Letting Go and Forgiving, part II – 6/2 meeting

On Thursday June 2nd, Steve gave us a presentation entitled; “ Letting go and Forgiving, part II. 

Steve’s topic of discussion this past Thursday was a return visit to the topic of forgiveness, with a little more focus on self-forgiveness this time around. With a reminder at the beginning of a general definition of forgiveness; forgiveness means different things to everyone. In general “ forgiveness is basically a decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge”.  

Steve advised that forgiveness does not mean forgetting. However we must realize we can’t control the memories that stay with us, but we can control the attention we might give to these memories. If we learn to be mindful and acknowledge these memories, that’s okay. But once the memories are acknowledged, then refocus your attention elsewhere and move on.  Try hard not to ruminate over these memories, and learn to set healthy mental boundaries. 

Steve also explained that forgiveness and anger don’t mix. If you find yourself feeling angry towards someone who has hurt you, pause and acknowledge that anger. Then ask yourself, will continuing to focus on what happened do me any good? Try to remember just because your anger feels right, doesn’t mean it’s helpful. Validate your anger, but don’t ruminate over it.

There was also a little more focus this time around on self-forgiveness. 

Steve spoke about the Four R’s of self-forgiveness;

Responsibility….accept responsibility for what you’ve done. Try showing a little compassion towards yourself this time! Facing how you may have hurt someone is the first step of self-forgiveness. If you try and take responsibility for the hurt you may have caused, it may help you avoid the guilt. 

Remorse…after you take responsibility for the hurt you have caused, you might start having feelings of guilt. Having these feelings of remorse may signal a start of more positive behavior for you. Feel guilty without dwelling on it.

Repair the damage…making amends can be important, whether you’re forgiving another person or yourself. If it’s someone else you have hurt, apologize if you feel it’s necessary, and look for ways to make it up to them. If you fix what you’ve done, you’ll never wonder if you could have done more.

Renewal…Forgiving yourself might mean finding a way to learn from the experience, and maybe grow to be a better person. Even though you may have made a mistake, you should try to look at it as a learning experience. 

Forgiveness does also offer health benefits, such as ;

– it may help lower blood pressure 

– reduce anxiety 

– help you sleep better 

-may help improve your self-esteem 

Steve also had mentioned you should try to look at forgiveness as more of an attitude, or even a habit, rather than just a decision.

Maybe try and look at forgiveness as more of a commitment, rather than a feeling. We need to learn to embrace how unique our own road to forgiveness truly is. 

Steve also had some advice for for moving on after forgiveness;

1) focus on everything good you have in your life 

2) forgiveness may teach you more about compassion 

3) try and work on your own happiness, you may want someone to regret hurting you, but that other person may not think they hurt you, or even care. 

4) be kind to yourself

5) Remember to practice self-care

6) and be with others who make you feel good! 

And most importantly, allow peace to enter your life once you have forgiven someone.

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