We're All Human: 6 Things To Remember When Forgiving Others

Each of us has people in our lives we probably wish we had never met, but a healthy self is needed for a better future.

Here’s how we can find healing through forgiving:

1. Recognize the problem isn’t him or her; it’s us.

Hatred is the only time in life where we create a prison, lock ourselves in, hold onto the key and believe the guilty are somehow being punished.

There’s only a handful of people in my history who I genuinely loathed, and it was always because of the way they treated me. Years later, when I confronted them separately, they barely remembered it. One of them couldn’t recall the event at all.

We tend to believe that by hating someone, our hate somehow makes him or her suffer. However, people continue living their own lives, unaffected by our inner struggle.

2. Recognize that we choose to be the victim of our story… or the hero.

The hero is the protagonist in every story, the person we root for and the person we aspire to be. The victim is the whiner, the one who thinks, "The world revolves around me.” He or she allows other characters in the story to control him or her.

I don’t want my happiness or role in life to be dependent on the wavering emotions, words and decisions of others I can’t control.

We’ve all been there, haven’t we? We’ve been taken advantage of and fooled; we were victims for a short period of time. However, we can’t keep playing the victim if we want to be happy.

Life is more rewarding and exciting when we leave our victim status behind and become the protagonist of our life story.

3. Recognize that we, too, have often needed forgiveness from others.

I need forgiveness every day. I don’t have the world figured out and never will. I’ve said and done things when my emotions flared, looked back in hindsight and wanted to crawl in a hole to hide.

When we’re emotional, the emotional side of our brain actually heats and “out shouts” the logical side. That’s why people's behavior can be shocking when they're feeling emotional.

We all yearn for forgiveness and desire it from loved ones, even from strangers. We should remember this the next time someone is genuinely apologizing to us.

4. Recognize that hate is a pendulum swing from our love.

In my personal experience, I have genuinely cared about all the people who have hurt me. I’ve found that the more I was hurt, I had, in equal measure, loved and invested into the lives of these people. When people are hurting, they need a comforter, not a commentator.

Once we heal and the sun shines again, however, what if we choose to be thankful for having met them, known them and for the lessons those encounters taught us? They made us wiser and more thankful for the people in our lives who love us through all circumstances.

We are never thankful for the pain, but we are often thankful for the lessons we learned from the pain.

5. Recognize that we should never apologize for loving someone.

As my life passes, I want to be happy. I want to be known as someone others know they can love, confide in, spend time with and feel safe, wanted and glad to be in my presence.

6. Know that living a beautiful life is the best revenge.

Let’s be careful here: If our attitude is at a healed, healthy, balanced state, we won’t care about revenge or if someone approves of us. We’ll be too busy living out our happy life.

However, if you need motivation to make that first step towards forgiveness, think on number six as you take your initial steps.

Cognitive psychology teaches that when our minds dwell on the negative in life, we become negative-minded toward all we encounter, and this affects our mood and our bodies.

If you want to love life and be glad to be alive, do is this one thing: Alter how you choose to respond to what you encounter.

We believe the story we tell ourselves. Don’t underestimate the power of the human mind. Our mind directs all we think, say and do. Let’s take care of it.

Photo Courtesy: We Heart It