My dad and I never really got along. We were like oil and water and we didn’t mix at all. I always held a grudge against my dad because I thought he never loved me or really cared. He was always distant and never expressed how he felt. Sometimes, he would share his emotions, but not that often. I saw other families and how they interacted, and wished mine was the same.
Instead of forgiving my dad and communicating with him, I kept silent and “pushed” all my feelings and emotions down. My actions stemming from this caused me to lose relationships, and keep people at a distance because of my feelings of shame and inadequacy.
I wished though that I would have sat down much earlier and spoke to my dad about all of this.
Don’t make the same mistake as me. Learn from it. Take your power back!
Holding onto all the pain, anger, disappointment and shame inside isn’t healthy, personally or professionally. Whatever happens in your personal life affects your career or business.
“What we don’t recognize is holding onto resentment is like holding onto your breath. You’ll soon start to suffocate.” – Deepak Chopra
Today, I’m going to walk you through below the exact steps that thousands of my clients have used to move forward in their lives with or without the person they are having the conflict with. I’m also going to give you a bonus guide at the end of the article to massively improve the quality and depth of your personal and professional life and relationships.
We all have had people that have let us down and hurt us. For example, they may have betrayed us, made us feel very small, stolen from us, or did something that has made a deep and lasting effect on our lives. This pain we have inside often times is what defines us or is a major defining factor. We’ve put up walls because of the pain and we have shut the world out. It’s time to break down the walls and move forward.
Forgiveness is an essential ingredient to releasing and letting go of the past and eliminating the need to re-create pain in our life, which is reflected in our relationships with others.
When we don’t forgive, we make someone else’s behavior “about us”. We carry their dysfunctions and make them our own.
Forgiveness is a critical action to take, and it may be the only thing holding you back to create the life you want to live.
“Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself.” – Tony Robbins
How to Forgive Anyone (Three Step Process)
The first step of forgiveness is to realize it’s a unilateral step, which means that it only takes one person to forgive. You alone are responsible for forgiving and accepting forgiveness. The fantastic part is you don’t need the other person to engage at all.The key point of this exercise is to let go of the pain and hurt so you can move forward in your life and all your relationships.
The caveat here is if you are trying to reconcile with the person, then a further step need to be taken with that person. I’ll share that with you in Step 3.
Step 1: Write or handwrite a letter to the person who you need to forgive. State in the letter what happened to make you feel the strong emotions you do, what role they played, and why today it still causes pain, hurt, etc. Next, tell them that you are forgiving them, and why you are doing this. Say anything else you feel.
Step 2: Now take the letter, go in front of the mirror and read it. Make sure wherever you do this is quiet and where you can’t get disturbed. Before you start, close your eyes and think of the person and see their face, body, expressions, etc. Then open up your eyes, and start reading the letter. Feel whatever emotions that come up in the moment and just let them flow out…don’t hold back anything. After you finish the letter, take thirty minutes (or longer) and process it all as best you can. I recommend taking a walk or finding a quiet place to reflect. How do you feel now versus before? What emotions are running through you? What do you need to do to finally let this all go?
“True forgiveness is when you can say thank you for that experience.” – Oprah Winfrey
Step 3 (optional): What if you want to reconcile with the person? I recommend that you contact them, and ask them to meet you.
You want to mention that you think it is very important to meet you because they were and are a very important part of your life. You want to mention things you appreciate and care about them, and why you think that.
You need to finally mention that you want to move forward with them in your life, and would like to meet with them to discuss how you can do this.
Include the email or handwritten letter with your request to meet with them
On the day you meet them, you want to greet them warmly, and thank them for taking the time to meet with you.
First, start by exchanging some small talk for a couple minutes so you both can get more relaxed and in the flow.
Second, you will want to address the letter you wrote. Tell them why they are important to you, and why you want them back in your life. Many times we say things, “I love you,” but that doesn’t have a context and the person you tell that to does not know the “why” reason. The “why” is absolutely critical! That’s what makes the difference because the other person knows what they did and how it helped you, how you felt, etc. It makes it real.
Third, you want to address the situation and tell them quickly what happened and how that made you feel. Accept responsibility for your actions and reactions. Own it!
“Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could be any different.” – Oprah Winfrey
Fourth, ask them how they feel about the situation. You need to ask them questions to make them feel included in the process and you for to better understand where they are coming from. You may not be aware of things that are vital for you to move forward with this person. You need to stand in the other person’s shoes. So do it!
Finally, at the end of conversation, be clear on what the steps might be whether it is meeting again, talking again, etc. It’s important you are clear on what you want to happen, and what they want to happen. Again, I’d reiterate how important this was for you, and you are appreciative of their time and willingness to talk.
Two other important things to remember while going through the reconciliation process:
- It’s important to be vulnerable, open, honest and say what’s on your mind. You can’t move forward unless you let it all out.
- You also need to empower the person to a have a voice and share their feelings and what they are thinking. Many times, we don’t really know what’s going in the other person’s mind. We don’t give them the space to truly communicate and express their feelings and emotions.
Whatever the outcome is make sure and remember that clearing out the negativity, pain and suffering is the most important part of this process. You can’t control what the other person says or does, but you can for yourself.
So use the power of forgiveness to move forward in your life!
So that’s it! I followed this exact model with my dad right before he died and it is something I’m very glad I did. We ended up having the best conversation we ever had. Don’t live your life with regrets. Instead take action now.
And there you have it! There is a three step proven process to forgive yourself and others. Leave a comment below and let me know if this helped you, and if you have someone you need to forgive in your life.
As I mentioned above I have something special for you.
Would you like to increase your happiness and passion in your life, while massively improving all your personal and professional relationships?
Jason Treu is one the top life mastery coach (and reformed lawyer) helping men and women create the business, relationships and life they love. His new #1 bestselling book, Social Wealth, is a how-to-guide on how to build extraordinary personal and professional relationships. You can download his free guide, “Three Steps to Push Past Procrastination & Make 2015 Your Best Year Ever.” Connect with him and get coaching at BeExtraordinary.tv.
I’m committed to helping you right now. I’ve put together a short guide that includes six step-by-step exercises, similar to the forgiveness one above, for free along with a complimentary copy of my #1 bestselling ebook and audio book on Amazon, Social Wealth.Click here to get it.
Image Credit: miamihypnosiscenter.com
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