If you want to forgive someone, you’ve got to think differently about yourself.
Think about it… they’ve done something and you’re left feeling uncomfortable, angry, or upset. You don’t want to feel that way. And you’ve been told in many different ways that forgiveness is the key to happiness. If you forgive and let go, the implication is that you’ll no longer feel bad.
But have you ever had the question that I’ve had in the past: HOW do you forgive someone?!
The answer is that you don’t. Well, you do, but it’s the outcome of thinking differently about this situation. Authentic forgiveness stems from knowing that this situation has not damaged you, or your life, or your chances of success.
Because to let go and be happy, you have to understand yourself and what you’re feeling. It’s not what they’ve done. It’s what you think about what they’ve done that holds you back.
When you understand what you feel deeply enough it creates the space you need to move forward, to take the next step.
It’s not an act of forgiveness, per se.
It’s an act of awareness.
The opposite of this is repression, where you hold in what you’re thinking and feeling. Feelings go unprocessed and tend to become heavier and heavier on your psyche. Which then causes you to do and say things that are reactionary, rather than presenting well thought out responses to the world around you…
Being in a reactionary space is not loving to yourself. Because the things you say and do are anger based. And anger builds when pain is not processed. In that anger everything gets tangled up in your mind, your intuition is turned off, and you make decisions that are damaging to yourself.
The answer is far more straightforward than you might think!
Being more aware can start with a simple act of intuition.
Ask yourself why this person has acted this way? Sit with it. What does your intuition show you?
I did this with a client on a coaching call today. We were working through some things her ex-partner had done. I saw she was caught up in the mental space of being “unable to understand why he’d done this.”
I suggested we cut right to the core, and get to a place of understanding.
And when she tuned in intuitively, she saw the reason was his sense of unworthiness. Once we had that answer, she could then process her next steps. She loved him, but she couldn’t be responsible for the heaviness of the issues he’d never dealt with, because they had impacted on her financially in considerable ways. And he isn’t yet able to take responsibility for that.
So, this awareness isn’t about deep diving into your emotional world. It’s about gathering information, knowledge, and wisdom… because you know far more than you realize!
And having conscious access to that information makes you an emotionally healthy and pro-active person.
For my client to have this insight she could, I sensed, now speak to him more directly and, importantly, with more explicit boundaries in mind. She could understand what she needed and what he can or can’t provide at this time.
All of this meant she could step out of the conversation with herself that left her feeling bad and angry and upset, and move into another discussion that was all about her taking a more empowered approach to her next steps.
Now, this doesn’t mean forgiveness has happened.
It means that she can let go of what she thinks about what’s happened because she has vital information. She knows why…
And in my experience, once we can let go, and take command over our next steps, we can then begin to see that their behavior, words, actions have not influenced us the way we think it has. We no longer feel bad about what they did. Because we have command over our thoughts, and we are just taking the next steps necessary.
Remember, this isn’t necessarily a one-step process. We have emotions and feelings that get us tangled up. But we also have inner guidance that we can practice turning to whenever we get caught up in those emotions and feelings!
The point is that forgiveness flows from this place of self-awareness, mindfulness, and action. And it is far more pervasive and authentic than just saying that we forgive. Because we don’t forgive fully until we feel strong and able again. So why not just get there first?!
PS if you want to know more about empowering yourself and building the success that you want… check out the Beautifully Wild Forgiveness program here. You’ll learn how to master the process behind deeper, more authentic forgiveness so that you can stop holding back and start building the abundance you desire.