We all deserve happiness, and happiness is something that starts with one’s self. But we often find ourselves unhappy, hanging onto anger and resentment because someone has wronged us. Staying angry destroys the joy in our life. We start to become bitter, cold, cynical and closed off.
The only path to real happiness and freedom from the hurt we feel is forgiveness. If you really want to honor yourself and create a life of joy, you have to learn to truly forgive those who harmed you.
The act of forgiveness is a beautiful concept, and it’s often even glamorized! But, when we’re actually dealt with the task of forgiveness, we realize it’s not so easy to carry out. We might logically understand why someone has hurt us, but still not be able to release the emotions of hate, anger or resentment. Forgiveness might just be one of the most challenging lessons we’ll ever have face.
When you find yourself in this position, consider this: forgiveness is not for the other person, it’s for ourselves. When we forgive others, we are not saying that what they did is okay and we’re not letting them off the hook. Instead, we are telling God that we no longer want to carry around the anger, the resentment and all the pain. When we are able to fully understand and honestly let go – we set ourselves free. Those important steps create space in our lives to find peace and happiness, and attract more of what we seek and what honors us.
Here are 4-steps you can take to shed the hurt and resentment and forgive someone for wronging you.
- Locate your pain – Step away from the situation and try to see the bigger picture. Identify the deep emotional pain this situation may have triggered and why it is that you feel hurt or have trouble letting it go.
- Learn the emotional block – Ask yourself if there is a deeper reason you are angry. Figure out why it’s so difficult for you to let go of this. Then look at the other person, step into their shoes and see if from their perspective without bias or judgment. What fears or insecurities of theirs might they be projecting?
- Have compassion – Try to have compassion for the other person and the role they play in other people’s lives. Just like the rest of us, they want to be loved and feel love. Many people who feel unloved will project their fears and insecurities on others – is that why they active negatively towards you?
- Surrender, forgive and let go – Make the conscious decision to heal and grow from the experience, and set the other person free by letting it go. In turn, you will set yourself free of the pain that has been holding you back. When you forgive and let go, you are loving yourself enough to give yourself peace.
Forgiveness is a personal process, no one can do it for you, but you can and should do it for yourself. As you start to let go, you will find it easier to come to terms with the hurt and move on with your spiritual evolution. It helped me get over my divorce and finally have the courage to write my first book, “A Little Bit of Grace, A Spiritual Memoir.” I am sharing my personal collection of stories to empower others to live a life of happiness and joy.
We all deserve happiness and that starts with ourselves. If we want to keep moving forward, keep finding peace and creating happiness all throughout our lives, we’ll have to learn to forgive and learn to let go so we can make peace.