5 steps to forgiveness

How to heal rifts

Stephanie Osfield reveals the 5 steps to forgiveness

1. Identify the reasons your relative hurt you

e.g. jealousy, lack of confidence, insensitive nature, rigid views – this will help you stop taking it so personally.

2. Find out why you are still angry

Examine the reasons you find it hard to forgive – e.g. embarrassment, feeling used, wanting revenge – then work on those emotions. If necessary, seek counselling.

3. Enact a ritual for letting go of the pain

Write a list or a letter outlining the many ways in which the hurtful event upset you and impacted on your life. Burn or bury it in a box as a symbol that this is in the past and you are putting it behind you.

4. Try to understand

Don’t focus on forgiving the act that hurt you but forgive the person for being so clueless, insensitive etc. – and try to view those inadequacies as their loss.

5. Visualise forgiveness

Do a visualisation where you bathe the person who hurt you in light and send them loving thoughts – really. You will feel more kindly disposed towards them. Your self-esteem will also get a boost because you will realise you are a generous person, with a great capacity for love.

NEXT: Making peace with your family>>

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