5 steps to letting go and forgiving

1. Forgive yourself

Often we tend to do further harm to ourselves and cause more suffering in the long run. Remember that you are not the blame for what happened to you. Someone did wrong to you. Someone hurt you deeply. But you need to understand your role in how you treat yourself afterwards. Seek help in healing and cherish who you are. Love who you are deeply. Anger can become a very destructive emotion to carry and hold onto for a long period of time. You have to forgive yourself for any blame you placed on yourself or for any harm, including emotional that you have put on yourself over what happened to you.

2. Acknowledge how you feel

The first step to dealing with emotions is recognizing that they exist and they are valid. You were hurt. Someone betrayed your trust which may have led to unhealthy feelings and emotions. Sometimes deep emotions are burried beneath denial and memories and unhealthy habits in an attempt to forget what happened. For instance, when we talk about abuse, especially if we have suffered the abuse as a child, it’s possible that the memories are too painful to deal with. This often requires you to seek therapy, which many victims of child abuse have found to be very helpful. Be kind to yourself. Be gentle with yourself.

3. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help

As mentioned above, there are some instances in which professional therapy is often required if abuse was involved. Seeking a mental health counsellor who specialises with past abuse could be vital to sorting through your feelings. Please never hesitate to reach out and get help if you feel like you are unable to cope with the feelings on your own. You are not alone.

4. Asking for an apology without expecting one

Maybe you are no longer in touch with the person who hurt you (perhaps for your own safety or sanity). Perhaps the person who hurt you is dead. Whatever your situation, you can express your feelings and request an apology. It might be direct to that person, or in the form of a letter that you never send or a speech that you give in your own words out loud.

5. Take all the time you need

Forgiveness can take time. It is a choice and should be made only at the moment you feel comfortable with it. It can happen in bits over time, or one day, you could just choose to forgive someone. Everyone chooses to forgive how and when they are ready to. And remember that you deserve joy and happiness.

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