Throughout my life I’ve chosen to forgive; a lot. From my birth mother choosing to keep me a secret over having a relationship with me, to hospital staff accusing me of faking an illness so I could stay close to my baby (turned out to be cancer), to being molested as a child by a family member, to being excommunicated by family for loving Jesus, I’ve had many opportunities to stay bitter and angry. I’ve chosen not to stay in that frame of mind for many reasons (see here) but at first I didn’t know HOW to truly forgive.
As a teenager I internalized everything, nursed and rehearsed my hurts, and lashed out often. Once I learned this one thing, it changed everything for me and so I’m sharing it with you in hopes that it will benefit you as well. Here is it…
Your choices dictate your feelings ~ not the other way around. When you make a choice with your will, your feelings have to follow the decision. Forgiveness is not a feeling, it’s an action. You can actually choose to forgive someone with your will and eventually your feelings will match that decision.
When I am hurt by someone’s actions I do my best not to let the emotions fester. I find the faster I choose to forgive, the faster my emotions catch up with that choice. I will literally say the words out loud (sometimes through clenched teeth) because speaking them out loud interrupts your thoughts. Go ahead and try to think about something and then say your phone number out loud. You have to stop thinking in order to say the words out loud. This is important because we tend to keep replaying the hurt over and over in our minds. When we can interrupt those thoughts by forgiving someone out loud, it makes an impact.
Check out my video on how I first learned this simple trick! To join my free Facebook group click here!