Learning to Forgive
When I remember the people who have hurt me, I give myself the task of wishing them all kinds of calamities, justified in the pain or the affectation they caused me.
Immediately, I am filled with negative thoughts and feelings that are activated within, becoming once again, a victim of what they did, all this, without any awareness, that what I think and wish for these people, affects me even the point of emotionally poison, upsetting my way of acting.
If we realized that at the same time we wish others, we affect ourselves. We should be able to make the decision to change the polarity of our feelings and thoughts, with the intention of removing all memories and possible influence of these people towards us, simply wishing them all the best wherever they are. Hatred generates more hatred and this keeps us tied to the situation.
Forgiveness does not mean freeing others from assuming responsibility and the cost of their mistakes in life, on the contrary, forgiving frees us from the negative memory that we keep, allowing us to heal our wounds, strengthen ourselves by learning from people and from the situation that we experience and giving us the possibility to turn the page, to leave them out of our life and without power, to continue affecting us as they did. I know that it is not an easy task, especially when we know that they continue to hurt.
When we talk about learning to forgive, it may be that the first thing that comes to mind is forgiving those who have hurt us, but it also means forgiving ourselves, something that can be even more difficult.
Forgiving is the act of reacting to damage done to us, forgetting what happened and renouncing revenge and resentment. By putting this aside, we give way to accept that we were hurt in the past and to look to the future. Forgiveness isn’t something you do for the person who wronged you; it’s something you do for you.
- Living with an addict and feeling overwhelmed and not sure what to do? Let us at La Jolla Recovery provide a private and free consultation on getting help if she or he is willing to get started in recovery. For other resources such as Alanon, codependence support or 12 step groups, feel free to read on our community resources. Once someone has commenced detox or rehab, it might be a good idea to continue sobriety at a sober living home. Family members many times feel like they need space to trust and reintegrate a family member or loved one.
Many people have resistance to forgiving someone because they seek revenge for what they did to them and, therefore, they believe that the other person does not deserve to be forgiven, or because they believe that it means being exposed to harm again. But really, forgiveness implies a release, both for the person who made the mistake and for the person who forgives.
How do we learn to forgive?
Some people when they have been damaged face it by hiding their pain, so as not to feel it and thus protect themselves. In this way, they are repressing their feelings by not expressing the pain they have felt and delaying the process of forgiving. Therefore, it is important to recognize that we feel, even if it is painful.
Getting rid of resentment
If we feel resentful towards the other person it is important to get rid of that feeling because it often leads to a need for revenge. This need only keeps the wounds open and if we continue to maintain these feelings, they will not be able to heal and we will continue to maintain the discomfort.
- Social distance and the pandemic has intensified mental health illnesses in the United States. At La Jolla Recovery we provide dual diagnosis treatment to attend mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, bipolar, schizophrenia and trauma among other mental illnesses.
In order to be able to get back to being good with that person, we need to distance ourselves (literally or only internally) with the person who has damaged us and only in that moment, we can see it from its totality. That is, understanding that the other person is something more than the action that has damaged us or the mistake that he has made.
Understanding and trust
We must understand that all people are vulnerable and that behind any mistake, there is a vulnerable person with the ability to change. It is important to know and trust that people are capable of recognizing their mistakes and changing or improving certain aspects of their way of being.
Learn to listen
It is common that, at first, we withdraw into ourselves and are not open to hearing what the other person wants to say to us. But it is also necessary to know the reasons and reasons for our anger as well as the arguments of the other person. It is important to position myself in the place of the other so, through empathy and understanding, we can forgive them.
In order to forgive, the person has to be humble and should not seek to humiliate the other person or feel morally superior for being forgiving. He must avoid reproach the moment he decides to take this step.
Forgiveness puts the final seal on what happened that hurt you. You will still remember what happened, but you will no longer be bound by it. Having worked through the feelings and learned what you need to do to strengthen your boundaries or get your needs met, you are better able to take care of yourself in the future. Forgiving the other person is a wonderful way to honor yourself. It affirms to the universe that you deserve to be happy.