Choosing to forgive people who have hurt us may seem like a monumental task that is easier said than done. We might know it’s important to forgive because we don’t want to hold onto the anger that is poisoning us and making us sick, but how do we go about forgiving? Choosing to forgive others can be especially hard when they are still hurting us, when they are no longer in our lives, or when we have a hard time connecting with them because the conflict feels insurmountable. Here are a few suggestions you can implement in your efforts to forgive.
When we hurt others, it is usually because we are in pain ourselves. Can we choose to see the suffering inside the person who hurt us? Pain is something we all share. The people who have hurt us are no exception. Try to remind yourself that their pain is likely what caused them to act in hurtful ways in the first place. When we believe in the interconnectedness of humanity, we know that having compassion for other people’s pain goes a long way in healing the division between us.
Along with compassion comes understanding. We can try to understand what caused people to behave in the ways they did. We can try to put ourselves in their shoes. Even if we are convinced we would never do what they did, we can remember that we all have made mistakes and hurt the people we care about. This is a universal truth, and no one is exempt from it. Instead of focusing intently on how they hurt us, we can choose to look at their pain and understand that their pain drove them to do things they might not have done otherwise.
The people we are most hurt by are often the people we love the most. We’re not nearly as affected by the hurtful actions of people with whom we have no connection. While we are working to forgive, can we focus on the love we share rather than the conflict in question? Try to recall happy memories you shared. Conjure up the love you felt. Hold onto that feeling and meditate on it. Yes this person hurt you, and it might still hurt just thinking about it, but can you allow your love to be your primary focus instead?
Directing our energy towards compassion, understanding and love can transform us from the inside out, make it easier to forgive those who’ve wronged us, and bring us a sense of peace.
Forgiveness is an important part of our healing. The staff at Enlightened Solutions has years of experience helping people work through the various issues that come up in recovery. Call (833) 801-LIVE for more information on how we can support you.