Forgiveness is a gift to yourself

Forgiveness is a gift to yourself
Forgiveness is a gift to yourself
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Sometimes it seems impossible to forgive someone who has betrayed. 7 Steps to Forgiveness

Forgiveness is at to yourself

If you were able to forgive - it means that you were able to get rid of a lot of negative emotions. Powerless anger, irritation, resentment, the desire for revenge - all this goes away. And if you think about it, you understand: in fact, forgiveness is a gift that we present to ourselves.

The feeling of resentment leads to negative thoughts and aggression, which entail quite physical problems. Hostility provokes a multiple increase in stress hormones in the body, causing extreme tension in almost every part of the body. Psychologists advise: if you are strongly offended by someone, first of all, give vent to feelings. For a day or two you will be overwhelmed with negative emotions, anger will literally seethe, and at this moment it is wiser to succumb to it. The fact is that our body is not adapted to be in a state of intense stress for a long time, which means that after a certain time, emotions will fade away by themselves. Back in 2006, a large group of volunteers who complained of back pain were examined at the American State Hospital in Orlando, Florida. And although the diagnosis in 62 patients was the same, it turned out that those who more easily forgive others for insults and pass insults on deaf ears suffer much less pain than those who remember every offensive word for a long time. And at the University of Wisconsin, they successfully use the so-called "forgiveness therapy" in the treatment of depression and neurosis. It turns out that when a person manages to forgive the offender, then negative thoughts immediately go away. Namely, the inability to get rid of obsessive experiences underlies most nervous breakdowns.

Try to let go of negative emotions

Anna divorced her husband when she was 47. They lived with her husband for 23 years, but when it turned out that he cheated, Anna swore that she would never say a single word to him again. And she really did not talk to him - not during the divorce, not at her daughter's wedding. “After a year and a half, I accidentally met him in the store,” says Anna, “we looked at each other, and I suddenly realized that right now I can make a choice. I can walk past him without saying a word and still get angry, or I can talk. I didn't want to harbor my resentment anymore, so I said hello. It was a huge relief - I saw that it was for him too. We went into a cafe and talked for more than two hours, and we both cried. In the end, I always understood that he was a good man, he just made a mistake. And who does not do them?”

The words "forgive me" do not always lead to forgiveness. But, if a timely apology fell on fertile ground, most often it will bear fruit over time. Sincere apologies raise the self-esteem of the offended person, and the offender is put in a humiliating position, forcing them to admit mistakes.

However, forgiveness does not mean that the offender should not be punished. Divorce, trial, imprisonment are social forms of influence, but forgiveness is your personal choice.

Put yourself in the place of the offender

We constantly explain to ourselves the motives of the actions of this or that person. The husband has become not too sociable, because he gets tired at work. Mom is annoyed because she doesn't feel well. Children bully because they need to somehow throw out energy. If you try to put yourself in the place of the offender, it will be easier for you to understand what led him, and therefore, to take the first step towards forgiveness. “For many years I didn’t let men near me,” Ekaterina admits, “because when I was 10 years old, my uncle raped me. Fear, disgust, resentment, a sense of the injustice of everything that was happening did not leave me until the age of 27. And then one day a young man who was 16 years old got a job with us as a courier. And I suddenly realized that my uncle, who at the time of the incident turned 16, was a child himself! He acted not from evil, but under the influence of a childish impulse. And children cannot always be held accountable for their actions. Perhaps this was the first step towards dealing with resentment. After that, my relationship with men began to improve gradually, and two years later I got married.”

However, all of the above does not mean at all that you need to force yourself to forgive the offender if you are not ready for this. Women are especially often forced to do this by public opinion, because we need to be soft, understanding, feminine. But in fact, resentment is a natural reaction of the psyche to an unfair act, which indicates that you have a he althy self-esteem.

If you have forgiven the offender, this again does not mean that you should have warm feelings for him. You can forgive and still end the relationship. By and large, the question is: “Do I want to drag a load of negative emotions with me? Or do I want to forgive, get all the bad things out of my head and be free from the unpleasant events of the past? In many cases, forgiveness is more of a conscious decision, the result of working on yourself, rather than enlightenment that suddenly descends on you.

Find the right words

If you are unhappy with what is happening in relationships with loved ones, the surest way is to tactfully talk heart to heart. For example, to a husband who has become not very attentive, you can say something like this: “Lately, you have not been very interested in my problems, and this hurts me. I would like to discuss it.”

First of all, having a frank conversation gives you a chance to speak. Secondly, the interlocutor may even eventually apologize to you. Although it is not worth counting on the fact that this will certainly happen. And moreover, one should not hope that after such a conversation a person will change his behavior. Not everyone is able to correct their actions, even if they know that they cause inconvenience to loved ones.

