How to Find Forgiveness

Yesterday, I spoke about how forgiveness found me. It was quite by accident. Now, I know how to recreate that for myself and I thought I’d share it with you how to find forgiveness.

Tiers of Forgiveness

Tiers of Forgiveness

It happens in tiers, or stages, over time. There are many emotions to deal with, and the original anger and resentment will resurface for you to look at. It gets easier if you apply the following process.

  • Identify the original anger. Recognize it as hurt and let yourself feel that hurt. Be willing to feel it.
  • Don’t get into how justified you are about your anger. Allow yourself to hurt.
  • Take a look at yourself and determine if you may have done something to provoke the other person. Be really honest about that, even if it is embarrassing to admit. Better to know this up-front. Be willing to look honestly. Be willing to be responsible for your own actions and words.
  • If you did do something to provoke the other person, perhaps an apology is in order. Drop your pride and apologize if you were the one who set the ball in motion.
  • If that is not the case, then look further at yourself and examine whether you have ever done the very thing for which you are angry.
  • Chances are, you have in some form or another. Think about how you felt about yourself when you did that. Were you feeling badly about yourself and took it out on another in some way?
  • Have compassion for yourself for how badly you were feeling about yourself when you did that act, or said what you said to be hurtful to another. Really hold yourself and give yourself comfort. Be willing to show yourself compassion.
  • Now, think about the other person and consider that they most likely were feeling badly about themselves when they did what they did to you.
  • Now, try to see them with the eyes of compassion for the wounded soul they were at that moment that they hurt you.
  • Don’t condone the hurtful actions. Forgiveness is not about condoning the hurtful actions or words of another. It is about freeing up your heart from the resentment you harbor. It is about clearing your heart.
  • Once you see with the eyes of compassion, try to bring forgiveness into your heart.
  • Know that they were doing the best they could at that moment, just as you always do the best you can in any moment, even if you are hurtful to another.

Try this series of ideas for one with whom you are angry and resentful, one whom you are unable to forgive, and see if it is helpful. See if it shows you how to find forgiveness.

If it is yourself you need to forgive, the same stages of self-examination and compassion apply. If you try this method, let us know the results. Leave a comment with your success, or let us know if it just didn’t work.

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