How Do I Truly Forgive Someone Who Has Wronged Me?
Especially when I feel like a muddy, miserable unloved puppy?
I start by changing my mindset to an Attitude of Gratitude.
Being grateful that I have a choice. No matter the circumstance, I always have the ability to choose my response.
Being mindful of the causative circumstance and remembering that there are at least two sides to every story–not just my side of the story.
Being compassionate and open hearted and accepting that the other person may have experienced their own hurt and could be lashing out at whoever is available. Like ME.
Being brave enough to be honest with myself and admitting how I contributed to the offense. This allows me to be able to forgive myself.
Then I “woman up” and admit my part to the offender, ask them to accept my apology and ask for their forgiveness. Ouch!
So many more steps than just staying pissed at someone and totally blaming them. For days, months, years. That response equals zero personal growth.
There is one more step because the saying is “Forgive and Forget.” Sometimes I can let go and forget all the fuss and fury. Sometimes I choose to NOT forget. To remember the circumstance that precipitated the problem and resolve to not go there again. That may involve removing myself from certain situations or distancing myself from particular people.
So, how long does this enlightened approach take, you ask?
Some wrongs can be forgiven quickly and leave no wounds–visible or invisible.
Some wrongs are biggies and they require time and distance. To repeat myself, that may mean “days, months, years.” And maybe some professional counseling. I have had a few of these in my life time and when I am in the middle of being “the wronged one” I feel I have little cartoon devils on both shoulders. They keep shouting at me, “You’re right! She’s wrong!”
What do I do? I start all over again, with Gratitude, MIndfulness, Compassion, Bravery, Admission, and Apology. Repeat until those little devils are knocked off and replaced by contented angels or happy puppies or dazzling rainbows.
Yep. When I finally see the rainbows, I know I have won my battle with my most formidable adversary. Me.