Forgiveness is about letting the emotional heat of the wrong done against you subside, gradually accepting what has happened and finding a way to live with it, then moving on with your life. This pertains to whether it is a person that has done something hurtful, or if you’ve experienced life-changing circumstances.

It is entirely up to you whether you are willing to forgive a hurt or terrible wrongdoing against you; in deeply hurtful, abusive or tragic situations it may be impossible to ever forgive.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean you must tell the other person that you forgive them, although you can if you are ready to do so. Forgiving someone also doesn’t mean that they have to be part of your life any more. You’re in control of that.

You need to give yourself time to process your feelings about an incident before you can park any upset or anger. However, be aware of yourself – holding on to bitterness can end up being destructive for you. Remember: harbouring a grudge debilitates you rather than the other person.

Think about why the incident happened, why the other person behaved as they did or how conditions came about to put you in an awful position. Is there anything that you might have done wrong? Can you see why the other person conducted themselves as they did? This, and no longer obsessing about how put upon you feel, can help take you to the point of forgiveness and acceptance.

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