The Psychology of Forgiveness: 7 Lessons on How to Finally Let Go and Forgive Someone | Nick Wignall - Deepstash
The Psychology of Forgiveness: 7 Lessons on How to Finally Let Go and Forgive Someone | Nick Wignall

The Psychology of Forgiveness: 7 Lessons on How to Finally Let Go and Forgive Someone | Nick Wignall

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Forgiveness does not mean forgetting

Forgiveness does not mean forgetting

It’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever be able to forget a serious wrong committed against you. But it’s a mistake to assume that because your mind is drawn to a specific thought or memory, you should allow your attention to stay there.

Acknowledge your memories but then choose to re-focus your attention elsewhere.

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Forgiveness and anger don’t mix

It’s normal to feel anger towards your offender. But unchecked anger often leads to unhelpful amounts of mental elaboration over the wrongs done to you.

When you notice yourself feeling angry, pause briefly and acknowledge the anger, then ask yourself if your anger will do you any good in the long-term. Just because your anger is justified doesn’t mean it’s helpful.

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Forgiveness does not mean endorsement

Acceptance does not mean endorsement or justification.  Acceptance means acknowledging that you don’t have power or control over the past.

Accept the offense against you without excusing it. The key to taking control of your future is choosing to let go of the desire to control the past.

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Forgiveness does not require reconciliation

No matter how much you want the person who’s wronged you to see the error of their ways, offer a heartfelt apology and restitution, and mend the relationship, you can’t control that.

Don't make forgiveness contingent on reconciliation. Hope for reconciliation if you wish, but don’t expect it.

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Forgiveness is not one decision

Forgiveness is not a decision; it’s an attitude, a habit of mind.

Forgiveness begins with a single decision but it doesn’t end there. Be prepared to continue to forgive, day in and day out. And while it may get easier with time, forgiveness is forever.

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Forgiveness is not a feeling

Most people who are struggling to forgive desperately want to feel better. How you feel emotionally about a serious wrong committed against you is not fundamentally under your control.

People do tend to feel better as a result of forgiveness, but it’s a mistake to expect a certain set of feelings. Forgiveness is a commitment, not a feeling.

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Your road to forgiveness is your own

Cultivate the habit of looking beyond and beneath your most obvious emotions and noticing smaller, quieter ones.

Allow yourself to feel the sadness, regret, and pity for what happened. You may be able to see your offender and offense in a new light and help you to think and act differently.

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