Forgiving someone isn’t easy. And it is really difficult to forgive someone who keeps hurting you. For such persons, you might hold that even if you forgive them, they will not stop hurting you again.
Finally, it’s almost impossible to do so when the offender doesn’t feel they have wronged you, or they never apologize for what they did to you.
When they keep hurting or never apologize, your forgiving them can take quite some effort and time. Even when you may have forgiven them while still hurting from their abuses, you may wonder if you have forgiven them fully.
However, true forgiveness doesn’t need any of those pre-conditions.
The Essence of Forgiveness
Forgiveness is an act you do for your peace of mind. That is the real essence of forgiveness — your tranquility.
You decide to let go of holding a grudge against that someone, so that the thoughts of their actions, attitude, or behavior do not hurt you anymore.
Forgiveness means you decide to let go of the hostility towards the other person.
Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.— commonly attributed to Buddha
Moving away from that someone who repeatedly hurts you makes for a safer space in your life. And forgiving them makes for a stress-free space in your mind.
Remember, setting boundaries, that is, marking what behaviors of others you will allow towards yourself, does not mean remaining vindictive to the offender.
Forgiving doesn’t even imply you let them know you forgave them.
What Forgiveness Is, And Isn’t
Whether it’s a parent who let you down as a child, an unfaithful spouse, or a friend who randomly shared one of your deepest secrets, you must first address the aspect of whether and when to forgive.
After someone has wronged you once again and the dark emotional waves have passed, you face a new challenge: Can you ever forgive the repeat offender?
Forgiving a habitual abuser is not at all easy. However, when you forgive them, you let go of your judgments and grievances and allow the self-healing process to start.
To forgive a person, you must know what forgiveness is not. Some of us have a vague idea of what forgiveness is all about. Here are some of the things that forgiving doesn’t relate to:
- Forgiving doesn’t mean you’ve excused or pardoned someone’s actions
- Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you should inform the person that he or she has been forgiven
- Forgiveness doesn’t mean that everything is okay now or there is nothing else to discuss
- Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting the incident
- Forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to continue interacting with the person who wronged you.
- Forgiveness isn’t a favor that you do for another person
Forgiveness is all about accepting reality and finding a better way to live in a state of resolve with it. This process doesn’t happen overnight. Like everything in life, it happens gradually.
You don’t have to include the person who wronged you in this self-healing process. It’s something you do for yourself. It’s an act you do first of all for your own wellbeing.
So, if forgiveness has lots of benefits and you can do it without having to rely on others, why is it so difficult? There are a few important reasons.
First, it’s natural to be filled with thoughts of revenge because you want to feel superior to the person who wronged you.
Second, you identify yourself as the victim and you’re afraid of reconnecting or losing your connection with the person who wronged you.
One of the best ways to resolve these issues is by understanding yourself at a deeper level. Being aware of your thoughts and emotions is critical to forgiving.
Now that you know what forgiveness is all about and why it’s difficult to forgive, ask yourself whether you want to forgive the other person.
Forgiveness requires willingness and willpower.
Sometimes, you just don’t want to forgive because you are still hurting, or the person hasn’t expressed any regret. Do not try to forgive another person if you haven’t already identified, expressed, and released your pain or anger.
• One thing: forgiving yourself for hurting someone is one of the hardest things to do. Here’s how you could forgive yourself.
Ten Steps To Forgive Someone Who Keeps Hurting
Here below are 10 critical steps to help forgive someone who keeps hurting:
- Move away from the past
- Reconnect with yourself
- Avoid going to sleep angry
- Stop blaming others
- Avoid controlling people
- Learn the art of letting go
- Aim to be kind instead of right
- Embrace the dark times
- Talk about your feelings
- Ask for help
1. Move away from the past
Focusing too much on the past can hurt a lot. You need to realize that all your hurts are in the past. They are not in the present moment. Therefore, do not allow them to control your thoughts and emotions.
Remember, your life is like a play. Some characters have short roles while others have larger ones. Some are great people while others need time to adjust. However, all of them are important otherwise you wouldn’t be in the play in the first place. Embracing everyone in your life will help you move on with your life.
2. Reconnect with yourself
Making a new agreement with yourself is one of the best ways to connect to your inner self. By doing this, you’ll allow any degree of perfect harmony designed for your body to proliferate. Allow the power within to flow through you.
By connecting and blending with yourself, you’ll start radiating higher energy of light and love. Wherever you go, others will be attracted to your glow. Disorder and disharmony will be quickly eliminated.
