Thursday, March 07, 2013

Five Steps to Forgiveness

PHOTO CAPTION: "Photo courtesy"
A beautiful view of the Grand Canyon.
Forgiveness is something we many times want from others but have a hard time giving to others. There are many reasons why it is hard to forgive others. One reason is that sometimes we think that by forgiving someone we are implying that it was okay for that person to do what they did. This is not what forgiveness is implying. Another reason we don't forgive is because we want revenge or for this individual to pay for what he or she did. Yet others claim that to forgive is to open oneself up to being more hurt by the individual because they have assumed that forgiveness means reconciliation. None of these assumptions are correct.

Letting Go of Resentment
Forgiveness is simply about letting go of our resentment towards others. It is for our own benefit that we forgive others. It does not mean we have to reconcile or say that what the individual did was okay. When we let go of our resentment towards others we feel free from pain and released from this person having any power over us. When we don't forgive we suffer. The resentment may affect our health, our state of mind, how we treat others, and lead to disharmony in our soul.

Forgiveness can open the door to reconciliation (this is our choice) and restore a friendship. Forgiveness frees not only us from resentment but the other individual from our punishment or revenge tactics.

There are five key steps to forgiveness (letting go of our resentment). If we follow these steps we will discover that we can let go of our resentment and have empathy for those who have stirred up pain in our lives. These steps do not have to be followed in this order. It is a flexible process.

1st Step
The first step is to accept that we cannot change the past and change this individual.

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