The 4 Steps of Forgiveness | Inspiration Indulgence

According to the Webster Dictionary, to forgive is “to stop feeling anger toward (someone who has done something wrong); to stop blaming (someone).” Webster apparently hadn’t been screwed over in his life, because we all know it just isn’t that easy.

Forgiveness is a tricky thing. It’s easier said than done. Forgiving takes strength, patience, and practice. At some point in our lives, we all come to the crossroads where we need to decide if we should forgive the person who wronged us or to let them go. There is never a right or wrong answer, and it is a personal decision. If you choose to forgive someone, it may not have been the same choice that your friend would have made in your shoes. And that’s okay, because this is your life, not theirs. The most important thing you must know is that forgiveness is a CHOICE. When you choose to forgive, you have made a decision in your heart that you still desire that person to be in your life. Now really sure where to start? Read on….

1.) Know that forgiveness doesn’t mean you are validating that what hurt you is okay

First of all, when you forgive, know that it does not mean that you are fine with what happened. Forgiveness is choosing to accept what happened and making a choice to move forward in your life. It is the first step towards self-healing.

2.) Let go of the past

When you make a decision to forgive, you are making a commitment to let go of the past. It doesn’t mean that it will be forgotten; it means that you are cutting ties with it. No more bringing up the past to your significant other or friend who did you wrong. No more blaming, pointing figures, or fighting. It is over with. What’s done is done. You can’t change the past, so why hold onto it? Self-healers choose to learn from the past and let it go.

3.) Clean slate

Start a clean slate with the person who you are forgiving. If you feel bottled up resentment that is seconds away from spewing out of you, maybe you are not ready to forgive. People who choose to forgive have thought long and hard about it, and have decided that they are ready to move on without holding a grunge. To forgive is to take those heavy bricks off your back and stop walking on eggshells. It requires moving forward knowing that you are being the bigger person and choosing love over hate.

4.) Find inner peace

This step will probably be the most difficult. Even if you have chosen forgiveness and are willing to let go of the past, it is extremely hard to move forward in life as if everything is back to normal. You need to find inner peace. This can be done in many ways. My advice: Focus on yourself and bettering yourself as a person. Even though you weren’t at fault, focusing on yourself will create positive energy. Choose to talk to a close, supportive friend about what happened. Work out. Write about your feelings. Start a new goal. Start a project. Spend time with that sibling you never see anymore. Visit a friend who you lost touch with. Do things that make you PROUD OF YOURSELF. Focusing your energy on yourself instead of hate is much more peaceful and gratifying.

Forgiveness is a choice. You are not a doormat for choosing to forgive. You are not an idiot for giving that person a second chance. You are strong and have a big heart, which is something to be extremely proud of. You were not at fault. You have chosen love over hate.

Xoxo,

  • Awesome… great idea’s to understand and practice forgiveness. One can be great if forgives others mistakes and help them improve their inefficiency to give happiness.

    • Inspiration Indulgence

      Thank you. Forgiveness has always been a hard concept for me to master but I truly believe that with the right positive mindset, it can be reached. I do not feel true happiness unless I forgive and let go of my anger. Thanks for the read!

  • I love this post. Sometimes it is easier to distance yourself from the person who offended you so you can forgive. It’s hard if that forgiveness is in marriage because you said in good times and bad. I struggled with this a lot. I have forgiven friends who have wronged me because I took myself out of the situation to heal and let go.

    • Inspiration Indulgence

      Thanks for reading! Agreed- forgiveness can be so difficult and it takes a lot of practice and healing to let one forgive. However, I feel that if you truly value the person and you know they are capable of being a better person, then I think forgiveness is necessary.

  • Great post. Forgiveness helps us grow, great blog! Inspiration you are!

    • Inspiration Indulgence

      Aw thank you for the read! Forgiveness is something that is DEFINITELY easier said than done, and takes a lot of practice!

  • #1 really hit me! That’s what I struggled with the most… feeling like if I forgave them it would be like saying it was ok what they did or loosing the fight or something. But as I’ve gotten older, I really have come to understand that forgiveness is as much for me, as it is for the person. And even though I might decide to not have that person in my life anymore, it doesn’t mean I have to hold on to the bad feelings either. Great post

    • Inspiration Indulgence

      Thank you, I am so glad you can relate. This is the number I have struggled with the most too. I think that it really shows your character by being able to forgive instead of holding grudges. Thanks for reading!:)

  • Forgiveness is very important to keep on living. I once met a Persian man, who flet Iran. He has been tortured, kept in prison, his friends and family has been murdered by the Iranian government, but he never expressed any hate towards Muslims. He told me if he hated the people who hanged his brother, he would be just like them.

    I don’t think I’ve ever met a stronger person than him.

    The power of forgiveness, but you have to be strong to have this power.

    Kind regards,
    Tieme

    • Wow. This comment stopped me dead in my tracks. That is truly amazing. He must be an incredibly strong man to find forgiveness in his heart for the people who did that to his family. I know that I couldn’t forgive them. Thanks so much for reading, Tieme!

  • Great tips and points!

  • This is so important to living a happy life in my opinion. My relationship has taught me how to forgive so much easier than before because I realized our love was more important than being right. Still hard at times, but much easier than it used to be. Thanks for sharing this lovely reminder.

    • Thank you for reading! I think relationships have taught me more about forgiveness than anything. And that’s so true. Sometimes, it’s not worth the argument- we just need to learn to forgive and move on.

  • Easier said than done but I agree, vital to living a happy life! Forgiveness is so often seen as something you do for others, but really it’s a totally personal feeling within yourself. Love your posts girl!

    • Aw thanks so much Bethany! :)

  • I love this! I always say that I choose forgiveness out of purely selfish reasons. It truly does bring about a peace that is wonderful. It was definitely a difficult skill to master but once I learned to master it, my life became much more peaceful.

    • It does. I think that’s why I choose forgiveness mainly. Because I need to feel that peace. I just can’t live in anger.

  • Some of these are easier than others but man how true are these. I think letting go takes so much weight off your shoulders.

    • Exactly. I just can’t live with that hatred inside of me!

  • These are great lessons. Sadly we all have to learn them, I don’t look forward to the day my daughter gets a broken heart :(

    • Oh my gosh. I know. I don’t have a daughter yet but I don’t even want to think about that either!!

  • This was a great read with wonderful advice about the steps of forgiveness. I like your advice on writing out your feelings. Journaling about issues that are troubling you using your non-dominant hand helps.

    • Writing ALWAYS helps! Thanks for reading!

  • All of this is so true. Forgiveness can be really hard, and I like that you point out forgiveness is a choice and it does not make you weak.

    • That’s the hardest part for me. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

  • Great post! Sometimes finding inner peace is the hardest.

    • Exactly…it’s always a continuous journey!

  • Great post! It is so hard to learn how to forgive others! I myself have trust issues and learning to forgive someone and then try to trust them afterwards is very hard for me! I am learning about letting things go, giving them to God and trying to move on! If I don’t let something go that is bothering me I am the one suffering from it, not the other person! Thanks for these great tips!

    • It can be so hard to forgive if you’ve had issues with trust before. That’s what makes you incredibly strong, is if you still allow forgiveness in your heart :) Thanks for reading!