Anna, 34, says: “After the wedding, I moved from St. Petersburg to Moscow, where my husband and I lived for almost three years. We had twins, and my mother literally begged us to return to St. Petersburg, promising that she would help with the children, let us go in the evenings and on weekends so that we could be together. I did not want to deprive the children of my grandmother's care, and in the end we succumbed to persuasion. And what do you think? Mom comes to us from strength once a month, and when I tried to remind her of her promises, she calmly said: “Well, I have my own things to do!” Yes, I'm offended by her and disappointed.But, on the other hand, everything worked out very well in St. Petersburg: my husband has a great job, and the salary is even higher than it was before. We have a very friendly, if superficial, relationship.”

Sometimes it makes sense to take control of your own expectations of others and be willing to forgive their shortcomings. The fact is that forgiveness helps you replace negative emotions with positive ones - peace, empathy, love. Ultimately, your relationships with others will only benefit.

Don't forget that people make mistakes. So, it is quite natural that even the closest people hurt or upset you from time to time. In no case should you put up with dangerous manifestations of aggression. But otherwise, the wisest thing you can do in a crisis is to remind yourself that there are no people without flaws.

“When the crisis began and I was fired from my job,” says Elizaveta, “I was not very worried, because I knew that we had a rather impressive amount on the deposit “for a rainy day”. Imagine how I felt when it turned out that a few months ago my husband invested in securities without telling me a word about it. During the crisis, they fell in price by almost 8 times, and they could only be sold for next to nothing. I was ready to kill him! My first thought was to get divorced immediately. But after long conversations with my husband, parents and closest friends, I finally realized: yes, he made the wrong decision, but he did it purely out of good intentions. He wanted to earn money for me and the children. The fact that he is a wonderful father also played an important role, and I did not want to give the children a reason to think that when difficulties arise, everything should be abandoned. As a result, we reconciled, I found a new job. Our securities have risen in price a little, although they are unlikely to reach the previous level. Now we jokingly call those days "the time when we were able to strengthen relationships." Honestly, I think if we can survive this, we can survive anything.”

Faith and Forgiveness

For sincerely believing people, the opportunity to forgive the wrong done is a true divine blessing. Christianity is originally based on the ability to forgive. Therefore, if it is difficult for you to cope with emotions that are overflowing, talk to a believer or a priest. Of course, you can say that you know in advance everything that you can be advised, but in fact this is not entirely true. It is important not only what is said to you, but also how it is said. Sometimes one right word, spoken at the right moment, can change the rest of your life. Don't pass up this opportunity.

If you are the offender

1. Prepare ahead of time. Avoid phrases like "I'm sorry you feel so upset" - this is how you try to relieve yourself of guilt. And this will anger the opponent even more.

2. Be specific. Be as specific as possible about what you are apologizing for. The idea of ​​your guilt can be very different between you and the offended party.

3. Speak in person. It is easier to speak if you can see the face of the interlocutor. But, if they flatly refuse to meet with you, you can write a letter.

4. Don't look for excuses. “I did this, I was wrong and I regret it” - this is the message you need to convey if you want to be forgiven.

5. Let the offended respond. Most likely you will be blamed. Don't make excuses or counter-blame.

6. Offer to make amends if possible. However, do not promise what you cannot deliver.

7. If you are still offended, be prepared to take it for granted: the person is not ready to forgive you. There is nothing you can do about it.

7 steps to forgiveness

1. Allow yourself to feel the anger. Before you let go of your emotions, give yourself a chance to experience them. Perhaps, at first, you should refrain from meeting with the offender, or, conversely, raise the issue of what happened. Forgiving someone doesn't mean letting them rub their feet on themselves. To forgive means to feel your strength, the ability to rise above the situation.

2. Talk about it. Your interlocutor can be a friend or relative you trust, a priest, a psychologist. Having a frank conversation will help you understand how you feel and find points of view that you have not thought about.

3. Reassure yourself when emotions run high. If you think about something unpleasant, the body begins to produce stress hormones and the whole body comes into tension. In this case, the only way to calm down is to consciously pull yourself together.

4. Recall times when you were wrong and you were forgiven. It must have happened! Any person does things that should not be proud of. With this in mind, you will not judge the offender too harshly.

5. Remember that forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself. The ability to forgive will save you from many unpleasant moments.

6. Don't back down from your decision. If you realize that you are ready to forgive someone who offended you, talk about it with someone from your family, friends, or with the offender himself. If you tell him that you forgive, this may be the beginning, if not of a new relationship, then at least a step towards understanding.

7. Enjoy the tranquility. When you manage to come to forgiveness, you will feel an incomparable state of peace and grace.

Enjoy it!

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