wronged you is important in a healing journey because it can clear your heart. At the end of the day, forgiveness is for ourselves and our own well-being. I personally believe that when you are able to forgive someone without even an apology or a word from their side, that is true healing.
That is you going a step forward in your path to move past the things that happened to you.
From my experience, I have had family betray me and abuse me as a child which affected me greatly with trusting people. It made me see people differently and carried around this hurt for years until I discovered what it means to truly heal.
Finding your own healing is like finding yourself. It takes time, it takes practice and it takes courage.
My Story – What Forgiveness Has Done For Me
When I was 11, I was sexually abused by a family friend who my mother trusted with her life. He took advantage of that trust and abused me repeatedly. This had an intense affect on my life as it rid my innocence as a child.
As I grew older, I didn’t get an apology or the justice I deserved. But it’s okay. Everything panned out how it was meant to happen and I’m okay with that. I’m okay with that because I found it within myself to forgive.
Forgiveness is letting go and moving on. It is RELEASING yourself from the negativity and pain that you are holding onto.
I built the strength to let go and forgive for my own healing. Don’t get me wrong, it took me almost 10 years to finally find light. Healing is a journey and forgiveness is a HUGE, immense part of it.
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Not every healing journey is the same. Trauma can be caused by many other things. Maybe the root of your forgiveness isn’t from something as intense as this or maybe it’s from something worse. But forgiveness will help you MOVE ON!
Forgiveness is a notion that comes after you have processed what has happened to you. So please note that I am telling you my story where forgiveness took a lot of TIME and WILLPOWER in me.
I find that forgiveness comes much later in a healing journey depending on the sensitivity and severity of situations. But when you find the courage to move forward, that is when true fortitude takes place.
Forgiveness has brought me happiness and the capability to look forward and have a life of hope. It has helped me release baggage from my life that I did not need to carry around. I have found my own peace and have found more blessings in my life with the power of forgiving.
I am in the happiest state that I have ever been in and continue to grow and find ways to improve my mental health. That is why I find forgiveness to be POWERFUL!
How Do I Forgive?
So the questions you might be asking are, “How do I forgive? How do I look past what they have done to me?”
Well, look at it this way, forgiveness is an action done for yourself. Forgiving someone for what they may have done to you will release YOU. Finding ways that work for you is like trial and error. The more you do things to bring you to your higher self, the closer you will get there.
1) Accept what has happened.
Acceptance is the first step to anything you have or are going through. Even if you are going through depression, you will find ways to help yourself when you acknowledge and accept where you are, so you can move forward.
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When you begin any healing journey with acceptance, you can take that step forward to heal. So, when you accept what has happened, for example, with someone who has hurt or wronged you, you can begin to move on.
Accept change and know that not everything in life will go as planned, especially when it’s relationships, jobs, school, life, or things that affect our day-to-day lives. It is how you react to life’s problems that determine how YOUR life will pan out.
2) Communicate with the person you need to forgive.
If you have the chance or ability to talk to the person you are having conflict with, try to make amends. Push your pride aside and send that message or make that phone call that will make your heart a bit lighter.
Forgiveness does not mean things have to go back to how they were before, forgiveness can mean that you and the person in conflict can be civil and move on together.
If you can talk it out with that person, find ways to speak calmly. Do not let tension build as you are having the conversation. Find a solution for the both of you. Sometimes just telling your feelings to that person with no need for a response can even help 100 times more than you would think.
We don’t always need a response or an apology but we need to let it out.
You can write a letter to voice how you feel. Maybe you and this person haven’t spoken for months and now you believe it will be awkward if you reach out. But you have to be the judge of how you want to handle your situation. Every problem is different and every person handles things differently.
So clear your mind and express how you feel. Then you will know how you want to move forward.
3) Make internal reflections on how you feel and how you want to proceed.
Let’s say you haven’t spoken to this person you have conflict with, or maybe you have and it didn’t go as planned. Sometimes you have to move forward alone. It is completely okay to forgive without an apology.
In conflict scenarios, I like to have empathy for anyone involved. There are two sides to every story. You may feel like you are the right person and that you deserve this apology and they deserve nothing. But holding onto that view will build anger in your heart.
Having empathy will open your mind to understanding everyone involved. As I’ve mentioned, forgiving does not mean it has to go back to how it was before, it can just mean that you want to move on.
Reflect on how you feel. It may even feel like it is impossible to forgive someone for what they have done. It may feel like you will never see past their wrong doing. But find power in you to understand everyone involved.
Reflecting will bring clarity on how you want to handle your situation and will help you make amends with either that other person or the conflict itself.
4) Be the bigger person.
If you do things for yourself, truly, and you aren’t doing anything to impress anyone, then you will do all things in your truth. Knowing your truth is what will get you to that mental state where no one and nothing can rock you.
If you believe you are being the best person you can be, then that is what matters most.
Feeling like someone has wronged you will make you feel like you deserve the apology and until you get one you can’t move on. But why not let go now? Try to be the bigger person to say, “Hey, this happened. Alright, cool. Thank you, next”.
Holding grudges won’t get you anywhere. It will do YOU more harm than it will the person you are angry with. Let that sink in.
So move forward and do it for yourself. Be the bigger person to see past all the wrong so conflict can be resolved, especially within yourself.
5) Know your reasons for forgiving.
I know I talk a lot about doing things for yourself and I hope it doesn’t come off as “be selfish”. I mean, do things for yourself so you can heal. No one is above anyone but hold your head high. You are deserving of happiness. So strive to get there!
If you are holding onto anger and pain, you can’t be completely content. You can learn from that pain and move on. You can take that hurt to make it into a strength of yours and become an even better you. But holding grudges will not get you to that level.
So know WHY you are forgiving. Know why being a forgiving person will enlighten you on your journey. Find your reasons and what makes you believe that forgiving would benefit YOU!
Only then can you move on and make peace with the help of forgiveness.
6) Make forgiving a habit.
My last tip on how to forgive is to make forgiveness a habit. Forgiveness takes a lot of strength and self-discipline. Having these skills shapes your character. It shapes you as a person and it shapes your mindset.
Read also: 70 Good Habits to Drastically Improve Life
Being a forgiving person will elevate you internally because at that point, nothing can hinder you. When you have that skill to forgive and truly forgive, where you move on and move past, you can be a better person and LIVE A BETTER LIFE!
Opening up about being sexually abused as a child is something that still weighs heavy on me. But I use it as a strength and not a weakness.
I hope you see the power of forgiveness as much as I do because forgiveness will add light to your healing journey as it did mine. Everyone’s healing journey is different so find what works for you.
Forgiveness helped me move on and live a better life when I found that holding onto anger did nothing but weigh me down.
About the Guest Contributor
Wenzel is the face behind WiseWenzy. It is a purposeful and relatable, uncensored advice guide to anyone and everyone who wants to improve their self-love. She has gone through a lot of chaos herself and writes about variety of topics from overcoming traumatic life events to living the best life. She wants to share every bit of advice that helps her live, heal and feel confident with who she is.
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