No human being is perfect; we all make mistakes and we all carry certain regrets that we can’t let go. We have all been left heartbroken by another person’s actions at some time or another- we weren’t given respect, we were abandoned, our trust was dismantled.
Feeling pain is a normal thing; letting it linger for too long is not. Sometimes, we relive the pain repeatedly and find it difficult to just let go. This becomes the cause of many problems; not only does it put us in a constant state of unhappiness but it also ruins relationships, disturbs our ability to focus and prohibits us from meeting new people and trying out new things. The negative energy trapped inside us makes us miss out on the beautiful things of life; for this reason, we need to learn to let go of things. The one pleasing fact about life is that it moves on, so we need to possess the ability to forgive, to move on and most importantly, to be happy.
Forgiveness can alter your life, completely; for the good. It doesn’t demand you to erase the past from your mind entirely or to forget about what transpired. It doesn’t even ensure that the other person will change their behavior; you don’t have any control over that. All that it guarantees is that you are able to release the negative energy from within you and transition into a better phase of your life.
Of course, this is easier said than done, but it’s not impossible. If you are having a hard time forgiving and moving on, read some of these tips:
1. Be determined to let go:
You won’t be able to forgive the person who hurt you dearly within a matter of seconds, minutes or even days, at times. So, be determined to do it. Tell yourself that you can either dwell on the past and make your life a misery or just put it behind you and achieve happiness. Realize that the pain is hurting you and promise yourself relief.
2. Recognize that there is a choice:
Our thoughts define us and to control our actions, we need to control our thoughts. Know that you can’t change the other person but you can change yourself. Realize that you have a choice; the power to forget the hurt. This will make the act of forgiving and moving on, a lot easier.
To exercise empathy, try to start by assuming that the other person is not predominantly a bad person but they just made a mistake. Try to put yourself in their shoes and imagine what they could be thinking or feeling at the time they hurt your feelings. Did they feel bad after doing what they did? Remember that you are not saying that the other person was right altogether but are just trying to understand their side of the story and empathizing.
4. Your responsibility:
Ask yourself, “Was I partially responsible for what took place?” “Could I have done anything to prevent the incident?” Once again, you are not taking all the blame but are just trying to take a little responsibility off the other person. This will allow you to look at the person with a lot less hatred and eventually, you will garner the ability to forgive them.
Similar to the act of forgiving others, forgiving your own self is also equally important. Often, we can’t forgive ourselves for the hearts we break, for the parties we spoil, for the relationships we dismantle and for other mistakes of the past. It is a fact that damaged people hurt others. The longer we stay mad at ourselves, the longer we allow ourselves to harbor the harmful negative energy. So, if you are hurting because you hurt somebody else, know that you can’t change what you did. You can, however, forgive yourself and move on with your life. If you are finding it hard to do so, the aforementioned might help:
1. Know that nobody’s perfect and you aren’t an exception:
Tell yourself that you are growing constantly and with every mistake, every failure, you are improving. No matter how many flaws you might have, learn to accept them, to progress in life.
2. Talk to somebody you trust:
Sometimes all a person needs is to get things off their chest. When you talk to somebody else, you are able to get:
a) A different perspective.
b) Social support.
c) Inner relief.
3. Love yourself:
More than anything else, you need to love yourself regardless of what you did in the past. Even if nobody loves you, your own love for yourself can be enough to keep you moving in the right direction. Tell yourself, “Okay, I accept what I did. I won’t do it again but I love myself anyway” and keep repeating it until it heals you.
Learning to forgive yourself or others for mistakes of the past is a gradual process so never stop trying. Have faith in yourself and don’t deny yourself your chance at happiness.