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4 Ways To Forgive And Let Go

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/how-to-forgive_b_2765676

huffpost.com

4 Ways To Forgive And Let Go
For many of us, the emotions holding the tightest grip on our hearts are disappointment, resentment, blame and anger. They place a stranglehold on our happiness, and the only person who can release them is you.

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Understanding

Understanding

The first step in forgiveness is to understand "why" someone acts the way they do. What are they trying to protect? What are they afraid of? What basic skills did they learn (or not learn) from their family of origin?

Understanding "why" breeds compassion and helps loosen the ties that bind us to blame.

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Feel and express your emotions

Until we fully release our emotions, they continue to affect our present mindset.

  • Do anger work. Allow yourself to be fully disappointed, sad or depressed. Talk about it.
  • Write a letter. Purging emotions out on paper give them a place to live outside of yourself.
  • Talk to the person (if possible). This is only helpful if it is safe for you to speak with the person. It is usually not effective when you are angry or until you have processed your emotions significantly on your own.

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Rebuild safety

Rebuild safety

Create new boundaries for yourself within the relationship.

This may mean you no longer see the person, end the relationship or establish new guidelines.

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Let go

Fully letting go of a past transgression and completely forgiving may take many months or years.

You may have a phase of feeling better and then realize that you are still grieving or angry. Be patient. It is a process.

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Anger And The Trauma String

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Vicarious Trauma

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Anger Is Good

Anger, surprisingly, can be constructive, an active ingredient to energize and motivate a person. It can be useful and powerful if channelled in the right way. The adrenalin that flows during a fit of anger can blind a person if not handled appropriately.

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Forgiveness

By forgiving, you are accepting the reality of what happened and finding a way to live in a state of resolution with it.

This can be a gradual process—and it doesn't necessarily include the person ...

Why forgiveness is so hard

  • You're filled with thoughts of retribution or revenge
  • You enjoy feeling superior
  • You don't know how to resolve the situation
  • You're addicted to the adrenaline that anger provides
  • You self-identify as a "victim"
  • You're afraid that by forgiving you have to re-connect—or lose your connection.

When you desire to forgive

If you decide you are willing to forgive, find a good place and time to be alone with your thoughts.

  • Think about the incident that angered you. Accept that it happened, how you felt about it and how it made you react.
  • Acknowledge the growth you experienced as a result of what happened. What did it make you learn about yourself, or about your needs and boundaries?
  • Think about the other person. When you were hurt, the other person was trying to have a need met. What do you think this need was and why did the person go about it in such a hurtful way?
  • Decide if you want to tell the other person that you have forgiven him or her.