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.

@aryaman

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Self Improvement

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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RELATED IDEAS

Forgiveness can involve drawing boundaries for yourself.

The biggest aspect will involve going through the impact the betrayal had on your life. Understanding the factors that contributed to the betrayal can help to get to a place of acceptance. Letter writing is often a powerful tool in doing this work.

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IDEAS

By recognizing and acknowledging your faults and attempting to make amends to the injured party, you are taking the high road. This demonstrates your strength, courage, compassion, and wisdom.

Ask yourself these questions to let go of the past:

What happened that was unfair? Write down who you resent and what they did to cause your anger.

  1. How did their actions make you feel (besides angry)? How do you think they felt?
  2. Has holding on to this affected your life? How did it change your level of security, trust, and safety?

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