The Nature of Conflict and 13 Steps to Forgiveness

The Nature of Conflit

1. People dwell on failed relationships because they believe the other person never cared.

2. In reality, both people wanted different things.

3. The more you tell yourself someone doesn’t care, the deeper you drive yourself into an obsessive cycle of masochistic, self inflicted mental abuse. But now, more than ever, is the time to be nice to yourself.

4. Recognize that in reality, the other person probably is hurting too. Not in the same way you are maybe, but you are not alone in your suffering.

5. Recognize that sometimes if someone won’t talk to you, it’s not because they don’t care but because they care too much.

6. Recognize that if both parties can’t move past their differences, then both parties will continue to hurt until forgiveness happens.

13 Steps to Forgiveness 

1. The first step in forgiveness is to realize that you only know one side of the story

2. The other half of the story you fill in to meet your own needs

3. First you have to detach from the story and look at the facts

4. Repeat them to yourself and recognize that you have the power to move past the story

5. Once you can see the story as a series of facts and not as a story about something bad that happened to you, then you need to work on sending peace, love and healing to the person you need to forgive

6. It can be hard to focus on someone who hurt you directly. If that’s the case, start out by simply sending love, healing and peace to the entire world. That should break up any icy chunks you have in your heart if you do this 5-7 times a week. This is a good practice to get in to even if there is no one you need to forgive because it will heal wounds in your heart you didn’t even know existed.

7. Once you’ve learned how to send love to the world and you no longer struggle with holding back, begin to mention the person you need to forgive by name. If you’re still not comfortable with this, start a “prayer list”. Ask your family and friends who would like to be remembered in your meditations. Slip the names of those people who you need to forgive in with the people you love to make it easier to mention them. This will also help you deepen your compassion for the people you care about. During this time, people who are not strong connections may fade as you grow into a different person. That’s OK. Let what’s not needed fall away.

8. Do this nightly and you’ll notice your feelings change. The anger and hurt will fade into acceptance. Don’t be surprised if other areas of your life that are lacking suddenly seem to change. You may even feel a profound sense of gratitude for the trial you went through and realize it’s all part of the journey.

9. At some point during the time between when you start the journey and you find the meaning of forgiveness, you may be compelled to write to the person that hurt you. You may even write many letters on your journey. At first, the letters may be long and angry. Don’t hold back but don’t send those letters. This is for you to get all of your feelings out. Some people say burning letters helps.

10. When you’ve finally found peace, then if you feel the need to send a letter, do so. However, don’t expect a reply. Acknowledge that the person who hurt you owes you nothing. He or she has their own free will and forgiving is letting that person go without clinging to the past. And by letting them go, you open the door to the potential for being forgiven as well.

11. I always feel the exact moment when forgiveness occurs. All of a sudden, it’s like I let go of a balloon and watch it float away until I can’t see it any more. You’ll instantly feel lighter and you’ll know that the karma has been set right.

12. The only constant in life is change and our greatest challenges can become our greatest strengths. Just because you forgive someone and let them go doesn’t mean that you don’t still love that person or miss him and her. What it really means is that you are able to finally at peace with the fact that this person is no longer in your life, just like when someone dies. Just like a beloved deceased, you will always miss that person, but you accept they’re gone.

13. But a symbolic death such as the death of a relationship makes room in your life for other things to grow. You now have time for other things. Pick something you’ve always wanted to do and do it. And thank the person who left for giving you the space to become a better person.

The greatest lessons of love are sometimes taught by those who hurt us the most. This doesn’t mean that what the person did wasn’t wrong. But it does mean that you’ve given yourself the power to recover and become a stronger person from the suffering you endured. Forgiveness doesn’t happen overnight and it’s not easy. But just like recovering from a bad accident, the right amount of rest, recovery, and therapy will heal you. 

Remember, Forgiveness is for you, not any one else. To forgive is to give yourself the gift of peace.

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