How to Forgive and Forget Someone Who Hurt You

13 April, 2022 / words by user

Written by Cloé Vaz-Wiggins

Image by @tinakunakey

One of my best friends always tells me she doesn’t understand how I can laugh at certain situations or certain people in my life. We’ll get together, and sometimes conversations lead to things we’ve been through, and we talk about a specific situation or a specific time and I always end up laughing, and in turn, she always asks: ‘How can you laugh at that?’ ‘Don’t you remember how bad it was?’

I guess, why I wanted to start with this example is: I’m sure some of you reading this piece will be a bit of me, laughing and finally seeing it all as a lesson and a part of your journey. Whilst some of you, are either in the process of trying to forgive and it feels impossible, or, are at the very beginning stages of whatever happened that you can’t see how you will be able to do it. 

And the thing with forgiving is exactly that, there’s levels to it. It’s not a straight line and it’s definitely not the same for any of us. Unfortunately, you don’t just wake up one day and say: cool, I’m done with the pain this person caused, I’m ready to forgive and I’m doing it now. Nope, it’s a back and forth, an internal push and pull filled with emotions and not so rational theories that can take over and oftentimes be overwhelming and a bit paralyzing.

The thing with forgiving is that first, you need to heal!

I’m going to write that again because sometimes, you really need to say it twice.

The thing with forgiving is that first, you need to heal!

And I’ll let you get back to me on that! Maybe for you, forgiving will bring healing and not the other way around. But whichever comes first, forgiving and healing will definitely shed some weight off of your experience and most importantly your heart and your spirit. They bring a lightness and a flow that we’re unable to feel when we’re holding on to so much pain. They also get us to a place where we’re no longer get triggered by anything related to that situation and that is gold because before we do that when we are triggered, we keep going through that same hurt over and over again in one way or another.

I don’t think there’s a formula to forgiving, it’s a very personal process that will depend on a million factors, but I will say this:

Prepare yourself and be open to a lot of trials and error, a lot of thinking, a lot of feeling like you already forgave until something triggers you and you realise you didn’t. It’s ok, you go again. Be ready to embark on a very personal journey that will require a lot of internal work from your part. 

And if you’re wondering where to start, let’s stay right here: self-awareness. Because if you’re not aware of how much you’re carrying, how do you know what you need to work on to let that weight go? What and who do you need to forgive that in some way is holding you back? You won’t heal if you’re in denial, or still feeling all the pain that situation or person brought your way, whether that’s with family, friends or your partner. You have to get to a point of clarity and acceptance, don’t look back, look forward!

Lastly, before you forgive anyone else, you’ll have to forgive yourself. Whatever happened, forgive yourself for enabling that behaviour, for staying, for not leaving, for not standing up for yourself or for anything else that bothers you about your role in that situation.

Don’t forget to be kind in that process, it’s a lot. But everything you need is already within yourself. So just go through it, be patient and kind and get to the laughing part because really, all that happened to you got you here. It made your journey so far and so it must have been for a reason.




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