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5 Tips On

How To Forgive

Yourself And Others

By Ronda Phillips I Dare to Outdo Yourself!

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CHALLENGE Yourself to:

FORGIVE Yourself and Others

Over the years, have you found it difficult to forgive yourself and others?

Throughout the course of our lives, people have let us down at some point, either intentionally or unintentionally. Perhaps you experienced a time in your life when you were deeply hurt by someone dear to you who wronged you so badly, so much so that you still can't seem to get beyond the humiliation, shame or embarrassment they have caused, which has left you in a spiritual fog; blinding you from your own bitterness, resentment and anger that others can recognize so clearly through your words, expressions and actions.  

Perhaps someone stole something from you of tremendous value. Perhaps someone publicly slandered your name to demoralize your character or reputation. Perhaps a friend or family member borrowed money from you and has refused to pay you back. Perhaps your spouse or partner cheated on you in your marriage or abandoned you in the relationship. Perhaps a loved one broke a promise to you they vowed to always keep.

You may have eventually vented or confided in a trusted individual about your unfortunate experience, only to have them caringly advise you to do the one thing that you must do -- the last thing that you want to do -- and that is to FORGIVE. Forgive. Perhaps the very sound of this word causes you to cringe just as much as the thought of how badly you were wronged in the first place. So you hear that dreaded word ringing loudly in your ear -- FORGIVE -- but that's not what you want to hear. Not now. Not having it. 

You may think to yourself, "I don't need to forgive. Why should I forgive? I didn't do anything wrong. What's the point in forgiving? He/she doesn't deserve to be forgiven. And what...what is this forgiveness all about -- anyway?..."

So, what is Forgiveness? What does it mean to forgive?

By definition, forgive means; to stop feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw, or mistake; grace, mercy or pardon. 

Forgiveness means to make a conscious choice to release, leave behind and put away all hurt, pain and resentment from the past for your own sake in order to successfully move forward in life. Forgiveness is an indication of healthy spiritual growth and maturity in one’s life. Flowing in the power of forgiveness is crucial toward having a better quality of life. Do you think it's about time to forgive? If so...

Here are 5 important questions to ask yourself, which are tips to help you forgive yourself and others:

1. WHO IS FORGIVENESS AVAILABLE TO?

Forgiveness is available to all of us, and that includes you. Forgiveness begins by first forgiving yourself -- by genuinely and sincerely acknowledging your own wrongful actions, and turning away from those wrongful actions from now on in order to be forgiven.

Perhaps you've made some mistakes or choices in the past that you keep beating yourself up about over and over and over again. You may have done some things in your early years in life or even as recent as yesterday [or today], and as you look back, you probably wonder what in the world were you thinking...how could you have been so "stupid" to do such a thing. Perhaps you got into trouble at school repeatedly. Perhaps you had an unpleasant run-in with the law. Perhaps you subjected yourself to substance abuse. Perhaps you committed an unethical or inappropriate act on your job. Perhaps you violated another person in some way physically or sexually. Perhaps you were an absentee parent or didn't provide adequately for your family or children. Perhaps you alienated the affection of your partner or spouse. Perhaps someone confided in you and you betrayed them by sharing their secret and gossiped about it with others.

Perhaps you are riddled with guilt and are aware of the grief, hurt and pain you may have caused others, especially your dearest loved ones -- as a result of your actions that have affected or impacted their lives. Perhaps you've wallowed in extreme self-pity, and have had suicidal thoughts about yourself that you don't deserve to live anymore and that the world would be better off without you. This is not true.

Be reminded that you have been created by God for a purpose. Even though you may have made some unwise choices and mistakes, you are not a mistake. The fact that you are breathing and still here is an indication that you have an opportunity to add value to someone else's life in some way -- directly or indirectly.

As a result of some very unwise choices made, perhaps you've lost precious people in your life. Perhaps you've lost a lot of tangible, material things. Perhaps you've lost your sense of freedom at some point. However, wherever you are right now and whatever your station is in life, make the decision to no longer condemn yourself and remain in guilt and shame for the wrong you've done in the past. 

You are not the only one who has ever done wrong. You are not the only one who has made a mistake or poor choice in life. You are not the only one who has betrayed someone. We all have. 

Make the decision that it's time to move forward. Get up, dust yourself off. Stop reminding yourself of the hurtful things you've done in the past. Think good thoughts. Do the right things from now on. Forgive yourself.

