Any relations cannot exist without collapses. Crises and problems, no matter how severe they are for us, still have rather not a destructive, but a constructive function. It depends, however, on what we choose.
Forgiveness is a rather abstract and a highly specific thing at the same time since even a three-year-old child already has some experience of asking for forgiveness. But it becomes increasingly difficult to forgive when you become older, in particular, when it all is about essential or vitally important issues.
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There is no recipe following which it would become easier to forgive. But we offer some tips as to what can be done in complicated moments of one’s existence.
- To forgive oneself. Something has happened, which is not to be forgotten, refuted, thrown away from memory. But no matter how hard we try to re-format our attention and attitude, painful feelings do not go away. Quite often in such moments forgiveness seems to be impossible. Treason, offence, hypocrisy … Can these be forgiven? Yes, moreover, it is worth doing it as soon as possible, and one should start with oneself. Forgive oneself. Think over all the details of the disagreement, try and ask yourself for forgiveness for what has happened, and not otherwise. With no reproach, but with the feeling of healthy selfishness. That is the first step.
- To give some time for oneself. Most often, emotional storms clearly accompany any problem. And the best case is when these emotions subside naturally – then things get clear for you. When you are still ready to nail your offender to the wall – you are definitely not ready to forgive.
- To limit communication with those whom you are not ready to forgive. This is the effect of keeping to a diet. Abstaining in order to be able to get back.
- To be honest with oneself. If the wound aches a lot and bleeds, and you are trying to make yourself smile as if nothing has happened, remember: it has happened. The fact that you don’t get rid of the problem but rather hide it away, will not make you happy, but rather unhappy.
- To look for an adviser. Very many life collapses and difficulties sometimes really seem to be disastrous. But nobody lives in an isolated world. Communication is a gift which has a rescuing power. To find a person who listens to you and helps you assess the situation with a sound mind is a very important step towards forgiveness.
- To read the Bible. No book is so full of forgiveness stories as this one. The whole Old Testament is full of stories about people with boisterous emotions, their lifestyles were never passive, and, therefore, their lives were full of crises. But all those ordeals made them stronger.
- To learn from Jesus. Jesus lived among people, and people were always different. Jesus was full of wisdom in his relations with people, and even more – full of love. On the Cross the Saviour was praying for God to forgive all those who were torturing Him. And he humbly gave His life for the crowds of traitors and sinners. And after His death He appeared to His disciples who got scattered for fear, leaving Him. And to Peter who had denied Him three times …
- To remember about one’s faults. Nothing activates the process of forgiveness as much as empathy. Each of us offends others, and sometimes these are all extremely subjective misunderstandings. And everybody once felt reconciliation when (s)he was forgiven. We are not ideal. We are learning.
- To pray ‘Our Father’. This prayer left for people by Jesus contains perfect words: ‘and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us’. Each time in our talk with God we acknowledge our infirmity and an unsurpassable wish to be forgiven, that is to restore connection with God-Love. But that is possible only if we forgive those who are near us.
- To trust God. God is always present in most desperate situations. He knows and sees everything. Here one should recall the blessing of the poor in spirit – our dependence on God’s power, and let Him act. And He knows how to ‘sort it all out’.
Author: Tetyana Trachuk