Do you feel hurt and betrayed? Did someone you love lie to you or cheat on you? It’s not easy to get on with your life – especially if somebody really did something to hurt you. Feelings such as anger, resentment, depression, and stress are all related to betrayal. It’s hard to live a normal life when you’re filled with such negative emotions. You may even feel that forgiveness isn’t the right choice. Even if you want to forget, you might find it difficult to do so.
No matter how hurt you are, you need to realize that you’re not alone. Many people have been betrayed just as badly as you. There are certain steps to forgiveness you can follow in order to get on with your life.
These steps include:
1. Recognition and acceptance. Recognize the pain, the source of the pain, and accept that your present situation is not a happy one. Recognize that you are not alone and accept the fact that you can’t control how anyone other than YOU is feeling. You can’t control how the person who hurt you is feeling. What you can do, however, is learn how to forgive.
2. Don’t forget that even good people make horrible mistakes sometimes. Even if what was done to you is horrible, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the person who did it is horrible. Try separating the person from his or her behavior. This can be very difficult to do – especially if it hurts you to face that person. Spend some time thinking about the good qualities that he or she possesses. Can you really let the pain from one incident ruin your life?
3. Try getting all of the anger out of your system once and for all. Whether you have to punch a pillow or scream until you lose your voice, you need to release all of the pent-up frustration inside of you. Promise yourself that once you are done, you will feel much better. Give yourself some time to release the anger and the pain, and then you can get started with the healing process.
4. Release both the offender and yourself from the pain. If you don’t, you will be imprisoned by your own anger. Forgiveness is 100% YOUR responsibility! Even if the offender doesn’t seem to care one way or another, you still need to forgive him or her for your own sake. Holding a grudge will only make you feel worse. Not forgiving someone will keep you from living in the present. Why? Because you are either living in the past through your anger, or living in the future through yearning for revenge. Neither of these is healthy, which is why learning the steps to forgiveness is essential.
5. Whenever you feel enough courage, face the offender and let him or her know that you want to move on. Let the person who harmed you know that you forgive him or her. Whether or not that person responds positively is something over which you have no control. The only thing you can control is your forgiveness. Once you are able to forgive not just the offender but yourself, you will finally be able to move on with your life.
Follow these five steps to forgiveness and you will feel relieved, happy, and stress-free. Don’t let anger control your life, or you won’t be able to live to the fullest.
In addition to these tips, if you’re eager to fast forward the process of learning how to forgive (both yourself and others), I HIGHLY recommend you read this amazing book…Forgiveness Is a Choice. The book is by a prominent author, Robert D. Enright, and it outlines step by step action plans for moving past anger, resentment and feelings of embarrassment – commonly associated with this topic.