I had a question this week about forgiving, so i thought I would share a bit of my story and some strategies that were helpful to me so you don't waste one more minute letting the past control your future.
Don't think when I say forgiveness that I would ever mean that you can or should forget what they did or how it made you feel. When you forgive someone it doesn't let them off the hook, it lets YOU off the hook. It helps you get unstuck so you can move forward. It lets you forgive yourself too.
It took me waaaaay too long doing it on my own. I wish I had reached out for help with this much earlier than I did. I must admit that I have been able to forgive a lot of things, but what I am still having trouble forgiving is the TIME he stole from me. Not just from me but my family, friends and my next relationship. While he was busy getting busy and test driving his new relationship he took months of time from me. I will NEVER get that back. He had no right! Frankly, I'm beyond angry about that. I just don't focus on it. I know that eventually I will even forgive him for that because, after all, not forgiving him is only affecting me, but baby steps are better than no steps. I started out by forgiving him for the easy things, the times he was rude and uncaring about my feelings because his were so much more important. For the times he didn't say what was on his mind. For not valuing our relationship enough to spend time with me and to work on it when it got tough. For all the times he talked about things but never DID them. For all the times he said he was too busy to enjoy life.
I encourage you to start small, it will become easier after the first time. You may, like me, take longer on some of the big things. That's ok too. Just keep on keepin' on. Every. Single. Day. Life's too short, you're too important not to.
Give yourself time to grieve the loss.
Don't allow yourself to be a victim. This allows your ex and the situation to control you and have the power. Take control of your life and your emotions.
Realize that your breakup doesn't define you. It is something that happened TO you. Use what you learned to make you a stronger, better person for you and your next relationship.
Look in the mirror and say the words out loud. I forgive you for ___________. Don't forget to forgive yourself too.
You are going to feel old feelings of hurt, anger, resentment, sadness once in a while but it is how you deal with those feelings that will show you if you have really forgiven them or not. If you really have forgiven your ex you will be able to acknowledge your feelings and let them go without acting on them anymore.