Relationships are tough. Even the best relationships have their hurdles and sometimes your partner has done or said something so hurtful, you can’t see a way to forgive. Yet you know for your own health and wellbeing, you must.
In my darkest days, I would sit on my bed staring into space, with the words, “I must forgive, I must forgive, I must forgive” running through my head. I knew I had to, but I couldn’t figure out how. I remember thinking, “if I forgive then that means I’m saying what that person did was okay, and it’s NOT okay”.
It was a series of epiphanies that took me from months of anger and hatred to forgiveness. Afterwards I realised forgiveness would have been much easier and faster, had I not been focusing on the wrong goal. Forgiveness is not the target to aim for: it’s understanding.
Anger remains when we see their actions through our own lens. We get caught up in the “well I would have never done that” rhetoric. And sure, you may have never done what they did but for as long as you only see their actions through your own perspective, you will stay angry. Resentment will build and resentment is the slow death of a relationship.
Forgiveness will occur naturally when we really SEE the other person. When we truly understand the other person’s thoughts, emotions and see how they have carried their pain through from their childhood, it takes away the “it’s personal” feeling. That’s when the epiphany occurs. That’s when you discover what they did is not even about you, it’s about them: their own insecurities.
Here’s a trick that can help: visualise the incident that caused your anger. Now substitute yourself for another person. Place any human being into the picture and see your partner reacting the same way, saying or doing whatever it was that triggered your hurt. When you see this it opens your mind to the idea that “I could have been anyone and they would have behaved the same way”. This is how you remove the heavy feeling from your own shoulders and place it back on to them.
Understanding can strengthen a good relationship and can be the catalyst to ending an unhealthy relationship. Understanding allows you to see who the other person really is and see whether who they are fits with who you are. It’s time to open your eyes. 😊
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