I found compassion and then forgiveness for my ex-boyfriend, Bob. He was physically and emotionally abusive. I in no way think his behavior is OK, and I don’t have any desire to see him again or let him know I've forgiven him. I know in my heart and soul I've forgiven him. Carrying around that bag full of anger is really heavy and I got tired.  

I started the forgiveness journey by taking a look at his life. His mom was the child of an affair between a very powerful man and a woman from the wrong side of the tracks. Bob’s mom spent her whole life trying to prove she was worthy. She was told from a very young age that darker-toned people were lower class than lighter-toned people. She told Bob he was to marry a younger Catholic woman who had blonde hair and blue eyes.

Then I come along into Bob’s life: dark-toned, older and Jewish. I blew her mind. She was certain I was there to destroy Bob’s life, and she treated me that way. Bob was torn between wanting to please his mother and his own happiness. This killed him, and he took out his anger on me.  

Knowing this was how I was able to find forgiveness. Bob was suffering. Happy people don’t treat people the way he treated me, and it's not the way his mom treated him. I felt compassion and forgave them both. I send them love and hope one day they can find happiness. 

Forgiving him and his mom was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I let go of the bag of anger I was carrying. I felt free and lighter.

After forgiving him, I was able to forgive myself for staying in an abusive situation for so long. I saw how I wanted to make him better, how I saw the best in him and ignored the worst, which is why I accepted his behavior for so long. At the time, I thrived on the excitement of the drama. But I wasn’t happy, if I had been, I wouldn’t have put up with a relationship like that. Eventually I was able to feel compassion for myself, and finally forgiveness came.

Forgiving myself was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I let go the bag of anger I was carrying. I felt free and lighter.

I’ve come up with seven tactics you can put into practice right away to free yourself from the burden of being unable to forgive.

1. Remember that gratitude is the best attitude.

Happiness lies within; it just gets buried sometimes. Instead of looking for happiness from outside circumstances or people, work on being grateful and bring the happiness out from within you. When you play the victim and focus on all the ways the world has done you wrong, you give them the power over your happiness. Start and end your day by writing down 3-5 things you’re grateful for.  

2. Pray.

We're all inherently good people. Happy people don’t hurt other people; only suffering people do. Pray for the happiness of those who have hurt you.

3. Act with love.

When people act with hate toward you and you respond with hatred, you're a part of the problem. You are a being of love and light. Choose to act that way. Think, “What would love do right now?” and do that. 

4. Find the lesson in everything.

If things are “happening to you” you might want to ask yourself, “What do I need to work on?” or, “What is this about?” Answer the question and get to working on those parts of you right away. There are lessons in everything. 

5. Don't turn to revenge.

Thoughts of getting revenge lower your positive vibrations. When you seek revenge against someone, you put your energy into them and give them the power.

6. Get some perspective.

If life is challenging, gain some perspective.  Whatever you're going through is just a part of your life, not your entire life. You are not your circumstances. This too will pass. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel. 

7. Have a love affair with yourself.

Loving ourselves is the MOST important thing we can do. It's so important because we'll make loving decisions, and we have real love to give and to spread into the world. Imagine what it would feel like if you were as kind to yourself as you were to others.  It would be miraculous how much love you'll have to give.

Remember these ways to forgive someone, and use them to be free from the anger you’re holding.

Use them in case of a forgiveness or anger emergency.


Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

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