Forgiveness is a process. A process of understanding, accepting, and releasing. Forgiveness does not come easy but when you do, a world of inner peace welcomes you. Forgiveness is not a limited action to those who have hurt you, but forgiveness is understanding your experience and accepting the choices you made, even if it was not a good one. For a while, I blamed myself for being naïve thinking people will reflect the love you give them, but throughout the years, I have learned that no matter how good your intentions maybe, you cannot change people. Everyone is entitled to pursue what they want and become who they desire to be without interference. But what if that person caused you great pain? Pain that is unfair and leaves you vulnerable? Forgiveness is extremely difficult and can sometimes seem illogical but, consequently, I have learned holding onto hurt and pain from past experiences will ultimately hinder your emotional growth and your future relationships. To take care of yourself emotionally you must be willing to reflect and understand your feelings, thoughts, and actions. Learning to cultivate emotional intelligence is a healthy way to self-care. However, there are times when we are uncomfortable with digging into things that are holding us back or causes a strain in our relationships. While it is important to address these issues, it is essential to extend forgiveness as it will help repair the emotional relationship you have with yourself and sometimes others. In addition to my personal experience, psychologists and other health care professionals has developed a seven-step process of forgiveness which are:
- Acknowledge the Hurt
- Consider how the hurt & pain has affected you
- Accept that you cant reverse the past
- Repair the relationship (or not)
- Learn what forgiveness means to you
- Love again
Living through the year of 2020, many of us had the time to reflect. Reflect on the past, the present, and the future. The hurt you have overcome, the resilience that you have built, and the blessings that are ahead. We should all work to extend each other grace and move forward into the new year.
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