How To Forgive

Forgiveness is not a panacea. It won't make things the way they were before, but it may make the days ahead better. These tips may help you:

1. Forgiveness is a healthy choice. Holding onto hate is toxic, and the distress it causes may make you physically and emotionally vulnerable to illness. Letting it go will free you to enjoy your relationship and your life.

2. Choosing to not forgive is an option. When the offender is unremorseful, unwilling or unavailable, you can still heal yourself. It takes effort and introspection. If you don't receive an appropriate apology, you need to accept the circumstances and find a way to move on.

3. Forgiveness requires an expression of sincere remorse. When the transgressor is sincerely open to working through the problem, you can begin to rebuild trust.

4. Forgiving and forgetting are different. You won't create amnesia by forgiving, but just because you can't rewrite history doesn't mean you can't create a wonderful future.

5. Forgive yourself first. Some people cannot forgive themselves for their transgressions. If you are truly on the path to becoming a better person, and understand that your personal pain is a part of the journey, hopefully self-forgiveness will come in time.

6. Forgiveness is hard work. It must be earned, which requires accepting responsibility, understanding why the violation occurred and listening carefully.

7. To err is human. We all make mistakes, sometimes really big ones. Understanding this will help you keep your balance when someone unintentionally hurts you.

8. Revenge is very expensive. Some people spend their lives trying to make a transgressor pay. I have seen this negative energy ruin families and relationships.

9. Let bygones be bygones. Don't continue to bring up the past to give yourself the advantage during a disagreement. This behavior will keep you from forgiving.

10. Remember, it's not your fault. Some people blame themselves for the bad things that others have done to them. This belief comes from low self-esteem.

Around the Web