It is difficult to find an adult who has never faced pain or betrayal. Resentment is a normal reaction to injustice. But if you do not get rid of it, then negative emotions will come to mind repeatedly. It is not worth forgetting the offense, but it is worth changing its perception. Then it will become easier to forgive insults. By choosing forgiveness, we free ourselves from the suffering that brings up unpleasant moments over and over again.
You only have to forgive one single time. And hatred needs to be fueled constantly, day after day. All the time you need to remember all the bad things that have been done.
M. L. Stedman “Light in the Ocean”
Robert Enright, Ph.D. who researches the process of forgiveness, suggests breaking eight essentials when forgiving. Even though situations are different, and everyone forgives in their own way, this approach will help to forgive or at least localize the insurmountable barrier with which Robert Enright recommends seeing a psychologist.
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1. Name the offenders
Make a list of people who have hurt you enough to ask for forgiveness.
Rate on a ten-point scale the pain they caused you, where one is minor, but still enough to pop up in memory and cause negative emotions; a dozen – actions are so harmful that you find it hard to even think about them.
Start with the person with the lowest score.
2. Analyze the resentment
Choose a specific action that this person has offended you with. Analyze how this action affects your life. Ask yourself questions;
- What psychological harm did it do?
- What physical harm did it do?
- Have I started to trust people less?
- Am I disappointed in people?
Admit it: what happened was not normal. Allow yourself to feel the negativity that will appear during the analysis.
3. Make a decision
When you’re ready, choose to forgive.
This decision will involve active action on your part – and an act of mercy towards the person who has hurt you. By forgiving, we consciously reduce resentment by replacing it with kindness, respect, generosity, or even love.
It is important that forgiveness does not include justifying the offender’s behavior. We must not forget about justice and close our eyes to its violation.
Another important point; Forgiving does not mean reconciling. Reconciliation is a negotiation strategy by which both parties (perpetrator and victim) come to mutual trust. You may not be reconciled with the person, but you still forgive him.
4. Put yourself in the shoes of the abuser
Try to answer the following questions about your abuser
- What was his life like when he was growing up?
- What difficulties were in his life at the moment when he offended you?
- What did he suffer from so much that he hurt you?
The answers to these questions are not meant to be an excuse for the abuser. Just realize that the abuser is just as vulnerable. Understanding why people are acting destructively also helps to find better ways to prevent similar future actions.
Also read: 10 Proven Ways To Cheer Yourself Up
5. Observe carefully
Be attentive to your feelings. Don’t miss the moment when you feel at least the slightest sympathy for your abuser. Perhaps this person was embarrassed, mistaken, or cheated. It is possible that he deeply regrets what he did.
As you think about the abuser, notice how your emotions towards him change.
Adapted and translated by Wiki Avenue Staff
Sources: Life hacker