For some, brushing things off and getting over things may be pretty easy. But for others, it’s much harder to do so.
Of course, it also depends on what “things” we’re talking about. If someone hits you during an argument and later apologizes, the most stubborn grudge-holder may still be able to forgive it. On the flip side, if your spouse was cheating on you with your best friend, the most forgiving person may wind up infuriated at both involved and unable to forgive either of them. We all have our limits, what we can forgive easily and what we simply cannot get over and move on from.
When you find yourself stuck feeling bitter and unable to move on, it’s time to find a way to finally forgive. Forgiveness coaching can certainly help. Forgiveness lifts that heavy weight off our shoulders and lets us feel free to enjoy life again. It’s also been found in a Harvard study that forgiving people who have slighted you may ease your physical pain and improve the health of your heart. All this makes a lighter, happier you.
Still having troubles? Try writing out every way which someone has hurt you. Then with a pencil in hand, cross out any listed problems which you find yourself able to easily forgive. While doing so, recall when each hurtful moment happened and consider your involvement in each situation. Maybe they hurt you but maybe you could have done something differently to avoid it. Forgive yourself if you find you may share some of the blame.
For the listed problems you couldn’t cross off your list, write another list. This time, you are trying to find the pros and cons of moving on. If you finally let go of your grudge and moved on with your life, what would happen? If you continued to hold the grudge, what happens then? Be honest to yourself because no one else will see these lists.
Then write a letter to your offender expressing all the ways they have hurt you and that you forgive them for their part. Apologize for any of the blame you may have found you had as well. Don’t be afraid to really express yourself but do be calm and rational in your writing.
There’s not much of a next step. It really does not matter if the other person responds to your letter, or email. The important thing is that you’ve forgiven them and yourself. They can accept or refuse forgiveness and hold a grudge, but that’s their problem, not yours. Brought to you by divorce coach and mentor, Lori Rubenstien.