I used to be such a no-nonsense person that when people would hurt or disappoint me, I would throw them away. But after a while, I looked around and noticed that I was alone. And I realized that I had to change.
In the beginning, I didn’t know how to change because the disappointment had been so great. I slowly began to realize that I was holding onto un-forgiveness and allowing those emotions to control me. And that wasn’t good.
Forgiveness is for the individual. Yet your relationship cannot grow and thrive without it.
To change, I had to learn how to forgive. I mean REALLY forgive. It took a while because I had to work out some of my own issues. As I began to forgive myself, I learned how to forgive others. As I started to apply the following steps in my forgiveness process, the dynamics of my relationships changed and so did I.
Here are the 5 steps I used to forgiveness and healing in your relationships:
1. Acknowledge – Acknowledge the fact that the person hurt you. I think we all have this step down pretty good…sometimes to a fault. We are good at acknowledging what someone has done to us, but are we looking closer as to what part we played in the situation, if any?
To forgive is a choice that is made. It is a decision of the heart. Realize that once the infraction or offense has been committed. Acknowledge that it’s done and I cannot change the past. Understand that people falter and may not always do what we expect or think they should do. Acknowledge your pain or disappointment because it is real. It is your reality. ` ~Deborah Mills, Author and Relationship Coach
2. Confront – Confront the person that hurt, disappointed or offended you in a calm non-aggressive manner. Be honest about your feelings. Allow them the opportunity to explain their actions. Be willing to agree to disagree. You might not like what they are saying, but you must give them the opportunity to express their point of view.
3. Discuss – Be ready for a discussion to take place. Don’t stay “in your feelings” during the conversation but be open to discussing the situation at length. You may discover that their behavior stemmed from your previous actions, their deep rooted issues, or just a bad day. But more often than not, they may be clueless to the fact that they hurt you at all. Whatever the case, be prepared for their reality.
4. Determine – Determine your next steps. Where do you go from here? Can you pick up and move forward or was this a deal breaker. Together, you have to determine the future of your relationship.
5. Move Forward – Once you determine the next steps of the relationship, apply them and move forward. Don’t allow yourself to fester over what happened, but open yourself to the new possibilities that lie ahead. Choose to grow from the experience by applying the lesson(s) you’ve learned.
As you can see, I’ve come a long way from my early days. I think the greatest lesson I learned was you have to forgive yourself first. Once you overcome that hurdle, you will experience the freedom within to forgive others.
BMWK – do you find it difficult to forgive when it comes to your relationships?