The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. ~Gandhi~
What is forgiveness?
Essential steps to practice forgiveness
- Understand what forgiveness is and what it is not.
- Feel the suffering in yourself of holding on to your lack of forgiveness.
- Reflect on the benefits of a loving heart.
- Discover that it is not necessary to be loyal to your suffering.
- Understand that forgiveness is a process.
- Set your intention for forgiveness.
- Learn the inner and outer forms of forgiveness.
- Start the easiest way, by forgiving an ‘easy’ individual.
- Be willing to grieve.
- Forgiveness includes all dimensions of life, including the body, mind, emotions, and interpersonal.
- Forgiveness involves a shift of identity, to our capacity for love, freedom and good.
- Forgiveness involves perspective.
It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody. ~Maya Angelou~
9 steps forgiveness program
On a more practical level, there are clear steps to be followed, as outlined by Fred Luskin of Stanford University. He outlined a forgiveness program that helps us to take things less personal, blaming others less, and offering more understanding and compassion to the other, and to ourselves.
- Know how you feel and be able to express what you do not consider acceptable about the situation or behaviour.
- Commit yourself to feel better. Forgiveness is a personal process.
- Forgiveness does not have to mean reconciliation or condoning the actions of the person that has grieved you. Forgiveness is about peace and understanding and taking things less personal.
- Get the right perspective on what is happening.
- Practice stress management to soothe flight or fight, by doing mindful breathing exercises, taking a walk, or whatever else works.
- Give up expecting things from your life or other people that they do not give you.
- Put your energy into looking for ways to get your positive goals met, instead of focusing on the experience that has hurt you.
- Remember that a well-lived life is an ultimate revenge: look for love, beauty, and kindness. Put energy into appreciating what you have instead of what you don’t have.
- Amend the way you look at your past; cherish your forgiveness.
Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness. ~Marianne Williamson~