You probably don’t even want to think about your ex, so forgiving him likely isn’t on your list of priorities. However, if you want to move on with your life baggage-free, you’ll have to find peace and closure and leave your relationship and your negative feelings behind. Here’s how to forgive the guy who hurt you so that you can truly be free.
- Embrace the idea of forgiveness. While that’s 100% true that some things are easier to forgive than others, it’s still possible to do this if you change your mentality towards the issue that’s causing the bad blood. You’ll never be able to let go of the grudge you have against him if you view the whole situation as inexcusable and unworthy of mercy. Remind yourself that all human beings are flawed and that forgiveness is as much for the person who grants it as it is for the person it’s given to.
- Focus on the present moment. It’s important not to lose focus on what’s happening in the here and now and allow yourself to get stuck in the past because it’s a self-destructive loop that will prevent you from getting over the heartache. The idea is to stay grounded in the present while closing the chapter on your ex by forgiving him for hurting you. Getting caught up in the hurt that’s in your past only keeps you chained to it, and that’s never good.
- Understand that no matter what you said or did, he never changed. “It’s not you, it’s him.” Keep that phrase on repeat mode so you can get past the forgiveness stage and move on baggage-free. There are two kinds of people on this planet: ones who change to honor their relationships and others who don’t. If you were betrayed by someone who was supposed to love you, that can leave deep scars. However, it’s important to realize that he was either incapable of change or simply unwilling to do so in order to make things work with you. That’s not your fault and it may not even be his. Either way, it can’t be changed.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you’re thinking you could have done something differently to save your relationship, maybe the person who needs forgiveness is you. Stop overthinking your flaws and start overthinking your strengths instead. Pointing a finger at yourself will only make you insecure and prevent you from enjoying future relationships. Accept that relationships can have complex endings and are rarely down to one particular failing. Don’t let the hurt invade your self-confidence and force you to take unnecessary blame.
- Refuse to play the victim. When you play the victim, you indirectly allow your mind to justify the abuse hurled at you. Your mind is a powerful thing, and the sooner you learn that the better. Instead of letting you move on, your mind will concoct revenge schemes and manipulation tactics as a coping strategy to “help” you deal with heartache. It will display images and memories of the guy who caused you pain so you’re constantly wasting your energy trying to comb through bitter feelings and hate. You don’t deserve this so trash the victim card and realize that only you are responsible for your happiness. The sooner you can accept that you’re not a victim, the sooner you can begin processing your experience, and the sooner you’ll then be able to accept what he did and move on.
- Separate yourself from negativity and toxic people. The worst space to be in, especially when you’re hurting, is one that breeds negativity. The farther you stay from the drama, the happier you’ll be and the faster you’ll heal. This doesn’t mean that you should shut yourself out, instead, find people who, like you, don’t need drama to get the attention they deserve. If your friends love feeding on the negativity of what happened between you or your ex, they’ll be less likely to encourage forgiveness because it takes away their favorite topic of conversation. Don’t let them hold you back.
- Find a healthy way to express your pain. Bottling up feelings is a recipe for disaster, and I’m telling you that from personal experience. Find a comfortable way to express pent-up emotions and frustrations so you can move on from a bitter past. Journaling, painting, singing, and getting personal or professional help are among acceptable ways to express yourself. If you can work through those complex feelings, you’ll be much happier.
- Turn your breakup into a breakthrough. Although breakups are rough, they almost always teach us a lesson we should never forget. Instead of feeling sorry or allowing toxic people to justify the guy’s actions, move on with pride, knowing that you’ve learned a life lesson. I’m not asking you to be a beacon of hope for people in similar situations, I’m just asking you to be the best version of yourself. You can do this!