In life, pain is inevitable. Even at birth, our life begins harshly. Pain is a self-preservation mechanism. It stops us from hurting ourselves further. That is why we feel pain when someone injures us physically, or when someone hurts us emotionally. It’s why forgiving the ones who have hurt us can be painful too.

If you need help finding a way to forgive others, we have a few suggestions you might like to try. Whatever you do, you need to take care of yourself first.

Move Forward

So you have been hurt. Perhaps your spouse cheated on you, your parents abandoned you, or your best friend betrayed you. It is okay to feel angry and disappointed. You may want to throw a tantrum or even cry.

After you have done what you need to do, move forward. To forgive, you need to let go of past misfortunes. You need to leave the pain of being offended behind you and look forward to a brighter future.

Focus on Yourself

You cannot control everything, especially the things that other people say and do. You can only control your actions, words, and feelings, and this is more important. When someone hurts you, you can’t make them apologize or feel sorry for the things they did to you.

However, you can control your reaction to their actions. Do not let them make you feel uneasy and burden you with their wrongdoing. You are stronger than that! Focus on you, not them.

Respond with Kindness

When someone bullies you, if you retaliate with anger or tears, there is a big chance that they will continue to bully you as they get satisfaction from your reaction. This is why they bully you in the first place!

However, if after being bullied you respond with kindness, they will not be getting the reaction they are looking for. They will soon leave you alone as their actions are not getting the result they want. Being kind to your oppressor allows you to free yourself from the emotional drain they put on you. You eventually win with your kindness.

Leave the Past Behind

Sometimes it is hard to forgive because we can’t forget. Even if we say we forgive you to their face, deep down we may not have forgiven them at all. We keep tabs in our mind on how they have wronged us. We keep digging up the pain and find it hard to move on, so we get stuck in the past.

To forgive, you need to stop dwelling on what they did to you. Rub it out of your mind! You need to let go of the past and live in the present. Accept that you cannot forget, and accept that you cannot change the past. However, you need to be mindful and focus positive energy on the here and now, and what makes you happy here and now. So leave the past in the past.

Seek Help

Forgiveness is not easy and usually takes time, a lot of time if you are deeply hurt. Surround yourself with the people who will take care of you physically or emotionally, whatever it is that you need. Do not keep your suffering bottled up.

It is best to have people around you who will let you heal your wounds and give you the time you need. After some time your wounds may heal, and the emotional pain may subside, but the effects can still linger for a long period.

This is why you need to learn to forgive, not for the people who hurt you, but for yourself. Anger and resentment are emotional baggage that you need to let go of if you are to move forward. Painful experiences can always happen. Accept it. Learn to forgive. Forgiveness is a gift to yourself, too.