Weekly Tips: FORGIVENESS
"Anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die."
There is a lot of truth in that statement. When you hold onto a negative emotion that is based on the action of another, it does not bring them discomfort, nor does it teach them a lesson. The only thing that it does is restrict you from finding peace with the memory of another. The problem is that most people don't know how to let go of those negative emotions.
Step 1- I want you to write down exactly what the incident was.
Step 2- Now take a moment and really think about how it made you feel. What emotions did that incident recall for you. Did it make you angry? Do you feel sadness? Do you feel frustration? Write down underneath the incident all of the emotions you're feeling about the incident.
Step 3- Now I want you to take a moment and think about what led up to that situation. Think about that person and what was going on in THEIR life at that moment that could have caused them to act in a way you didn't approve of. They may have been careless, so think about what they may have been more focused on instead of you. Think about what they may have been struggling with. Does that person have a history of bad choices? Do they have a history of being hurt? Its not easy trying to put yourself in their shoes, but by doing so you can work through what they may have been feeling at the time of the incident.
Step 4- Write down what emotions you think may have been going through their head when the incident happened. There are very few times you will ever come across a truly cruel person. Human beings have a brain that works in so many different ways that you will never fully understand why someone else would do something to really hurt another for no reason other than cruelty. If you have a hard time with this, remember that selfishness is never an attack on another person. Every single person has done something in their lives for a selfish reason. Holding onto anger is selfish. Focusing on yourself should never be held against you, so when you try and figure out why someone did something to hurt you, being selfish isn't a reason. The reason is what caused them to only think of himself. Maybe something happened in their life that caused them to act the way they do, maybe they have an internal need to act in a way of self-preservation. Whatever it is, try and see if you can spot a moment in THEIR life that would cause them to act the way they did. Remember the quote
"Hurt people hurt people."
Step 6- Letting go. Now you need to practice changing your automatic response. I want you to write VERY LARGE on the paper, I WILL NOT LET THE PAST CONTROL MY PRESENT. Its time to realize that your anger with that person is only hurting you, and no amount of energy spent on those negative emotions will ever change the situation, nor with it cause another to make things right. Its up to you to make those things right, and to do that you have to acknowledge what happened but refuse to follow the negative emotions. Think to yourself "I am not going to be (insert emotion you're feeling) because it no longer serves me" every single time that memory pushes through and those negative emotions start bubbling up. Every time you feel a negative emotion, you push that negativity on the people around you and cause negativity in them about YOU. Do not let negative memories cause you to be a negative person.
Step 7- Write them a short letter. Include in it how the situation made you feel, but do not make accusations. Start off by saying "The incident that happened between us made me feel..."
DO THIS NOW THEN COME BACKNow that you've got it on paper I want you to read it to yourself. I want you to realize that it wasn't the incident that made you feel those emotions, it was YOU who chose that response. Now I want you to rip up that paper and throw it away, because the recipient was YOU. You are not going to allow yourself to feel that way anymore. You're a forgiving and understanding person and you can see that others have their own inner struggles. This doesn't mean you have to let them into your life again, but you are no longer going to let their memory cause you pain.
Step 8- Tell yourself that in the future when a situation arises that would previously cause those emotions you're going to immediately try to understand why the person is acting in the way that may hurt you, then understand that it is NOT a personal attack but a private battle inside of them. You will be more open to conversation and no longer feel the need to protect yourself because the only thing that can hurt you is how you process a situation. Repeat to yourself any time you feel angry at another person "I am a forgiving and understanding person, and I am not going to let this situation cause me pain."
This is not an easy task that I am giving you, but hopefully with time your mind remembers that there are always two sides of every situation and its up to you to be understanding and forgiving, even if the other party isn't as much. Its ok, because you don't need them to be. You are in control of your emotional response, and only YOU can stop the hurting.
Thank you for taking the time to stop by for my weekly tips, and I hope that you gained some extra knowledge that will help you on your journey to the HAPPIEST PERSON ALIVE. Please stop by my Facbook page, and hopefully in the near future I'll have the website fully functional where you can sign up to have these weekly tips emailed to you every Monday!
peace, love, and happiness