How to Forgive and Let Go

 In Blog

Has someone hurt your feelings? Does the mention of their name or seeing them create a physical reaction? Does the pain they caused govern the way you live your life? 

If so, it may be time to forgive and let it go. And you’re right – it’s not easy to do. But there are some ways to help the process. 

  • Acknowledge That it Happened: Unfortunately, those who hurt you are usually the ones you care about, or you thought cared about you. Because of this relationship, it may be difficult to accept. However, you can’t move on until you come to terms with the fact that it did happen.
  • Name It: It’s important to give your pain a name. Betrayal? Lying? Infidelity? Humiliation? It’s difficult to forgive if you’re not sure what to forgive. Naming things can be heart-wrenching, but it also makes it real.
  • Feel the Pain: Sometimes, pushing away the feelings is a coping mechanism. But if you want to get past the hurt, you need to embrace it. You can’t heal if you don’t first feel.     
    • “You have a right to your thoughts and feelings. Your feelings are always valid.” – Iyanla Vanzant
  • Write it Down: Words are powerful. They can clarify and be cathartic. It’s not necessary to write a book about how you feel. It can be simple.
    • About the situation:
      • What did they do?
      • What did they say?
      • How did they react?
      • What was their state of mind?
    • Positive things about YOU:
      • Things you love about yourself
      • Things others love about you
      • Self-care ideas – a must-do
      • People you admire – how would they handle it?
      • Things you are grateful for
      • Things you are good at
      • What makes you happy
    • Create a Timeline of Events
    • Write a Letter:
      • To the person – you don’t have to send it
      • To yourself
    • Create a Mantra – It May Change Over Time:
      • I’ve got this
      • We’ve got this
      • I’m stronger than I think
      • I decide
      • I am
      • I believe
    • Consider the Other Person:  
      • Why did they feel the need to hurt you? 
      • What are their insecurities? 
      • Is this a pattern?
    • And just because you forgive them does not mean you still need to have a relationship with them. Be prepared – because it’s possible they may not apologize or ask for forgiveness.
    • “Before we can forgive one another, we have to understand one another.” – Emma Goldman
  • Surround Yourself with Those Who Care About You: Find your people. The ones who lift you up. The ones that have your back. The ones that love you for you.
  • Talk About It: Holding in painful feelings can physically harm your body:
      • Ulcers
      • Heart disease
      • Sleep problems
      • Depression and anxiety
      • Digestive problems
      • Weight issues
    • If your friends or family are always your go-to listeners and you worry about burdening them, seek professional help.
  • Give Yourself Permission to Forgive: It really is up to you, and it is difficult. And it takes time to process all the pieces. But to truly heal, you have to make the conscious decision to choose to forgive.
    • “It’s not an easy journey, to get to a place where you forgive people. But it is such a powerful place, because it frees you.” – Tyler Perry
  • You Deserve Peace: There is nothing truer. “Forgive others not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.” – Jonathan Huie
  • Carry On: Once you have forgiven, breathe, and let it go.

“It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.” – Maya Angelou

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