One of the biggest questions our clients have is how to forgive someone. It may be a significant other, child, parent, friend, co-worker, boss that people need to forgive. If asked, being a forgiving person is looked at as a positive trait to have; however many people are worried about being taken advantage of if they forgive too often. Our team of experts is here to provide you with their recommendations on how to forgive someone.
My recommendation for forgiveness is to shift your perspective on what it means to forgive and whom you are forgiving for. Forgiveness is for you. This will be a paradigm shift if you are able to fully embrace it and see that when you let go of resentments, the forgiveness is for you and not anyone else. When you don’t forgive, then resentment builds and it can build up fast and deep. Resentment is a block to having a healthy relationship with yourself and others. Living in resentment will prevent you from opening your heart to someone else. It prevents you from moving forward with your life or in your relationships. When you truly grasp the concept that forgiving someone is all about you and has nothing to do with them and their behavior, then you will forgive and forget. You will honor your highest intention by taking care of yourself in the situation. You will commit to living in forgiveness every single day of your life.
Some ways you can live in forgiveness is by lighting a candle every day and repeat the mantra “I forgive those who have hurt me” or “I let go of resentments”. If you are really bothered and can’t let it go, write that person a letter, get all of your feelings out and then burn the letter. Keep writing that letter until you are no longer bothered by the person or situation.
You can do your forgiveness in private. You can forgive them every day until you don’t feel any bit of resentment or hurt, without ever telling them you forgive them, especially if they are not in your life. If they are in your life, you can explain to them that you are not dismissing their behavior as acceptable; you are simply taking care of yourself by letting of go hurt and resentment. The message for you to take on is that forgiveness is for you, not the other person.
Amanda Landry, LMHC, CAP decided to become a therapist while attending Nova Southeastern University. She saw the need to help people achieve the life they wanted to live, while creating a life of her own. She completed her master’s in Mental Health Counseling and started a career in the juvenile justice arena. Since then, she has started a private practice in Davie, Florida, specializing in depression, anxiety relationship issues, and substance abuse. Amanda is a believer in holistic treatment and she practices veganism, meditation and yoga in her life. Find out more about her practice here. For a free 15-minute consultation, call or text Amanda at 954-378-5381 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“When you do not forgive you magnify the hurts you received many times, but blame the other for the pain you now cause yourself.”
– William Fergus Martin.
Forgiveness sometimes feels like a heavy task. People often times view forgiveness as an act they are doing for someone else. You hear people ask, “Why should I forgive him/her?”. People associate forgiveness with letting someone off the hook. Forgiveness, in reality, goes much deeper and it’s really about setting yourself free not so much about the other person at all. When we hold onto what others did to us or blaming others for the things we didn’t accomplish, we stay in the victim role, we don’t take responsibility for our part, and it limits us from meeting our true potential. It’s important to recognize that although forgiveness isn’t easy, it costs us when we continue to hold on, it’s a process and sometimes the hardest person to forgive is ourselves.
Here are some ways to forgive someone:
- Get clear – Who do you want to forgive and what do you want to forgive them for? Reflect on what blaming others has cost you; this could be relationships (intimate, with that person, with yourself and others), employment, living a full life, happiness, etc. When you are clear you can identify what you want different and how to get there.
- Set the intention – This involves taking responsibility and choosing to truly forgive so you don’t continue to blame and stay in the role as victim. When you set a clear intention to forgive someone the actions for doing so become a little easier.
- Take Action – Decide what steps you need to take to begin the forgiveness process. This could involve making amends, lighting a candle every night and blowing it out while saying a forgiveness affirmation, writing a letter (even if you don’t send it), releasing a balloon and saying a forgiveness affirmation, etc. Be consistent with the action step you choose and remember to trust the process because forgiveness doesn’t happen overnight.
Stephanie Savo is a licensed mental health counselor who has been practicing therapy since 2008. She graduated with her Master’s in Mental Health Counseling from Nova Southeastern University. Stephanie has experience working with adolescents and young adults. She has been working with adolescents and young adults who experience depression, anxiety, trauma, low self-esteem and worth, lack of identity and individuality, and who want to be empowered.
Stephanie utilizes a variety of therapeutic techniques when working with her clients. She treats the person and the symptoms they are experiences rather than the label. She focuses on taking a collaborative and eclectic approach with her clients to help them get to their desired goals. Stephanie models for and assists her clients with consistent growth and personal development as she does in her own life.