Okay before you think I’m nuts and totally NOT from this planet, hear me out!
Oftentimes, when we’ve been hurt and feel this rising wave of anger it seems to consume our minds and can even cause reactions in our physical bodies. When we talk about forgiveness, it is hard to easily surrender to what (at the time) seems impossible to move on from.
When someone does something that really hits a nerve or causes you to become upset, practice these 4 Steps to Forgiveness to shift the energy around the situation:
1 - What about the situation was hurtful? NAME IT! This can be the hardest part really. Many times, we can feel several different emotions at once and cannot pinpoint WHAT exactly was hurtful about what occurred. Get clear on it. Define it- remember emotions manifest differently for all of us. What looks like “anger” to me, might not look the same to you.
2 - Once you’ve identified the WHAT, ask yourself about the WHY. Why does this situation get under your skin? What about what happened caused you to have these reactions, feelings and emotions. Did it trigger something else from your past? Did your expectations of the situation turn out how you anticipated? Did this person or situation end up proving you right, again?!?
3 - Once you’ve acknowledged the big What and the Why, ask yourself, what am I holding on to? Yes, we sometimes feel justified in a situation or like someone owes us something because our feelings were hurt or our values were minimized. You might have every reason to be upset, but harboring these feelings of resentment or anger only hurts ourselves in the long run. We tend to be more upset about being upset than actually creating space to reflect on how to make ourselves feel better about the situation.
4 - Discern! If you’ve made it this far, you’re a rock star! After practicing Steps 1 through 3, LET IT GO! Release that sh*t. There is no room for you to harbor ill feelings about what already happened- it’s in the past. Holding on won’t make the person any less right and will only cause you to feel more stressed. The beauty in all of this is that you have the power to choose how to react and how to move forward. You have a choice to continue to let that person/situation in again or move on!
Listen, I know these steps take work!! But if you’re willing to be open minded (pride aside and all) I challenge you to PRACTICE them. The more you try them on for size, the better you get at them and the more peace you will invite into your life. After all, isn’t that the point?!
*Disclaimer, if you find yourself in a situation where a person is causing you harm consistently, these steps do not apply. Please seek appropriate help.