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Question
Posted by: Anon | 2008/09/18

How to truly forgive?

Many people have said it and I also believe that you have to forgive people to be able to move on with your life. I have been hurt many times and have told myself and the people that i forgive them but I still dwell on the past and what they have done to me. I want to be happy and not think about these people. How do I truly forgive and move on with my life, and also have a positive outlook on my future?

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Our expert says:
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Most of the people who have the cheek to insist that harmed and hurt people MUST forgive the people who hurt or harmed them, are (a) idiots , and (b) have never themselves suffered anything which matches the pain of those they are preaching to, or (c) if they had any seriously bad experiences in their own lives, are handling these by deep denial rather than wholesome coping. So ignore them. Ubnrepentent perps never deserve any reaction from your side that would make them feel better, as this will only encourage them to hurt more people, more often.
Its it NEVER EVER necessary for you to forgive people who hurt you in the sense of letting them feel they're of the hook and needn't worry about the hurt they caused. WHat IS healthy for you is something for which we need another good word, forgiveness in the sense of setting yourself free from bonds of bitterness, anger and sorrow tying you to the perpetrator and the events that hurt you. If you are still dwelling on those past events, you have never forgiven anyone in this, the most important sense. Seeing a good CBT type therapist to work through your own reactions to the hurtful events, settijng yourself free.

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Our users say:
Posted by: just me | 2008/09/18

Leigh, you make a lot of sense.

Reply to just me
Posted by: Leigh | 2008/09/18

I needed to decide why I was forgiving - because of the other person or for myself. When I realised it is no good forgiving for the sake of the other person, things became easier. I do not need to carry around the baggage others have passed onto me!
I also realised that I let the past play like a hamster wheel in my mind. As soon as the wheel starts turning, I switch it off. It is hard but you can do it, for your own sake.
Your mind is used to playing over scenes from your past, because you allow it, so when I realised I had thought that thought 5 times already today, I replaced it with something far more pleasant, possibly something in the future that I had control of. Maybe this can help, but you only forgive for your own sake and in doing this you release the other person.
Good luck

Reply to Leigh
Posted by: Me | 2008/09/18

Hope this helps

I was also treated badly as child by my mom and she is doing it. I am an adult living in my house but I let her and this all led all the bad memories coming back. I would break down and cry all the time I suppose its because I just forgave her and moved on I never dealt with the hurt and pain. It resurfaced and it was ugly on one of down days a friend suggested we go to church I did and I prayed like I never did before I asked God to heal me and he He did on the spot and the next day I spoke to a councellor and she advised me to take control of my life. To deal with the problem and not want answers and today I am ok and strong .

Reply to Me
Posted by: EL | 2008/09/18

Yes Just me, easier said than done!

Reply to EL
Posted by: Just me | 2008/09/18

Yes, EL..easier said than done!
To forgive is easy… to forget is the problem. Unfortunately we have memories ..and this makes it difficult to forget. I’ ve been hurt too… so when I get these horrible flash backs..I try not to think about it… remind yourself that whatever happened was NOT your fault. We cant help the thoughts that come into our heads..but we can decide what to do with it ..so try not to dwell on the past… it certainly wont help you going forward… ..bury the past… and start afresh… all the best  -)

Reply to Just me
Posted by: EL | 2008/09/18

I guess what you can do is to firstly accept what has happened to you. What happened to you is only for you to become a stronger person and to learn something out of everything.

Reply to EL

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