12 Ways To ForgivenessJul 16, 2021
Often times we are stuck in our ability to forgive or not to forgive. It’s as if we are picking the petals of a newfound flower called a “Forgive me not”. Your struggle with forgiveness may stem from belief systems you were taught or learned about at some point in time. It is important to debunk these unhealthy belief systems so that you can move forward in the grieving and healing process. Below are 12 ways you can work towards forgiveness with ease.
12 Ways to Forgiveness
1) Embrace guilt. This feels like a weird way to start the process of forgiving someone or self-forgiveness, but it isn’t. It is important to know that guilt has value and forgiveness does not mean you will no longer feel remorse or guilt. You can forgive yourself or another, releasing the feelings of resentment and negative judgment, while still having a healthy level of guilt that stays with you.
2) Figure out what you need to forgive yourself or another for. This may seem obvious, but sometimes we have generalized feelings of guilt and we don’t even know what for. If you are going to do the work of self-forgiveness or try to forgive another for something they did, it must be specific so you know what exactly you are forgiving. This can be a very concrete process and you may want to write it down.
3) Remember your motives. Sometimes we are quick to beat ourselves up about each and everything we did or decision we made before the death occurred. Our minds are pretty creative and often do this by using the benefit of hindsight. It is important to remember what you knew at the time, why you did what you did, and what your intentions were before you jump into full blown forgiveness for yourself or another. As long as intentions were good, guilt should be at a minimum. It is true when people say, “ Actions have consequences”, but in some situations where the intentions were good, but the outcome ended badly, guilt shows up unwelcomed and unsolicited. Do you really want to suffer because of something like this? While temporary guilt might even be beneficial for you, since it helps you undermine your mistakes and learn how to fix them, permanent guilt is where you begin to hurt yourself and sabotage your personal growth
4) Accept that guilt is not always rational. You may try to reason your way out of guilt and fail miserably. Others may try to reason with you that you should not feel guilty and also fail. It is important to remember that, though sometimes guilt is rational, sometimes it is not. Continuing to feel guilty even when you know you didn’t have control over a situation, and especially if you had good intentions, can create self loathing and unnecessary pain.
5) Consider the difference between guilt and shame. It is important to be aware of ‘feeling that you made a mistake or did something wrong’ verses the ‘feeling that by extension you are a bad person’. We all screw up. Sometimes those screw-ups are small, sometimes they are huge, sometimes they are unimaginably devastating, but there is a distinct and important difference between doing a bad thing and being a bad person. It is important to determine if what you are feeling is guilt alone or has it turned into shame.
6) Consider if you are holding yourself to a different standard. Would you forgive a friend or family member in the same situation? Or would you tell them to forgive themselves? If so, consider why you are treating yourself differently than you would someone else. What would allow you to forgive that person and not yourself?
7) Talk to your loved one. Whether it be on your own or by scheduling a mediumship session. You know your loved one amazingly well and can imagine what they would say. Write a letter to yourself as your loved one, or tell yourself what you think your loved one would tell you if they were here to discuss your guilt with you. If your loved ones are nearby then try discussing your feelings with them directly, they will help you productively address your guilt and pinpoint where you went wrong and how to not repeat that mistake in the future.
8) Consider how you have grown. Guilt and remorse often make us better people. It helps us become better people, avoiding the same mistakes again. Take the time to think about how you have learned and grown from your mistakes.
9) Sit with the discomfort. Guilt is a painful and unpleasant emotion so, no surprise, our instinct can be to avoid it. The first step in working toward self-forgiveness is acknowledging exactly what we feel guilty for and facing it directly. Sit with your feelings you have towards the person or situation you are trying to forgive as well. Honor your process and attempt to move forward.
10) Make amends. This one can also be tricky because often the times the person you want to forgive you or with whom you want to make amends is the person who died. So sometimes this means considering what else you can do that may symbolically make amends. One thing that can help you make amends with a deceased person is to do good deeds on their behalf for example giving charity, or you can pursue something that was highly meaningful to them during their lifetime.
11) Actively decide to forgive yourself or another. When it comes to grief and forgiveness, at some point you have to be active. Sitting around waiting for guilt (or grief) to disappear without working at it is just not a good plan. You need to come to terms with your situation, collect your thoughts and deal with it, rather than ignoring it. The steps we mentioned will help you out in this journey. Once you have taken the steps above, make an active decision to let go of the self-judgment, criticism, and resentment you are carrying. It won’t be easy, it might not come right away, but make an active choice to let go.
12) Listen to a forgiveness meditation. There are many out there and these meditations can often help connect us with forgiveness and reinforce our active decision to forgive. They will help let go of any guilt, resentment, and shame your past experiences have made you feel. These forgiveness meditations are indeed very positive and healthy, surely a great way to begin your forgiveness journey. There are many online, but you can check out the resources in this book and see which ones I recommend!
When forgiving, remember you are doing this for yourself, your self-fulfillment. It will not only release you from the negative feelings of guilt, shame, and embarrassment, it will only boost your inner peace. With forgiveness, you will be able to free your mind of negativity and finally move on with your life. It is safe to say that forgiveness gives closure to your trauma. In every way, forgiveness equals freedom. Freedom to let go of something even though it hurt you in the past. When it comes to forgiving yourself, you free yourself of the self-blame that one constantly inflicts upon themselves.