2. WHY IS IT DIFFICULT TO FORGIVE, AND WHY MUST YOU FORGIVE?

Aside from forgiving yourself for the the wrong you may have said or done to yourself and others, you must also forgive those who have wronged you.

It is often difficult to forgive due to either guilt, self-condemnation, shame, self-centeredness or pride. There is usually an insult or bruise to the ego when faced with betrayal, humiliation, or rejection. This can result in a form of “spiritual decay” when you justify holding on to hurt and resentment as a means of revenge to punish those who have wronged you, believing that he/she should be indebted to you indefinitely, when ironically, you end up punishing yourself. 

Metaphorically, imagine having a toothache. If you've ever experienced or are currently experiencing having a toothache, perhaps you know that it didn't just happen over night. Over the course of time [or years in most cases] a tooth will begin to rot and decay. You and others may not visually see the tooth decay at first, however the decay exists. As you feel throbbing pain, you may choose to try to ignore it, take pain medication or apply a topical solution for temporary relief. However, the pain still exists. The pain may fester, and become so excruciating to the extent that you may find it difficult to concentrate properly to handle everyday normal tasks or sleep soundly at night. You may find yourself not wanting to talk to others because it hurts to talk, or even snapping at others and saying things you really don't mean just to end the conversation because you don't want to be bothered -- because of your pain. Left untreated, the decay can become worse, eventually leading to bad breath, infection or illness in the body and tooth loss -- all rooted in choosing not to treat an aching tooth -- holding on to pain that resulted in decay and loss.

Choosing not to forgive is unhealthy, and can eventually lead to being in a ruined state, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. The remedy is to forgive. Forgive right away.

Perhaps you may not recall or may have forgotten about all those times in the past when you wronged others. For some reason, oftentimes it seems easy to be so quick to judge, rather than to forgive others when they have done the unthinkable, the unimaginable. And just think about this for a moment...how can you honestly expect to be forgiven for any wrong you've done if you are unwilling to forgive others for any of their wrong in return? 

If you choose not to forgive, you may suffer great consequences that can negatively affect your future. Harboring internal bitterness, anger, hatred and resentment from within will eventually show externally -- and it may not be a pretty picture. You may look sad or mean to others without even realizing it. You may sound negative every time you speak or complain to others all of the time about how someone else did you wrong, and they may find reasons to avoid associating with or being around you. You may have little motivation to do things, go places or meet others that can position you toward having greater success and a fulfilling life because you are just not "feeling it" and therefore, you may end up missing out on rightful opportunities. You may find yourself becoming physically or psychologically ill -- all rooted in choosing not to forgive an offense -- holding on to betrayal and heartache that results in bitterness.

3. WHEN SHOULD FORGIVENESS ​TAKE PLACE?

When others come to you sincerely, acknowledging their wrongful actions toward or against you, you must forgive no matter how many times you may have been wronged. When you truly forgive, you become free from any internal bondage that has been weighing you down. You can have greater strength to propel you toward having a better quality of life.

It can be difficult to forgive others if you are still trying to process why they wronged you in the first place. This can especially be the case concerning those who are very near and dear to you. Oftentimes, those who are the closest to you can be the ones to hurt you the most. You may be unsure about whether or not you can ever trust them again.

When a bad mistake or choice has been made by someone else that has impacted or affected your life, your initial reaction may be to simply end a relationship or association immediately, rather than take any necessary action to work things out appropriately in order to determine if the relationship can be salvaged. Perhaps you may feel like a "fool" deep down inside because someone has betrayed you, and yet you don't want others to talk about you or lose respect for you if you want to work things out with someone who has wronged you. If you decide that certain individuals cannot be removed from your life or are an important part of your life because of the relationship or association you have with them, and you are willing to allow them to still be a part of your life or interact with you in whatever way you believe is necessary, then establish clear guidelines on how you will expect to be treated from now on. Respect yourself, and know their trust has to be earned.

4. WHERE SHOULD FORGIVENESS TAKE PLACE?

Forgiveness should take place deep within your heart, and it should remain embedded there, despite how badly you may have been wronged by others, whether they asked for your forgiveness, or not. You may one day have to face the very individuals who hurt you. 

It can be an exhilarating feeling to not cringe at the sound of the name or sight of the face of the very person who wronged you so deeply. Forgiveness is not excusing the wrong that has been done to you. Rather, forgiveness is giving a pardon or release toward the person who has wronged you in order for you to benefit by having a cleansed heart and peace of mind so you can move on with your life accordingly. 

