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How to Forgive and Forget: 4 Pillars of Forgiveness to Live By

Learn how to forgive and forget by taking on a new, healthy mindset. A healthy mind is the one that doesn't allow negative feelings to be left alone to fester. Drop the negative to make room for the positive.

How to forgive and forget

The power of forgiveness can completely change your life. When you decide to forgive everybody their past wrongdoings against you, you empower yourself. You no longer have negative thoughts lingering in the back of your mind. The toxicity of holding grudges adds pounds upon pounds of mental baggage that can make us become fatigued. By harboring negative feelings toward people, you think you are "getting back" at them. However, by not practicing forgiveness, you are hurting yourself more than them.

woman holding cup of tea

Pillars of forgiveness to live by

1. Please and sorry

2. Forgiveness takes practice

3. Feeling neutral

4. Mutual benefit

Ignorance is Bliss in This Crazy World we Live In. Learn How to Forgive and Forget, and You Will Be Showing the Highest Form of Unconditional Love that Exists

It takes somebody confident and strong to take the leap of faith and apologize. It takes someone even stronger to forgive.

1. Forgiveness revolves around please and sorry

How difficult is it for you to apologize to someone? It depends on the situation, most would say. But keep this in mind: there are three important phrases to say that are effective in any culture. In order to fit in with a society, these three phrases are crucial to remember. "Thank you", "Please", and "I'm sorry".

sorry notepad

The last, "I'm sorry", can be the most difficult to say out of the three. However, apologizing has the power to fix even the most broken of relationships. It can be the difference between a burning a bridge and getting back together with your Ex. Our sense of pride can sometimes get in the way. But in order to further our journey to become a complete person, we must learn how to forgive and forget.

Impact of words

Can words have the impact we imagine them to? They certainly don't hurt, when you use them sparingly and genuinely. People can spot other's ingenuine nature from a mile away. You have to really mean what you say, in order for people to see how sorry you are. Conversely, you can spot genuine apologies and forgive in a moment's notice if need be.

Apologize first

By protecting your ego and refusing to say two simple words, you are building pressure. When you take the high road and decide to be the first to apologize, the pressure is off. Try apologizing to someone when you feel tension in the relationship, even when you can't think of anything that you did wrong.

sad girl looking at own reflection

Just say, "Listen, I'm sorry for anything I did to you". It's an empowering feeling to apologize and forgive. It doesn't cost anything, and it almost always goes appreciated. Forgiveness is a true relationship builder.

Learn from mistakes

Live and learn from your mistakes. The point of apologizing is making a promise that you will avoid the same mistake in the future. So when you apologize, make a genuine apology instead of an apology mixed with excuses. When someone apologizes to you, always accept it.

couple hugging

Think of someone else's apology as free food. It's free, take it and be happy! Whether their apology is genuine or not is irrelevant. Take them at their word and move on as if nothing even happened.

Relationships are held together through forgiveness

Do you have an ex-boyfriend that you still think about occasionally? Failed relationships can make us bitter. Unless you two have agreed to be friends, it would suit you best to forget about him. Time heals all wounds. Give it a month or two. If he hasn't contacted you, he has moved on. It's time you do the same.

flowers shoes and present

If you've messed something up, and you've apologized for it, you have nothing left to think about. But you should be the first to apologize. Never wait for an apology. State your true feelings, and then leave it upon him to return the favor when he feel most comfortable. He knows your contact information, the ball is in his court now.

Ignorance is Bliss

In relationships, the less you think, the better. You are living in the moment, enjoying your time together. When you are apart, you are living your life and not worrying about his. Anything you did wrong on the last date was forgiven because you apologized while you were with him. Instead of waiting to apologize on the phone, do it as soon as you make the mistake. Holding back true feelings is a sure way to make you go crazy. Forgiveness makes the process of enjoying yourself in the moment go a lot more smoothly. Apologize for your wrongdoings, and quickly forgive his.

2. Forgiveness is something you only get better at through practice

If someone does apologize, acknowledge that forgiveness is a rare and beautiful thing. Appreciate it every time. Smile and act like they've never even done anything wrong. For anything small, I say "You're sorry? Sorry for what?" If something major, just a simple "No worries" will do fine. I am quick to apologize, and quick to forgive.

bowing girl

Put yourself in their shoes. If you were to apologize, how would you feel if they kept talking about your mistake? The only acceptable decision in any situation is heeding my advice on how to forgive and forget, or else you are just rubbing salt in their wounds.

Open your heart

Forgiveness words are becoming a rare commodity in this hypersensitive and overly-inflated egotistical society we all live in today. It's so rare, in fact, that you would be setting yourself apart from the rest by being easy to forgive forget people. You will be appreciated and respected for your easygoing attitude towards life. It's easier just to be friendly and forgiving than it is to be mean and unforgiving. Turn yourself into a person that you can be proud of. Stop hating yourself or you can never truly love others and learn to forgive. Once you learn to forgive, your heart will open itself to new possibilities. You will be more accepting of people, and you will be at peace with yourself. Life is more enjoyable when we all learn to forgive.

3. Keep your feelings neutral

Some like to spout the wisdom that you should always forgive but never forget. Personally, I like to forgive and forget. I give others a new slate to start with every time I see them. That goes for people I don't hold negative feelings for, also.

hands drifting apart

My feelings about an individual are never too high and never too low, so that the next time I see them I am able to see it as a fresh experience. Even if I saw them the day before, I greet them like it has been a month since the last time I saw them.

Never too high, never too low

Never too high, never too low is the name of the game. If you keep your emotions in check, then you are better able to think rationally while talking with people. This helps you keep an open mind when you are confused. Emotions can be confusing, which is why you should give others the benefit of the doubt and forgive even when what they did was really wrong. Don't just forgive people when it benefits you; forgive people even when it's really hard to forgive. This is what separates the humanitarians from people who lack empathy.

You can forgive someone just as easily as you can forget the mistake they made. Humans make mistakes; it's a part of life. Understand that you too make mistakes all the time, and people forgive you eventually. You should do the same in return. People can't help but be human. Show that you are human as well and forgive them immediately afterward. Life is too short to hold grudges.

4. Forgiveness is for the best

Forgiving is giving the other person the benefit of the doubt and increasing your worth in their mind. The most important part of learning how to forgive and forget however, is to completely forget about it afterward. Forgiving is for their sake, forgetting is for yours.

girl looking at flowers

Forgetting is clearing your mind of negativity. You are better able to welcome new people into your life, and encourage old friends back into your life. There is no disadvantage to having many friends, as long as those friendships make you a better person. The art of forgiveness is not challenging. But once you master it, you gain better control over your relationships and yourself.

Put your ego aside

Forgiveness is about putting your ego aside and joining others in coexisting peacefully with each other. Without words of forgiveness, nothing would get done. Holding grudges is not something that civilized adults should get used to doing. If you know anybody that holds grudges, which just means that they haven't matured mentally enough for relationships. In order to be a normally functioning adult in this world, you must learn to open your heart and forgive to forget.
It's not optional anymore, forgiveness is an idea that spreads love in the world. The world needs more love and less pride. Imagine a world where everyone is easy to forgive; a magical utopia. We would be more efficient in all aspects of life and problems such as sexism and racism would be ancient history.

Forgive forget and focus on the positive

Letting go of resentment will allow you to focus on more positive things, like making new relationships. Thinking negatively about anybody for more than a moment will manifest itself and make us project those feelings towards others that have nothing to do with it. However, when you are constantly around people, there is no time to dwell on negativity: otherwise you'll risk making a bad impression on people who don't deserve it.

By Kacia Nall

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