Have you ever thought that you had forgiven someone and moved on with your life until something happens and instantly you are transported back to that particular moment in time that you thought you had forgotten?
Recently while gaining closure with an ex, that very thing happened to me. I wasn’t emotionally transported. But mentally, I went back to that very space and time.
Surprisingly, I had more clarity than I did when everything hit the fan. I was able to methodically categorize the events and ascertain each segment of the problem. This new found clarity helped me identify the overall issue I had with the relationship, such as the right expectations on the wrong person.
Also, it helped me to realize that I would never gain the apology I deserved for the pain he caused, which helped me to gain the closure I needed. These revelations, as disappointing as they were, enabled me to face the harsh truth and let it go. In the end, I was able to leave the toxicity of the relationship behind and move forward with my life.
While going through this situation, I learned seven ways to deal with the problem for good and move forward with my life. And I would like to share them with you below:
7 Steps to Forgiving…
First, identify the real problem. What is really bothering you? Is it the way your ex treated you, hurt you, or never apologized, etc. What is the real problem? Is the problem really your ex or a compound of problems from your childhood, your life, etc.? Identify the real culprit behind your pain.
Second, after identifying the problem, ascertain the parts each of you played in the relationship. In doing so, you will begin to take responsibility for your actions; which can be hard because we don’t think we’ve done anything wrong. But somewhere within the relationship, we messed up too. Take ownership of your part and if necessary apologize to your ex.
Third, after you have identified the problem, forgive yourself for the part you played in the challenges you both faced in the relationship.
Fourth, forgive your ex. Holding on to unforgiveness and what he/she did or did not do is a waste of time and emotional space. Choose to forgive them so that you can freely move on with your life. Forgiveness can be difficult. I needed help with my forgiveness process, so I prayed and asked God to help me forgive. And with His help, I was able to truly forgive and let go of my expectations, my desires, and my pain.; to begin the healing that I needed. I also prayed for my ex that he would receive the healing he needs. Forgiveness can be challenging, but through prayer and God’s help, it can be much easier.
Fifth, let go of any and all expectations of your ex. You may never receive the apology or vindication you desire. Be willing to accept that harsh fact and let it go!
Six, what did you learn from the relationship? We can learn from every encounter in life. What did you learn from your relationship? What new things did you discover about yourself or your interaction with others? What are some key takeaways you can glean from your experience?
Seven, what you focus on grows. For so long I focused on the negative part of the relationship. But once I chose to forgive and focus on the good aspects of the relationship, I was able to be grateful for our time together. What are some good memories you can take from your relationship? The time spent with your ex wasn’t all bad. What are some good times you can appreciate from your time together?
No matter the experience good or bad, we can learn lessons from every life challenge we encounter. If applicable, choose to implement these steps in an effort to free yourself from the pain of your past so that you can be free to enjoy your new relationships. Once you change the narrative from negative to positive, you will begin to feel the freedom you desire regarding this situation.
Your relational freedom is awaiting you. It may take a few steps on your part to walk in the freedom you desire, but once you make the necessary changes, you will receive the peace you want and need.
BMWK, how do you forgive and move on from your ex?