My eyes flutter open as the moonlight shines through the window.
My first thoughts go to him.
I think about the life we shared. I think about the love I gave. I think about the hurt I endured. I think about the loneliness that consumes my world.
I reach for my phone to see how much time I have left until the alarm goes off. I close my eyes to attempt another hour of beauty sleep.
My thoughts aren’t finished with him just yet. I’m sad. I’m angry. I’m hurt.
I sit up and whisper the only thing that helps get me through the days.
Forgive, release, and let go.
Forgiveness is one of those things I knew I was supposed to do in order to move on from basically anything in life. Forgive all who have hurt me. Especially those who broke me and damaged my heart.
I’m not sure where I learned it, but I picked it up along the way and kept it close to my heart. Forgiveness will provide us with understanding, empathy, and compassion for the one who hurt us.
But what I never understood was: how do we actually learn how to forgive someone who hurt us?
It’s a process like anything we go through in life. We don’t just wake up one day and forgiveness has taken place. We need to go through the process to get to the other side of it.
In my desperate attempt to learn how to forgive, I searched the internet, I talked to friends and family, and I even talked to professionals. And what I discovered was that forgiveness is a personal journey.
What works for someone else might not always work for me. We need to find forgiveness on our own. In our own way. In our own time.
We can learn what has worked for others, use that as a baseline, and build our own path to forgiveness. But essentially it’s something we need to create on our own and tweak according to what works and doesn’t work for us.
This comes with a bunch of trial and error. But we must start somewhere in order to get to where we need to be. To let go and move on. Once and for all.
Only we can unlock the secret on how to forgive someone. It’s within us. We might not feel it. We might not believe we are capable of it. But it’s there. It’s deep down inside.
The amount of time it takes to find forgiveness depends on the individual. There is no set timeline. As long as we keep pushing toward it, we can take all the time we need.
And to remember to be kind to ourselves if the process is a little slow or if we fall backward from time to time.
Some people refuse to forgive until the person who hurt them does the work in order for forgiveness to take place. They don’t forgive, but they find a way to find closure in it.
Others keep a piece of the hurt as a reminder to never let anyone hurt them again.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting or excusing the harm done to us. Forgiveness is not making up with the person who caused the harm. Forgiveness brings a kind of peace that helps us move on with life.
It’s our own path to forgiveness. And there is no wrong way about it. But as long as we move past it, that is the main goal.
Finding forgiveness is a way to release the hurt that holds us prisoner in our lives—the past life where all the hurt was received. That is not our life anymore. But we will continue to live in that past life if we don’t forgive and leave it behind. The longer we hold on to the hurt and pain, the longer it stays in our current lives.
Forgiveness is something we do for ourselves and not the other person. Forgiveness is essentially the closure we need to move on. Forgiveness is refusing to take the hurt any longer and walking away.
Forgiveness is taking away the power the other person had over us and letting go.
This is my journey in learning how to forgive:
Step 1: Forgive.
I acknowledge the hurt. I formulate who hurt me and why. What did this person do to me? How many times have I been hurt by this person?
I write it down so as not to forget.
It’s putting the hurt into perspective so I don’t overlook all that has been done to me as I go through the process.
I feel all the hurt. How has the pain affected me? I let those feelings wash over me. I feel it in every inch of my body. I don’t hide it. I don’t ignore it. I don’t push it down. I let it wash over every inch of my being.
Hiding it, ignoring it, and covering it up are only delaying my healing.
I need to relive it in order to capture the pain to move past it.
I accept that I cannot change what has happened. What is done is done. As much as I may want to undo the past and take back all that pain I felt, I accept that the past is now behind me. And any anger I feel won’t change what has already happened.
Forgiveness is a way for me to find closure.
Step 2: Release.
I release the pain, the hurt, and the past. It no longer serves me. I gather every piece of evidence that this person ever existed in my life, and I get rid of it. Pictures, love letters, birthday cards, or anything that I have kept over the years. Gone. By releasing it, I am making room for what is to come. New memories. New moments. New adventures.
The possibilities are endless.
Step 3: Let go.
I let go of the person who hurt me. They don’t deserve any parts of me. I try new activities. I learn new skills. I visit new places. By letting go, I am able to create my new life—myself. Once I let go, I can begin a new chapter.
Letting go opens my future to happiness.
Once we have decided we are ready to forgive in order to move on, we will see the changes that forgiveness brings us.
Forgiveness truly sets us free.
Forgiveness makes us stronger.
Forgiveness brings us peace of mind.
Forgiveness creates happiness.
Forgiveness restores hope.
Forgiveness helps us grow.
Forgiveness strengthens compassion.
Forgiveness opens us up to love.
Without forgiveness, we are wasting beautiful moments in our own lives. Thoughts and moments on someone who hurt us. Wasting it on thoughts of someone who doesn’t give a sh*t about us or how they hurt us. They have moved on and we are not a thought in their minds.
Why would we waste any of our moments on someone who doesn’t matter anymore? On someone who has hurt us?
They don’t get that power over us any longer.
Forgiveness is silent. Forgiveness is something we do for ourselves. What will matter is that we have found a way to let go and move on.
We will know we have achieved forgiveness when the other person doesn’t invade our thoughts, our hearts, or our future.
All is forgiven so we may begin something new.
Forgiveness is a personal journey.
I’m still working on my ability to forgive so I can move forward. So whenever I feel myself slipping, I whisper to myself, over and over and over again as a reminder to keep moving forward.
I am learning how to forgive so I can let go and move on.
Forgive, release, and let go.
Once and for all.