A while back, I shared my struggle about whether it was possible to love someone, but not like them.
My journey to forgiveness has been slow, and long, but little by little my heart heals.
This past Sunday I attended an event with my 8-year-old daughter, and the man whom I wrote the blog post about was there as well. My daughter knows the basics of the story as to why he and I are no longer friends, and nothing more.
I don’t speak ill of him to her, nor do I prevent her from speaking to him. All she knows is that we are no longer friends because he wasn’t kind to me.
As her and I were together on Sunday, the guy approached us and said hello. I smiled, said hello, gave him a hug, then carried on with what we were doing.
My daughter was shocked.
“Why did you give him a hug if you aren’t friends with him?”
I answered, “Because I am a nice person, and will still be kind to him.”
I have reached a place of forgiveness where I no longer feel uncomfortable in his presence, and I was proud of myself for demonstrating that in person. I never expected it to be a learning lesson for my daughter.
This just proves that your actions matter, and you never know who is watching.
If you are struggling to forgive someone, I offer you these 3 exercises to help your heart to heal:
- Instead of focusing on the pain it has caused you, write down 5 positive lessons you have learned from the experience. Are you a stronger person now? Did you hold true to your values?
- Write a letter to the person expressing all the things you wish you could have said, but didn’t. Tear the letter into pieces and release your attachment to the incident.
- Rewrite the ending to the story. You can actually rewire your brain to have positive emotions associated with the experience instead of negative ones. What ending would make you happier? More at peace? Write it out and integrate that experience into your body.
Being able to forgive someone for hurting you is not an easy task, but it is definitely attainable. All you need to do is actively pursue your healing. Become engaged in the process and I promise you – you will reach forgiveness and your heart will heal.