Forgiveness does not mean that you should allow others to treat you like a doormat for them to step on. You deserve to be healthy [physically, mentally and emotionally] -- to have healthy relationships -- to be in a healthy environment. You may or may not choose to continue to have the individuals who have wronged you to remain in your life -- and the decision you make is one you will have to be at peace with. Forgiveness is trusting that in due time, justice will be given on your behalf accordingly without you seeking revenge.

5. HOW SHOULD YOU OPERATE IN FORGIVENESS?

You should simply treat others the way you would want to be treated. Oftentimes when you have been wronged by others, you may have a tendency to say you will forgive but you won't forget. In translation -- you may make an intended effort to constantly remind yourself (including everyone else around you) of the damage that has been done to you. You may end up sounding like a scratched record on a turntable -- because your thoughts remain stuck in that particular area of being hurt. 

Ironically, you yourself may be prone to making mistakes and decisions that can wrongfully affect or impact others in your life -- yet, you may expect others to forgive you and forget what you do to them. It's important to be mature enough to understand that growth and learning from any unfortunate experience is necessary for all involved. However, as a reminder, trust must be earned in the process. Have dignity and self-respect by setting clear boundaries for yourself going forward regarding your dealings with others. If you find yourself still constantly dwelling on and bringing up the past, and can't seem to move forward in life, then seeking professional help may be necessary.

Additionally, implementing the following process can help you flow easily in the power of forgiveness. Depending on the magnitude of your overall circumstance(s), this process may take some considerable thought and reflection. This is highly impactful, so take your time. 

A. List all of the actions you have caused that you felt remorse, guilt or shame about, along with the names of every person that may have been affected or impacted by your wrongful actions over the course of your life. Verbally acknowledge that you sincerely forgive yourself for your wrong doings, and pray that each person you have wronged will find it in their heart to pardon you in return.

B. List the names of every person that has been most difficult for you to forgive, and list specifically how you were wronged. Verbally acknowledge to yourself that you sincerely pardon and give mercy to every individual that has ever caused you any amount of hurt and resentment so you may be free to successfully move forward in life.

C. Specifically describe how you felt when you were affected by the hurtful actions that most affected your life by those who wronged you. Verbally acknowledge to yourself that you have empathy for those who wronged you, understanding he/she may have deep rooted issues to grow out of and learn from. Pray for each person that has wronged you -- that they will find it in their heart to sincerely turn from their wrongfulness and seek to forgive themselves.

D. List the steps you believe you will need to take in order to either seek reconciliation or distance yourself from certain individuals, or from unpleasant circumstances caused by others who have wronged you without seeking revenge, and begin to take right action to follow through completely. Verbally acknowledge to yourself that you trust and believe justice will be given on your behalf in due time, and will ultimately bring favor upon your life accordingly.

Summary

Choosing to forgive yourself and others may be one of the most difficult things to do. Perhaps you've had to face dire consequences as a result of your actions, and cannot see how you can ever make things right with those you've wronged. If you've been wronged, perhaps you can't get past the magnitude of the offense. No one knows better than you, what you may have experienced, or the depth of how much hurt and pain you may be feeling from within. Perhaps you believe that being unforgiving is justifiable. However, you do not have to remain stuck in unforgiveness. There is a way out...if you so choose.  

Be reminded to ask yourself these 5 important questions, which are tips to help forgive yourself and others:

1. Who is forgiveness available to?

2. Why is it difficult to forgive, and why must you forgive?

3. When should forgiveness take place?

4. Where should forgiveness take place?

5. How should you operate in forgiveness?

When you choose to forgive, you will free yourself to be on the path to having the abundance that awaits you to receive, and living a more healthy, better quality of life in return.

The eBook, PE Class Workout Guide authored by Ronda Phillips is a personal development and self improvement resource that can also help position you to be productive during the day. The ebook also includes Purpose and Empowerment Right Now Declarations, which provides hundreds of declarations to help remind you of who you are and that the best is still to come in your life. This recommended resource also includes a Manifestation Evaluation, Manifestation Equation, and Daily Manifestation Worksheet. This ebook is also an ideal keepsake gift for someone you care about. You can go here to discover more about the eBook,PE Class Workout Guide.

To Your Empowerment!

Known for her creative style, positive influence and straightforward professionalism, Ronda Phillips is a certified life coach,author, speaker, television host, style expert and entrepreneur. Her core mission is to empower and challenge individuals to become propelled to take charge of their life through preparation, performance and persistence. Ronda is the founder of Dare to Outdo Yourself!

Prepare. Perform. Persist.

daretooutdoyourself.com

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