So even if you’ve decided to forgive people who’ve wronged you in the past, you may not know how to go about forgiving them. It’s difficult to figure out how do you really truly at a deep level, let go of the pain that you feel from what’s been done to you.
So I’m going to give you some specific steps that you can take to go through the process of forgiving and it starts with recognizing the 3 “R’s” that are usually associated with things you need to forgive.
The 3 R’s are: Rejection, Resentment and Regret.
So the first step is to identify as many of these instances of rejection, resentment and regret that you can come up with. And you’re going to write those down. I suggest you get a piece of paper and pencil, or pen, and write down in sentences that include the person who is who is responsible for this feeling and what they did.
For example: “Sally sue rejected me by not going to the eighth grade dance with me.” Or “I resent the fact that Fred broke my Tinker Toy when I was 5.” Or “I regret that I didn’t have the courage to take a trip to Spain when I had an opportunity.” Or whatever it is.
So you kind of get the idea. You want to write sentences about who was involved and what happened.
Now, you notice that in the “regret” sentence I said that I regret that I didn’t do something. So keep in mind that YOU may be the perpetrator of some of these offenses. You know, because regret is often things you regret that you did or did not do.
So what you want to do is, after you make these lists, you just decide that you are going to release every single person that you’ve been holding responsible for these offenses. And you’re going to release them. You make that decision and you declare and affirm that you release everyone on that list—including yourself—including even God.
Because some things we regret or resent have happened to us weren’t done by any particular person—they’re just circumstances over which we had no control and we feel let down.
So that’s, you know, basically the process. And after you’ve made that decision you could symbolically throw away those pieces of paper or burn them or destroy them or shred them or whatever to symbolically symbolize that you are releasing that—letting it go.
Now, if you are a spiritual person—if you believe in God—I suggest that you add this additional step in addition to deciding to forgive. Also ask God to forgive through you. Rely on Him to actually do the forgiveness so that, you know, you just release it to God and then simply thank Him for doing so.
And I found this technique to be extremely powerful in my life. Like I’ve said before, it’s felt like a physical weight lifted from my body. And I’ve done this exercise several times. Because sometimes, I mean, I’ll write down whatever I can think of, I’ll release it, let it go, I’ll feel the weight lifted, and then, you know, a few days later I’d say “Ooh I thought of some other things I can write down.” And [I’ll] experience that [again] because it can be a really really good feeling once you release things that you need to forgive.
So, just to wrap up, consider going through this exercise as many times as you feel you need to, to release things that may be holding you back that you’re not even aware of.