Holding onto lack of forgiveness keeps you dwelling on the past and if your focus is on the past, you stay in the past because you get what you focus on. When you let go and forgive, you set yourself free from the past. You give yourself permission to live in the present, and to enjoy your future.
Learning from the past
Forgiveness includes accepting yourself and the other person for what happened. When you forgive, you learn from the situation rather than forget about it or condone the inappropriate behaviour. The main reason that people hold onto the past is so that they can learn from it. Once we learn from it, it is easier to forgive and to let it go. By learning from the situation now you will avoid repeating the same lessons in the future.
Are you ready to forgive?
What is preventing you from forgiving other people? Do you want them to see or remember how much they hurt you or do you want to get back at them for what they did? They are probably unaware of your hurt so by holding onto lack of forgiveness you are only hurting yourself.
If you believe that the other person has to do something before you will forgive them, you are focusing on things beyond your control and are choosing to remain stuck. If as you think about that situation or person you feel emotions (e.g. anger, hurt, betrayal, etc), which are out of proportion to that situation, it is important to resolve those emotions. This will make it easier for you to forgive them.
Remember that people are doing the best they can with the resources they have, how they were brought up and what they have learnt along the way. They, like you, are human. Forgiveness can be achieved in many ways, either with or without the other person being present as you forgive them.
Firstly, look at how you participated in and contributed to the event – be honest, take responsibility for your part in the situation and consider how you could have done things differently. Ask yourself what you can learn from the situation because the positive learning will assist you to let it go and to move on.
In order to forgive others, you need to forgive yourself. So if you are angry or disappointed in yourself for past mistakes, keep in mind that these events and people are there simply for you to learn from, rather than mistakes. Punishing yourself for what you did or did not do only hurts you and blocks your flow of energy and happiness. Ask yourself, “What is the one thing you could do right now that will allow you to fully and completely forgive yourself?” Then take that action.
Once you forgive yourself, you can more easily forgive other people and free yourself to live your full potential now and in the future.
Dr. Vesna Grubacevic is an author (of the Amazon best-selling book, Stop Sabotaging Your Confidence), speaker, media commentator, and the founder and Performance Transformation Expert® with award-winning company, Qt. She holds a PhD, a BEc and is passionate about helping professionals and individuals to their improve confidence, emotional and mental wellbeing and success. For more free resources please visit www.qttransformation.com
Ó Qt, 2000 – 2016. All Rights Reserved.