Tales from the Single Relationship Expert: Start Forgiving so you can Date Better!
Throughout your lifetime how many times have you heard the phrase “Forgiveness is for you not them”? Sounds so easy right? The reality is forgiveness can be difficult especially when the person who caused the pain doesn’t deserve your forgiveness at all. I’m talking not sorry and not willing to change. Where do you start?
Well I say you start with the person you have total control over…YOURSELF. Believe it or not that is the hardest person to forgive. Tell me if it’s just me, but I can forgive someone who has wronged me and then I’ll beat myself up for allowing it. Saying things like “how did you end up in this again”, “you knew better” and my infamous “they showed you who they were why didn’t you believe them”. You think by saying “I forgive this person” you’ll be able to move on quicker when in all actuality if you don’t forgive yourself by having the patience to feel your emotions, forget the loss and start focusing on the lesson, you will end up repeating what you don’t repair.
Did you know in order to have a successful relationship you have to forgive EVERYONE for EVERYTHING? I know I know it may sound extreme but it’s the truth. Holding on to resentment is living in the past. How can you focus on the present and prepare for the future if you continue to let someone hold that kind of space in your brain? Yes, it is sometimes easier said than done especially when the wrong doer is willfully unbothered. Well, if you’re trying to be you best self ya gotta do what ya gotta do.
Self-awareness is a son of a bitch. When I wrote my book Diving In Stilettos First I thought it would be fun to laugh at my dating horrors. The ability to laugh at yourself is a skill I suggest everyone attain. At first, I blamed the men 1000% You’re damn right it was them not me until I started to see a pattern in my dating. I was attracting men who were either broken, trying to escape a harsh reality, financially unstable or who were just emotionally unavailable. I had to step back like girl what are you putting out into the universe.
I had to forgive myself for trying to run away from past instead of trying to focus on healing from it. Healing has taught me to empathize so I can truly forgive others. Hurt people hurt people. I can fully understand why you may have acted the way you did. Now just because I forgive you does not mean I have to consistently deal with your toxicity. If the individual you have forgiven will not change, does not feel the need to do better or truly sees no problem with their behavior you have every right to distance yourself regardless of titles they hold, regardless of their longevity in your life. That’s where the saying “I forgive you I just don’t f*ck with you” holds tried and true.
So here are some ways to practice forgiveness:
Admit you messed up. It’s okay to feel guilty but there’s a huge difference between guilt and shame.
Decide to forgive daily.
Remember that mistakes help us evolve into better people.
Allow yourself to feel your emotions and Be patient. You can’t rush your feelings or anyone else’s.
Stop thinking about how they hurt you and focus on the lesson it has taught you.
Stop dwelling and being hard on yourself. Instead write yourself and apology letter.
Most importantly if you are having trouble forgiving it’s okay to talk to someone. Preferably a professional who is not bias or will get into their own feelings while listening to what you are saying. Sometimes you need to say things out loud and pray on it. Forgiveness brings on Peace.