5 Step Forgivenss Plan (Step 4)

Today, we cover step 4 in my 5 Step Forgiveness plan.

Step 4- Do something special to symbolize moving beyond

If you’ve followed the first three steps of this plan, you should be getting ready to finally release this old hurt from your life. You’ve already moved beyond the anger to what was really bothering you (step 1), then licked those wounds a bit (step 2), and figured out 3 positive things that came from this hurtful event (step 3). Now, you are ready to say goodbye to this unwelcome hurt in your life!

Start by picking a date on the calendar in the not too distant future, but at least a day or two out. Circle this date, and come up with a ritual or event to do on this date to symbolize letting go. It can be as big or little or complex or simple as you’d like it to be, as long as it feels right for you.

You could….

  • Give something or things away to create new space in your home
  • Make a donation to someone in need
  • Do something nice/special with someone else
  • Treat yourself to a massage, a day off from work, new sheets or towels or something to represent new life in your home
  • Burn pictures or letters that represent the past
  • Write a letter to the person or yourself thanking them for what you learned from this event
  • Burry something symbolic or create a time capsule of some kind
  • Burn some sage to clear negative energy from your home
  • Take a long walk where you picture pieces of this old injury falling by the wayside as you move, and when you come to the end you’ll have no more burden left to carry

It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as it feels right for you!

Next, consciously perform the ritual and remind yourself along they way why you are doing this. Be aware of what you feel and experience and allow yourself to feel those feelings.

The more we ignore or try to avoid negative feelings, the more power they have over us.  Which is exactly what gets us into the pattern of holding onto resentment and anger in the first place.  So don’t ignore anything that comes up… just notice it. You’ll find making peace with whatever comes us is effortless when you simply acknowledge it.

5 Step Forgiveness Plan (Step 3)

All right, so we’ve reviewed steps 1 (move beyond the anger), and 2 (take care of yourself), in my 5-Step Forgiveness Plan. Now we are ready to move onto step 3.

Step 3 is a really important component of this process, not that all the steps aren’t important, because they are, but step 3 is where you really start taking back the power over your own feelings and begin to see whatever happened in a new light.

Step 3- Find 3 things you are grateful for that wouldn’t have happened without this hurt.

There is a ripple effect to everything! Sometimes we have to look hard for it, but there is always something good, that wouldn’t have happened otherwise, that comes out of something bad.

  • Maybe we discover strength we didn’t know we had
  • Maybe we reconnected or deepened our connection with someone else as a result of what happened
  • Maybe this door closing opened a window to a path we would have never seen before
  • Maybe we found a new job that doesn’t suck our soul dry
  • Maybe we discovered a new passion in life
  • Maybe we were kept from heading down the wrong path for our core self
  • Maybe we were kept from making a big mistake
  • Maybe we were kept from giving our life, love, and support from someone who doesn’t deserve it
  • Maybe we were jolted into fully living and experiences our life instead of sleepwalking though our days

If you look for it, you will find the ways that the ripple effect has influenced your life, and begin to see the original injury or hurt in a new light. When you make the connection between this hurtful event and the wonderful things that have happened in your life as a result of it, (which sometimes can be a step or two removed from it- meaning that the event lead you to them in a round about way) it will be effortless to let go of the anger and resentment.

If you watched The Bachelorette this week, you heard Ali refer to one of my favorite quotes after getting her heart broken by Frank: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”- Eleanor Roosevelt. This is exactly why I love step 3 so much! Step 3 is about taking charge of your own life and the path you’ve taken and seeing it more clearly from your own lens and making it all about YOU! It takes the power away from what they did and gives it back to you.

So, what 3 things are you grateful for that you that you wouldn’t have experienced otherwise?

5 Step Forgiveness Plan (Step 2)

Last time we explored step 1 in my 5 step forgiveness plan, which is moving beyond the anger to your real feelings and just acknowledging them.  Now we are ready for step 2.

Step 2- Take Care of Yourself

Now that you know what your real feelings are, and what really hurts, you can take the steps necessary to create healing in yourself.

Figure out what you would need to heal from this hurt you experienced and give it to yourself.  Treat yourself, pamper yourself,  lick your own wounds and make time to take care of yourself. You not only deserve it, but you need it in order to put this burden down.

Often the people who hurt or embarrass us the most aren’t able to, or willing to, heal the hurts they caused.  Waiting around from them to make us feel better, just gives them more power over us. To really move beyond anger and resentment we need to reclaim our power and take back the control over how we feel about ourselves.

So step 2 is do the nice things for yourself that will allow the hurts created by another person to heal.  It may be as simple as treating yourself to a day off, or a mani/pedi, or a new dress.  Or it may take learning to use the word “no” and creating better boundaries in your life so you have less toxic and taxing people in your life.  It doesn’t matter how big or small the gesture is, as long as it aligns with the sad or hurt feelings that are beneath your anger.

5 Step Forgiveness Plan (Step 1)

Gosh, can you believe it’s July already?  June just flew by, and now July seems to be doing the same thing!  Checking the calendar, I realize I’ve gotten a bit (OK, maybe more than a bit) behind on my newsletter and blog posting, so I’ve decided to take a page out of my own play book, and create more balance in my life (and blog) by making my newsletter into a bimonthly topic instead of a monthly topic.

I am finding that I have more to say about each topic than one month allows, so I am going to take advantage of time and dedicate 2 months to each topic.  Hopefully, this will allow me to share more thoughts with you guys, and time for you to actually read and process what I write.

That being said, I am going to use the month of July to break my 5 step forgiveness plan into a few posts.  My hope is that giving you each step one by one will allow you to follow and experience the forgiveness process in real time vs. just reading about it and trying to apply it on your own later.

So here we go…..

Step 1-Move Beyond Anger

I know this can sound like a difficult step, in fact you may have thought that this step alone is forgiveness, but it’s not.  This is where the journey to real, genuine forgiveness begins.

Anger and resentment are really just brave faces we put on to mask our real hurts from those who hurt us, and sometimes from ourselves.  Staying in anger is easy because it makes whatever happened about the other person’s actions and not the hurt we felt as a result of their actions.

Staying angry and resentful keeps us treading water so to speak, or surface level.  Which makes complete sense- I mean we did just get our feelings hurt!

But remaining at surface level does not allow us to heal and move on.  Moving beyond anger to what your real feelings are is like treating an illness vs. treating it’s symptoms.   So for step 1, take some time and figure out why this really hurts, or is embarrassing, or feels like it’s happened before, or has brought out such intense emotion in you.

Allow yourself to get in touch with these real feelings, and just simply acknowledge them.  You’ll be amazed the relief this brings.