It is easy for us to hold on to the anger and pain we experience once we've been hurt. This is a normal reaction to events that crush our spirits. The problem arises when we stew in these feelings for a prolonged period of time. When being in constant emotional pain becomes your normal, you've held on for far too long. This emotional pain can trap us in anger cycles that prevent us from properly interacting: our relationships can be ruined, unhappiness becomes our standard, and we can be distracted from our responsibilities. The only way to combat this is to let go. Here are some tips in helping with the forgiveness process:
- Anger and pain are normal feelings. It is okay to feel this way when you have been hurt. Don’t beat yourself up for giving power to a negative situation. It is natural.
- You don’t have to forget in order to forgive. The past does not need to be erased in order for you to move forward.Your job is to let go of the pain and anger. Learn from incidents in your past in order to prevent encountering them in your future.
- Forgiveness doesn't affect the offending party’s behavior. Forgiving a person does not mean they will change their ways. Forgiveness is designated to solely affect your behavior and interactions, no one else's.
- Figure out your responsibility in the situation. Is there a way you could have prevented it? Were there any signs that indicated this was about to happen? Could you avoid something similar down the line?
- Forgiving and condoning are not synonymous. Letting go is totally different from accepting the offending action.
- True forgiveness has various positive benefits.
Forgiving is a process that takes time, effort, and energy. It can be hard but it is well worth it in the end. Sometimes the anger and pain are so deeply ingrained that it takes a third party to assist in the forgiveness process. The therapists here at Philadelphia MFT are equipped in helping people work through this process. If you or someone you know is having a difficult time forgiving, please do not hesitate to schedule an appointment with us.
This topic of the week was written by Malyka Cardwell, MFT.