Experts say the path to wellness begins with forgiving and forgetting. However, you may very well wonder, “How do you go about truly forgiving someone when they’ve grievously hurt you?”
If you’re willing and able to work on your emotional focus and release any desire for revenge, you have an honest chance of attaining your objective. While the memory of what was done will remain with you, you can still “forget” by putting the past behind you and moving forward.
Follow these four vital steps to be able forgive and forget:
1. Acceptance. The first step to forgiving and forgetting is accepting that you’ve been wronged. You must accept what has happened and find a way to live with it. Acceptance is the starting point for moving your life forward in a positive direction.
2. Healing. It’s important to give yourself adequate time to heal. The amount of time you need to experience relief from your pain varies; each person heals differently.
• If possible, you may want to try to limit your time with the person that hurt you while you reflect and heal.
3. Revitalize your relationship. All relationships, whether romantic or completely platonic, need nurturing in order to thrive. If you ignore nurturing your relationship for too long because you’re upset, it’s likely to wither away.
• Once you’ve begun to experience the fruits of your healing process, begin spending time together. Go out for dinner, hang around your house or just spend a day together at the park. The location is of little importance, but the company is essential to revitalizing your relationship.
4. Rebuilding trust. This should be done simultaneously while revitalizing your relationship. The person that hurt you should be working diligently towards making you feel secure in trusting them once again. Be open to their love, affection, and attempts to rectify their wrongs. If you hold a grudge, you may be stuck in this rut for a lifetime.
• It’s also important to let the other party involved, especially if it’s your spouse, know that it’s okay to trust you. If their mistake was brutal enough, they’re likely expecting you to reciprocate and get revenge. Make an honest effort to reassure them that you wish to reconcile and start anew.
To move forward, you must be willing to let go of everything you once thought was true and form a new reality together. This is the foundation for truly forgiving and forgetting.
But in this case, it takes two to tango. Both you and the other party involved must be willing to make an honest effort. Though it may seem unfair to ask you to make an effort when you’re the one that’s been wronged, this is the price you pay for freeing yourself from those toxic shackles.
People do change. Trust can be restored if both parties in the relationship are willing to work at it. While the healing process may take time, two people who are willing to reconcile and consistently seek each other’s happiness will experience that happiness for themselves and an intimate relationship that will withstand the test of time.