A wise man once said, "Forgiveness is not something we do for others, it's something we do for ourselves, to get well and move on."
The best way to move forward and create the life you want is to forgive and let go of the past. The sooner you let go of people and things that no longer serve you, the sooner you allow the right things to catch up with you.
We have enough to learn and deal with in this moment without dragging along baggage from the past into our present.
Not forgiving means spending a lot of time dragging old baggage into our lives right now, which just adds unnecessary stress to our lives.
How to forgive
Some people bring out the worst in me so I often fine myself saying, "I’d rather die than forgive you." The problem with this way of thinking is that I’m the only one that feels bad or loses any sleep.
Meanwhile the other person is relaxed and chilling with no problems, which only strengthens my grudge.
A few years ago when I could no longer stand hating people in my life and blaming them for everything, I developed a 3 step letter process:
1. Write resentment or blame letters
Sit down and list everyone that you really believe is unforgivable and write them all individual letters telling them how you really feel.
Pretend the person is standing in front of you and you are finally getting to tell them how you feel. Write from the heart.
The letters should be detailed and descriptive and if you feel like swearing in them go ahead, you’re not writing to win a Pulitzer.
This is about releasing all those feelings that you’ve been repressing. I really encourage you to play the victim here.
Once you’re done with the letters burn them.
Measure how intense the negative emotions are on a scale of 1 to 10. Write them more letters until the intensity drops below a 5.
Hint: if you still feel like chopping the person’s head off after this exercise then you probably still have some work to do. Try doing some EFT Tapping
2. Write forgiveness letters to the people and to yourself
I always tell coaching clients that fighting their negative emotions is a waste of time; it’s better to just own your refusal to forgive and accept that that's where you are at the moment.
Once you’ve gotten most of your negative emotions out of your energy system you can start to focus on forgiveness. In your forgiveness letters state in detail what you are forgiving the other person for.
At the end of each letter ask the other person to forgive you as well for whatever you did to them to cause this situation. In the last paragraph forgive yourself for allowing this situation to happen.
You have 2 choices: you can burn the letter or you can mail to the person.
3. Appreciate having had the person in your life
This last part may take days and even weeks but that's ok because deep down our inner being knows that nothing is random. It’s difficult and almost super human to find the beauty in the muck.
There’s empowerment and healing in gratitude; being able to see gifts that the cheating boyfriend or the abusive parents gave to you by hurting you sets you free.
These gifts are intangible, some examples are: self-esteem, resilience, perseverance, self-love
I've come to really appreciate the ex-boyfriends that lied to me and cheated on me because they led me to research relationships and learn about self-love, which led me to being a writer and a speaker.
They helped me uncover some really deep hidden issues and for that I’m grateful for them.
You can either mail the letters or burn them.
How has forgiveness changed your life?
Let me know in the comments section below.