3. Avoid going to sleep angry
Refuse to drift off to sleep angry. Why? When you drift off to sleep, your subconscious controls everything that happens in your body. Research studies have shown that the subconscious mind is responsible for creating your reality depending on how you think and perceive.
As Paul said:
Let not the sun go down on your wrath.
When you sleep peacefully, you align your body and mind with the source of creation. One of the easiest ways to sleep peacefully is by listening to affirmations and visualizing what you want. This is a common ritual for most successful people.
4. Stop blaming others
When someone upsets you, it’s not easy to take your mind off the situation. However, shifting your mental energy will make it easier for you to manage your thoughts and emotions. Do not blame or criticize others even if they refuse to apologize. When you allow the experience to unfold, you’ll realize that no one has the power to make you feel or do anything without your consent.
Be willing to experience your emotions freely without calling them wrong or trying to chase them away. By doing this, you’ll easily master yourself and avoid blaming others. Refusing to blame others is taking responsibility for how you choose to respond. Change the way you perceive others and your potential will be unlimited.
5. Avoid controlling people
Avoid activities or thoughts that revolve around telling or making decisions for capable people. You don’t own anyone including your children. Your children come through you; not from you. Pay close attention to yourself when you start judging people and see how quickly your thoughts and emotions change.
As much as you try, you’ll never control anyone. Even your dog doesn’t like to be controlled. To live a frustration-free life, you have to lose your ego.
6. Learn the art of letting go
Instead of trying to dominate with forcefulness, just let go. You need to soften your hard edges by tolerating contrary opinions. Realize that people will always have a contrary opinion regardless of how well you do anything.
Allow your vulnerable self to enter places where you previously excluded yourself because of your inclination to be hard and concrete. Flow like water into the lives of the people who do not harmonize with your values and beliefs. When you do this, your relationships will quickly change.
7. Aim to be kind instead of right
By pursuing revenge, you too will suffer. Resentments destroy people. While it’s natural to be filled with anger when someone wrongs you, it’s important to control your thoughts and emotions. As hard as it sounds, always aim to be part of the solution instead of the problem. You don’t have to do everything you can to retaliate when someone has wronged you.
The reason why you always aim to be right is you personalize everything that happens to you. The best solution to this problem is learning how to depersonalize what you’ve heard. When you start getting irritated, angry, or frustrated say to yourself, “I am responsible”.
8. Embrace the dark times
Our negative emotions are natural as well as rational. Though they bring along some real dark moments in our lives, it’s no good fighting or avoiding them. Instead, we should learn from science how to embrace our negative emotions.
As difficult as it is to acknowledge, you have to go through the hard times to get to where you want to be.
Every step that you take forward will have to be preceded by some kind of disaster. When you know that something good will happen to you after every setback or challenge, you will embrace the dark times. As Napoleon Hill said, there is a difference between temporary defeat and failure. When you change your perspective, your whole life will change.
9. Talk about your feelings
Talking about your feelings will not only help you deal with the troubling situation but also promote your mental health. Talking about your feelings doesn’t mean that you are weak. It’s all about taking control of your wellbeing.
Talking is one of the best ways to cope with a problem that you’ve been carrying around in your head and heart. As the popular saying goes, a problem shared is a problem half-solved. When you open up, you encourage others to open up as well. At the end of the day, you’ll realize that people are affected by the same kind of problems that you have.
If you are not used to opening up, take baby steps. The more comfortable you are, the easier this process will be for you.
10. Ask for help
We all need the cooperation of the people around us to succeed. You are not superhuman. When things get out of hand and you feel like you can’t cope, seek help. You’ll be surprised by the number of people who’ll be willing to listen to you. You can also consider joining a support group or finding a counselor.
Abuse can take many forms — physical, mental, sexual, emotional. Whatever the form, forgiving the chronic abuser is always stressful and daunting.
But at the end of the day, it is pivotal to remember forgiving is an act you do for yourself. You don’t do it for the sake of other people, but for your healing and your wellbeing.
So, how do you know when you’ve truly forgiven someone?
It’s when you see or hear them, or even the mention of their name, but you don’t get any negative feelings rising in you. By forgiving, you have released them from your mind, and have truly become indifferent to their presence.
Finally, forgiving is a fairly tough and gradual process. When it gets too difficult, don’t hesitate to ask for help.
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Author Bio: Leon Collier is a freelance writer at Assignmenthelp UK from Edinburgh, who loves to write about pop-culture, travel, self-development, science, and marketing. He enjoys reading and playing tabletop games on Saturdays with his friends. Follow him on Twitter.
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