5 Crucial Steps To Forgiveness
Forgiveness is the act of forgiving. To forgive is to; 1. grant pardon for or remission of (an offense, debt); absolve 2. give up claim on account of; remit (a debt); 3. To grant pardon to (a person).
With the ushering in of a new year, I believe now is the time to discuss letting shit go, i.e. forgiveness. When our heads and hearts are tightly wounded about old offenses, it can be difficult to experience the fullness of the joy and happiness to come. Here are 5 steps to letting shit go!
Remember how many times people let your shit go. Imperfection is one of the beauties of life. Forgiveness is a choice to act or behave positively, despite an offense. It is choosing to extend grace to one who has offended or hurt you. Sometimes it is a day-by-day, minute-by-minute or a second-by-second choice. Give what you would hope to receive.
2) The Facts
Get clear on what happened. Then get clear on how that made you feel. Vulnerability can lead to confusion. Our hearts and minds often travel in different lanes. The facts and your emotions are equally important. Clarity helps with healing.
Forgiveness is not acceptance. It is not a forfeiture. It is not condoning nor is it reconciliation. And it is personal. Sometimes it means moving on without the person or the grudge. Other times it means setting boundaries around your interactions with that person. Boundaries can be as firm and flexible as you need.
It is not personal. Accept people for who they are. Respectfully remove yourself from the equation. Would the outcome be different without you? Likely not. You are not, cannot be responsible for anyone else’s actions or behaviors. (See #3).
Forgiving others is your extending grace to yourself. You are giving yourself the space to live your life, free of the burden to hold a grudge and support a negative experience. Forgiveness is work. It will not happen overnight. Some days you may teeter between emotions and that’s okay (see #2). Forgiveness takes time. Be kind to yourself.
How Will It Look?
Forgiveness never appears how we expect. There are no qualifiers. Forgiveness just is. And no matter where it begins it must end in the heart.
Health Benefits of Forgiveness
Now that I have shared my forgiveness bag of tricks, I would be remiss if I didn’t share the health benefits too. And for the sake of avoiding boredom and losing readers, I’ll keep it short. Forgiveness is good for you. Forgiveness is a stress reliever. Forgiveness is a health advocate, unburdening and improving immune response. Do it often. Give it freely. Live long.
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