To forgive is to let go of the emotions of fear, sorrow and animosity that otherwise hold us captive, and negatively influence our behaviour. Forgiveness allows us to grow, move on and stop repeating the same mistakes over and over and over again. The path to freedom is, in fact, studded with moments of forgiveness. To forgive benefits both ourselves and others, when we are at peace we naturally spread that peace to others.
Step 1: Let go of Guilt.
Guilt stops us being able to forgive. It is linked to judgement and condemnation, and keeps us trapped in that moment in time. Move into acceptance; accept that we all make mistakes and that we are all on a journey. Situations come to teach us something, and until we learn their lesson the same situations will keep repeating. Acceptance allows us to learn from our mistakes and move on.
Step 2: The 7 Rs of Forgiveness.
Forgiveness is a process. When we realise that we have made a mistake, first we move into Regret and Repentance. These are part of the process, the first 2 Rs. We don’t want to stay here long though. Quickly move onto the next R of Release and then on into Realise, Reform, Rectify and Renew.
Step 3: Commit to Growth
Commit to nurturing and bringing out the best in yourself and others.
a) Discover your strengths and develop them. Know your weaknesses and trigger points, only don’t focus on them. Our strengths can overcome our weaknesses when we foster them.
b) Reflect on ‘Who am I, at my best’. Become aware of how you’re thinking; focus on planting and watering good ‘thought seeds’.
c) Acknowledge your subtle achievements, such as, not rising to irritation. Be realistic here too and don’t set yourself up to fail by saying ‘I am never going to get irritated ever again!’ Know that it is a process.