(Photo Courtesy: Black Love & Marriage)
Recently, a reader reached out to me and asked for advice on how to forgive an ex. I’m not sure if I gave her the answer she wanted, but perhaps my words provided the answer she needed. She thought she forgave the person, but after reading on of my articles on disappointment and distrust, something surfaced. Anger and bitterness lied beneath a fake forgiveness. I shared with her 5 steps I take before I forgive.
1. Realize Forgiveness isn’t a Synonym for Friendship
Just because you forgive someone doesn’t mean you should befriend the person. Make sure you rebuild trust and re-establish boundaries before you reopen your heart and your life to the one who hurt you.
2. Talk to Someone You Respect
Seek out advice from a friend or family member. Venting leads to healing. If your anger is consuming however, contact a (qualified)counselor. You’re not crazy if you go to therapy. You’re smart.
3. Reflect on What Went Wrong
Although a heartbreaker, home wrecker or backstabber may be to blame, reflect on what went wrong leading up to the offense. Could the situation have been avoided? Did you seek revenge? What could you have done differently? Can you prevent something similar from reoccurring?
4. Don’t Expect Forgiveness in Return
You may not think you’re at fault, but you ex may have a long list of reasons why he/she hates you. Hate may be a bit strong. Perhaps they dislike you, resent you or would rather you moved to a different city — in a different time zine. Don’t hold you breath waiting for an apology.
5. Forgive Yourself
You may need time. You may need repentance. You may need to learn from your mistakes. But remember to forgive yourself. If God can forgive you, so can you!
Hey DFTM Fam — What actions do you take before you forgive someone?