10 Steps to Forgiveness

Is there someone or something in your life that needs to be forgive? Here are some practical steps to help with the process. Forgiveness can take a while and is often a process rather than an event. Some of these steps might be harder than others, and there might be some other steps that you want to add. Leave us a comment if you would add something!

Step 1: Document what you believe has happened and what you need to forgive

Step 2: Acknowledge the way the incident made you feel

Step 3: Recognize who is being hurt by your unforgiveness

Step 4: Acknowledge the part, if any, you played in the incident

Step 5: Acknowledge both positive and negative parts of the relationship

Step 6: Write a letter to the person who has wronged you…this helps to get your feelings organized and processed, but in most cases it is helpful to burn the letter rather than giving it to the person to whom you wrote it. See step 7.

Step 7: Create a ceremony to rid yourself of the letter, symbolizing the end of your hurt

Step 8: Understand that forgiveness is a process and some of the feelings may manifest themselves again. This is not unusual, but creating a method of reducing your anger and anxiety

Step 9: Forgiveness does not mean forgetting. You can still forgive the person without excusing the hurtful act

Step 10: Remember forgiveness is more about you moving on in freedom, not about the other person!

Adopted from YouthLight, Inc.

Cara Engle, LAPC