9 Steps To Forgiveness:
In the last few months, I have been teaching classes on Letting go of anger and finding forgiveness. The hot topic for most is finding ways to forgive. We must remember finding forgiveness is not just for forgiving others but also forgiving yourself. Here are 9 steps to forgiveness to help you through the process.
9 Steps to forgiveness
1. Forgiveness is a process, a journey. Don’t set a timeline for forgiveness or you will be setting yourself up for failure. Instead be patient with yourself and take the time you need to heal.
2. In order to forgive, we must feel our feelings first. Feel the anger, sadness, hurt, etc. We can’t forgive without allowing ourselves to feel our emotions. Society makes us feel like its not ok to be angry but that’s not true. If we hold all the hurt and anger inside, we internalize the pain and instead it will surface in other ways such as physical symptoms and/or psychosomatic illnesses.
3. To forgive, we must make the choice to forgive. Forgiveness is a choice, people forget that. We must be willing and wanting to forgive. Forgiveness is not about the other person, its all about you.
4. Forgiveness does not justify or make the behavior right. A lot of my clients think that they can’t forgive because it will excuse the behavior. That is not the case. We forgive to move forward and release our pain.
5. Support – just like grief, we can’t heal alone. Support is so important.
6. When we go to forgive, you need to look at the person not just their behavior. Look at the offender as a whole person. When we do this we can figure out why someone has done the specific action.
People hurt others for two reasons
1. Its all they know – they are following in a learned pattern and don’t know how to change.
2. To avoid their own pain and suffering.
When we realize why people hurt us, it takes away the personalization. We realize a person wasn’t out to hurt us, they just didn’t know any better or were trying to avoid their own pain. This takes away the “Victim” feelings. When we realize the hurt wasn’t intentional we can take away the personalization and victim feelings and instead have feelings of empathy and compassion for the person who hurt us.
7. Questions to ask yourself through the forgiveness process
1. Did the person hurt me intentionally? ( The odds are no)
2. Will this matter to me in 1 month? 3 months? 6 months?
3. is my anger Realistic? Reasonable?
8. Looking at anger as a teachable moment – every ounce of pain comes with a lesson.
Ask yourself what can I learn from this pain/anger?
How will this make me a stronger/better person?
What changes can I make?
9. Writing out your feelings is a very powerful tool that will help you heal and move forward.
1. Writing your feelings down gets them off your chest.
2. Releases the story and the pain
3. Clears your head of all the emotional clutter caused by your anger
Start the forgiveness process today. It will be the best thing you ever did for yourself.
ABOUT DIANE LANG:
Diane Lang – Positive Living Expert, life coach and psychotherapist – is a nationally recognized speaker, author, educator, therapist and media expert. Lang is extremely mediagenic and offers expertise on a variety of health and wellness topics about creating balance and finding happiness through positive living as well as multiple mental health, lifestyle and parenting needs. In addition to holding multiple counseling positions, Diane is also an adjunct at Montclair State University.
Lang has been interviewed for numerous magazine and newspaper articles and has been a frequent guest on radio and TV shows including “Fox & Friends” on the Fox News Network. Lang a regular featured expert on the “Expat Show” broadcasted weekly on the New York ABC affiliate WTBQ-AM, and a Blogger.
Lang speaks to employees of large companies to help reduce stress in the workplace and speaks to parents about how to create balance and find happiness along with a variety of other health and wellness topics. For rates or to book Diane Lang contact DLcounseling2014@gmail.com
Diane is also the author of two books: “Baby Steps: The Path from Motherhood to Career” and “Creating Balance and Finding Happiness.