Forgiving makes YOU free. Carrying resentment, bitterness or unforgiveness damages our soul. Forgiving is critical for our own freedom. It is important to work through & process what has taken place, in order to clear & free our own hearts. After looking within, and taking an inventory of your own heart, here are some practical steps;
- Make a list of the persons who have hurt you.
- Next to each name, write what you needed from that person.
- Next to that, write how it made you feel when that person did not meet your need.
- Identify any responsibility that is yours, action you can take.
- In the last column write whether you think that person will ever be able to meet your need. Be honest.
- Accept your loss and grieve it.
- “Reconcilliation is love’s toughest work, and love’s biggest risk. If you twist it into something it was never meant to be, it can make you a doormat or an insufferable manipulator. Forgiving seems almost unnatural. Our sense of fairness tells us people should pay for the wrong they do. But forgiving is love’s power to break nature’s rule.” ~Lewis B. Smedes
“Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as vengefulness, with an increased ability to wish the offender well” Wikipedia
When a conflict has occurred to push people apart, that connection becomes even harder to salvage. If you want to forgive someone, then take the first step in the process by reaching out. This act alone will help you to feel more open and optimistic.
Assure the person that you are open and willing to hear what she has to say as well. This will allow the person to feel more open about the forthcoming discussion.If the person refuses to meet with you, do not despair. There are things you can do to move toward forgiveness regardless of whether the person complies. The act of forgiveness is designed to help you in the end. For example, use writing instead of direct contact to express your feelings and thoughts about the person. Writing in a journal helps to process your feelings and is effective.
First, thank the person for meeting with you.Second, tell the person your goal is to hear each other’s side of the story and come to some peaceful resolution so you both can move on.Third, provide the details of your story including how you felt and what you thought.Fourth, ask the person if there is anything else you can clarify for him before he provides the details of his side of the story.Fifth, ask the person questions that will give you the necessary information to understand his intent, motives, thoughts and feelings.