Forgiveness is not necessarily an event but a process or journey. The pain we can feel from betrayal, suffering or loss is very real and can take time to work through. Forgiving a wrong does not mean we are declaring that what happened to us is okay. Nor does is require you to pretend you don’t remember the offense. And in some cases, those who have brought the offense are no longer with us or we are unable to communicate with them directly. Regardless of your current relationship with the offender, the choice to forgive is extremely important for YOU!

There are multiple benefits when we choose to work through the process and forgive.

Here are just a few:

Follow these steps below and work through them every day for as long as it takes:

STEP #1: IDENTIFY THE HURT OR OFFENSE

Label the offense and label the feelings you may have as a result. Be as specific as you can. Consider writing them down on a sheet of paper and then burning it as a way of symbolically declaring an “end” to your suffering.

STEP #2: CONFESS ANY HATRED YOU MAY HAVE

It is not wrong to hate what may have happened or caused your offense. However, it is what we do about that hate which will determine the outcome. Here are some considerations:

STEP #3: ACKNOWLEDGE AND RELINQUISH CONTROL

Refusing to forgive provides a feeling of control or power over the offender, but the reality is that we cannot control others and in many cases the offender is unaffected by our decision to hold them captive by our unforgiveness. The feelings of control we have are only a mask bury our true feelings. Make the following declarations below every day:

STEP #4: BEGIN TO ALLOW HEALING AND RESTORATION IN YOUR HEART AND MIND

Day by day, make the above declarations and begin to choose a path of healing allowing your heart and mind to be filled with warm thoughts of love and compassion for yourself.

Take time to pamper and love on yourself with walks in the park, long baths or anything that gives you a sense of wholeness and well-being. Each time, meditate on your wholeness and happiness.

Use the following affirmations over yourself to aid in this stage of forgiveness:

Allow yourself time and feel free to express any emotions you need to as you work through this process. Cry, shout, vent and share with someone you trust. Even in moments of solitude this can be very therapeutic. Prayers and meditation are also very effective in helping you to sort out your feelings and detach yourself from the offense. As long as your goal is to reach the other side.

There is a Step #5 if you would like to take this to an even higher level. If possible, consider writing a letter forgiving the offender and sending it to them or telling them you forgive them. You can also pray for them or give them a gift of peace. This action is a bold step that can bring incredible restoration and a sense of completeness. Additionally, if you believe in reaping and sowing, or karma, this action can change your destiny for amazing new opportunities.

As you apply each step and time passes, the offense will diminish and your freedom from it will become evident, resulting in a magnificent future far above the place you once stood and opening new doors for you.

I understand the real pain this may cause you especially when the offender is not sorry or not aware of what they have done to you. I have been through it as well but I can tell you that it is possible and it is worth it!

Wishing you the amazing life that you deserve! Feel free to reach out to me – Michelle L Steffes, CPS, CPLC