To practice forgiveness, it helps if you have worked on positively changing your inner world by learning to be what I call “forgivingly fit.” Just as you would start slowly with a new physical exercise routine, it helps if you build up your forgiving heart muscles slowly, incorporating regular “workouts” into your everyday life.
You can start becoming more fit by making a commitment to do no harm—in other words, making a conscious effort not to talk disparagingly about those who’ve hurt you. You don’t have to say good things; but, if you refrain from talking negatively, it will feed the more forgiving side of your mind and heart.
You can also make a practice of recognizing that every person is unique, special, and irreplaceable. You may come to this through religious beliefs or a humanist philosophy or even through your belief in evolution. It’s important to cultivate this mindset of valuing our common humanity, so that it becomes harder to discount someone who has harmed you as unworthy.
How do I reach a state of forgiveness?
Forgiveness is a commitment to a personalized process of change. To move from suffering to forgiveness, you might:
-Recognize the value of forgiveness and how it can improve your life
-Identify what needs healing and who needs to be forgiven and for what
-Consider joining a support group or seeing a counselor
-Acknowledge your emotions about the harm done to you and how they affect your behavior, and work to release them
-Choose to forgive the person who’s offended you
-Move away from your role as victim and release the control and power the offending person and situation have had in your life
As you let go of grudges, you’ll no longer define your life by how you’ve been hurt. You might even find compassion and understanding.
Source: Mayo Clinic
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