I feel that it is very common for people to forgive wrongdoing as a superficial gesture, hoping that this act would somehow magically start healing yourself without further involvement or emotional commitment.
Personally I believe this is a part of our self defence mechanism, to want to deal with hurt expediently. I mean why wouldn’t we want to get rid of something that hurts us, especially if it resembles something in-tangible like our emotions.
Yet forgiveness can come in many forms but some of the keys to help in this process are perhaps cliche and at the same time too complex to justify putting a label on them.
Time. When you have been hurt by someone or something, you cannot expect it to disappear without letting yourself process it. You will go through many different kinds of periods that will bring up different emotions. The more you are hurt the longer it will take. You may think you are fine one day and the next you might not. Wait for a time when your emotions regarding this thing has been stable for sometime.
Detach. You will need to detach yourself from this thing or this person/people who caused you this pain at some point. This applies both to your physical and mental sides. It will be extremely hard to truly forgive without some space for your own reflections and thoughts. This can come with time. Don’t try to however fool yourself by fully occupying your mind with a so called justified agenda (work, being there for someone else, creating, etc.). The longer you resist the harder it will hit and unintentionally hurt others who care about you. Find a balance and don’t think you can predict your feelings, in other words there is no right time other than right now.
Surround yourself with positive energy. Paramount to your forgiveness is surrounding yourself with people, things, ideas and personal aspirations that keep your spirit up so to enable you to have a positive outlook on life. Being positive helps you possibly explore the person or thing that you are seeking to forgive.
Being positive reflects of others and straight back to you. Positivity also has the ability for you to reach forgiveness faster because you realise that ultimately you shouldn’t waist time on analysing your interactions. Since you technically cannot do anything better to another human being than making an effort to making them feel better and hopefull. But most importantly realise that their reaction to this be it positive or negative, is out of your control so dont take it personally if you are attacked. Its a reboot back to human kind’s greatest attributes, and most people will feel it in their own time if they live long enough. There is no forcing it, only nurturing it by gauging if they need more positivity or if they want to fly solo. Just keep your doors open all the time. By doing all this frees up more time to take care of yourself or explore more ways to better our lives.
Finally and very importantly forgive yourself. Before you forgive anyone, you must forgive yourself. Why, you may wonder? Why should I forgive myself if I haven’t done anything wrong.
In most cases, your involvement may be a reason to what happened and therefore you are also at fault for this situation in some way, but this is besides this point.
I guess forgiving yourself first, is a weird concept, but let me put it this way. Lets say you forgive someone for what they have done to you, without forgiving yourself. Well you will most likely keep on feeling like “you” were the one who forgave, putting yourself above this person morally (i.e. letting your ego reign supreme). But if you forgive yourself first you create an equilibrium within, which will allow you to forgive without feeling like you loose or gain something. Also forgiving yourself allows you to acknowledge that it is okay to feel bad, hate, anger or whatever you need to do to get trough this actually meaningful moment.
Just remind yourself that, “I am human” and not some impervious perfect imagine who has no feelings or vulnerabilities. You should instead cherish this process. And if there are other bigger battles deeper within, let this opportunity act as a bridge to start going through them as well. Compare and contrast, take time to analyse because you might be surprised and start seeing new sides to yourself. Allowing you to see the importance of this thing that previously only weighed you down.
Just remember this if anything. Things that hurt a lot also mean a lot. And thing that mean a lot make you learn absolutely the most. Two of the most precious and beautiful abilities we could posess, feeling and the ability to develope ourselves.
Similarly from a logical perspective, trying to suppress this weighing thing is a waist of your own time and potential. You put so much effort into it but when it is coming to an end or change, you don’t want to cash in the priceless and unique opportunities.
It is hard to explain but there is definitely a big difference when you manage to forgive yourself and then forgive the thing that caused you the pain. Its a sense of relief like the universe has been removed from you chest.
Obviously like anything in life, things don’t happen in a sequence or a defined order. Life is random and we are all different, but if you can be at ease with yourself then the external pressures and problems will usually sort themselves out by themselves.
All this is from my personal experience which I have learned the hard way. And maybe herein lies the take-home lesson, no matter what anyone tells you about how to deal with things, you ultimately have to go through it yourself to learn what the best way is for you.