Forgive your childhood and those that may have hurt you.
How often do the events of our youth shape who we are today? The laughs, the joy, the sadness, and even the pain can follow us from those days of youth and become a thread in our minds today. Recall the anger and fear you felt when someone you depended on berated you and told you, ‘Well, you will never amount to anything!’. Has someone ever told you, “I hate you and wish you were never born!’.
Some have felt the sting of such words and still react today because forgiveness from those events has not been achieved. Getting to a place of peace and wholeness requires coming to terms with the hurt one endured as a child and moving on with forgiveness. Though we can’t change our past, we can accept that it did happen and let us get to the point of releasing the hurt and pain which resulted from those events. Wholeness comes from forgiveness. Holistic and Trauma-focused therapy may be quite helpful in achieving such forgiveness.
Forgive your family, who may still cause you some hurt and pain.
Husbands fall short and offend their wives; likewise, the wife may say something that brings disappointment and even anger to the husband. Children lash out and say things that may remind a parent of their childhood, while parents may repeat the words they heard towards their children. When one considers family dynamics, there are times when someone will offend the other. Humanity has flaws and, therefore, is apt to say or do things that are hurtful to each other. Sometimes the hurt was unintentional, and other times it was done with malice.
We often find that hurtful words and actions have no boundaries regarding loved ones. Bitterness and resentfulness are as familiar as the spices in the kitchen cabinet. However, a family that grows closer can recognize when they offend the other and take ownership. In addition, the recipients of such hurt must find it within themselves to forgive the offender. Though we may forgive a loved one, we don’t have to forget what was done to us, so we are conscious that they are making genuine changes for the good. In other words, forgiveness is not done in a vacuum but with the intent of restoration by the offended and a repentant heart by the offender. Family systems therapy and marriage counseling are options to achieve forgiveness in these examples.
Forgive yourself and the mistakes that you made
Wholeness comes when we know that we can forgive our mistakes and that others have made mistakes toward us. Healing occurs when we can tell ourselves, “I forgive you for what you have done’ and ‘I forgive those who have likewise done to me.’ We must be determined to let go of those things done to us and recognize that the inner child can be made whole. It may take time and cognitive behavioral therapy or integrative therapy, but it can be accomplished.
Once we have forgiven ourselves, our next step is to make things better. Reach out to those we may have offended and offer them an apology if warranted. Self-forgiveness is coming to terms with the pain and hurt and growing from those events. “Yes, the event happened, and I did it without excuse, but I refuse to let that define who I am.” “I can change myself and make things whole again.” Forgiving one’s mistakes is the beginning of inner growth if repentance leads to genuine change for the better
At Commitment to Hope, our therapists can help empower you to forgive those who caused you to hurt and forgive yourself. You can validate your feelings from those events and find a safe place of healing. We serve all of Ohio through telehealth therapy. In addition, our therapists have offices in Cleveland, Toledo, and Canton. Our team is eager to assist you: please make an appointment.