Forgiveness wasn't about the person who hurt me. The hurt was caused during my elementary school years; during my teens and twenties I rebelled and placed blame and I prayed for the person who hurt me to come to harm etc. During my twenties and early thirties I avoided that person. In my late thirties I realized that person still ruled my life. I was full of anger and disgust for that person, I was uncomfortable around them and therefore the rest of my family. Because of this I couldn't be as close to my family as I wanted to be. In my early forties I thought I had forgiven this person and wished them no ill-will or harm, going to so far as to visit more often. One trip "home" this person was there to greet me with a hug. He was moved to tears by that hug; and it was at that exact moment that I realized I really had forgiven him and care for him. There are so many things that seemed black and white to me as a child. Now when I view them through the eyes of an adult I realize that there are many gray areas and factors. I'm very glad that I've lived long enough to have reached this peace in my life.
- Think about forgiving them. Just roll it around in your mind. Pinpoint what it is exactly that they did to hurt you.
- Own your part in the hurt. Even a child who's been molested has played a part in the ongoing hurtful situation. Every time you think hateful thoughts or react negatively you are helping the hurt to grow. Stop, the negative and start the positive. One way to do this is: Everytime you think something negative about a person, Stop immediately and make note of a positive about that person. For instance a child molester may be a good provider or dress fashionably. In order to heal you must find a positive, and stop adding to your own pain.
- Say you forgive them. You don't have to tell them personally, but you do need to say it out loud. Sit in a quiet area, and say out loud, "I forgive you ____ for ________". Keep it short and simple. Say it over and over until you believe it.
- Show you forgive them. You don't have to interact with them ever, but step out of your comfort zone and do something that physically says "I forgive you". Examples: send them a card, say a prayer for them, give them a hug, buy them a soda, include them in a conversation.