How to Forgive, When Forgiving Is Hard



· 5 min read

At some point in life, you come across someone who hurt you so much it seems impossible to forgive them.

It doesn't matter how hard you try it still feels like you will never be able to fully move on and forgive.

So how do you learn to forgive when forgiving seems impossible?

Understand the Heart-Mind Disconnect

You have probably heard that forgiveness is not for the person who hurt you. Instead, the reason you should forgive is for you. Forgiveness is for your own freedom, happiness, and peace of mind.

But although your mind knows this, your heart doesn't listen. Your heart holds on to the pain. It replays it over and over again. For many people, it becomes a reason to live.

Your heart can't find the sense in forgiving someone who caused you so much pain. So it holds on to it for dear life.

Did you know that you shouldn't give up on the pain that you are feeling? Not in the early stages of healing.

Allow yourself to feel the pain. Feeling the pain is a vital step to healing and forgiving.

Recognize and Accept: Hurt, Rage, Disappointment

When someone hurts you, you shouldn't try to let go of the pain too quickly. Instead, allow yourself to feel the hurt.

Cry. Write. Wail. Express it in healthy ways. Don't bottle it up or try to get rid of it immediately. Like all wounds, you need to give it some time.

Feeling the pain, the anger, and the disappointment doesn't make you a bad person. Instead, it helps you to find the lesson within the experience. Look for the lesson, always.

Feeling every bit of it will also help your mind to understand the danger associated with the person. When you allow this to happen, it makes it easier for you to establish boundaries. These boundaries will serve as protection in the future. So don't skip this part of the healing process.

Just Don't Get Lost In It

Allowing yourself to feel the pain will help get you ready for the next step.

Don't get stuck on the pain. After you have allowed yourself to feel the pain, you need to move on from it.

You do this by Looking at Yourself With Compassion

Apart from all these hurt emotions, you are filled with compassion. You are capable of having some compassion toward yourself. Be gentle with the person inside you that was hurt.

Be understanding of the pain you are feeling. Show yourself the love and kindness you would have wanted to receive.

Examine every part of you that is suffering, and have some compassion. Try to understand why it's so hard for you to forgive. Then...

Turn That Compassion To the Person Who Hurt You

Then when your heart is filled with compassion for yourself, turn it outward toward the person that hurt you.

Ask yourself what they were experiencing that made them cause the pain that they did. Try to understand what pressures made them do what they did.

Although these reasons are not excuses for them having caused you so much pain, they make it easier for you to look at them with a loving eye.

Understand that people who are hurting will hurt others around them. Remind yourself that they would have done this to everyone in a similar situation as you.

Don't take their actions or words personally. Try to see their pain and understand it.

You can only forgive them if you understand what they were going through. If you can comprehend what caused them to behave the way they did, you can begin to forgive them.

When you do this, it removes the pressure of looking at them like a monster, and instead, you see them as a victim too.

Remember that it doesn't matter how much someone deserves your hatred, hating them will destroy you. You will become a victim of your hatred if you don't learn to look at them with compassion.

Remind yourself of the importance of being mindful of these feelings. You may be the only person who benefits from them.

After all that compassion you send towards understanding them, remember the boundaries that you put up. Remembering them will keep your heart and mind guarded.

It will allow you to live in peace. You will no longer be afraid of the pain they once caused you. It will be easier to forgive, let go, and move on.

The challenge
Are you finding it difficult to forgive someone? Try these steps. And remember it takes time. Have some love and patience with yourself, but be aware to follow through until the end.

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