Practicing the art forgiveness through journaling
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The guide on practicing forgiveness through the art of journaling:
Been long!! I haven’t been sharing much here as I was diving deep into writing my book. I’m so excited to announce that my book on journaling will be released soon and now I’m back creating and writing new blog posts for you. Today’s topic is all about forgiveness and how to use the power of journaling to forgive someone you cannot forgive yet.
I had been discussing a lot about journaling on Instagram and we discussed all regarding anger journaling. The thing that hooked me was, ‘ How can someone go from angry to a peaceful state of mind without practicing forgiveness?’ And hence, I thought of creating a detailed piece on using journaling for forgiveness. Let’s get started with what forgiveness means.
What is forgiveness?
Forgiveness is the inner act of releasing anger, resentments, grudge, or blame we hold against someone or even ourselves. It’s an act of eliminating negativity that results from the hurt by letting go of the emotional baggage.
When someone we care for hurts us, it’s obvious to feel hurt or angry or hold grudges against them; but it’s in our hands if we want to keep carrying that baggage of their emotions or render forgiveness and move forward.
It’s necessary to understand that forgiveness is not for them; it’s solely for us because we need to free ourselves from their thoughts. By us not forgiving them, we’re giving them the opportunity to take control of our emotions, thoughts, and feelings.
Every time we think about that person who offended or hurt us; we feel triggered and are all of a sudden surrounded by destructive thoughts. Do you really want them to take this control or hold the leash in your hands?
What forgiveness isn’t?
There’s such a huge misconception regarding forgiveness. Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting the harm or excusing the hurt or even making up with the person who caused it. The process of forgiveness doesn’t even require the involvement of another person. This is just for you to let go of the grudges or resentments and bring peace back to life.
Here’s what forgiveness doesn’t mean:
- Validating their behavior
- Forgetting what happened
- Changing the past
- Rebuilding the trust
- Getting back to the one who caused you to harm
- Erasing the memory of the hurt
- Applying easy self-care bandage
- Reconnecting with the person
- You apologize for their actions
- You need to tell them that you forgive them
By practicing forgiveness, you’re not erasing the memory of what happened with you nor are you creating the space for that person in your life. It’s the inner act of you accepting whatever happened and making peace with it. Practicing forgiveness is the bravest act of self-love because you’re not letting this event or incident ruin your life. You’re standing up for yourself and raging this silent revolution to help yourself move forward.
Why do we need to forgive?
Holding onto hurt, anger or resentment is like carrying a heavy bag full of stones. Each time we feel offended, hurt, or angry; we add a boulder or the pebble to that bad. And in no time, it becomes impossible for us to carry the weight. Think about this; how long have you been carrying this bag?
It becomes easier to practice forgiveness when we realize that we’re the one who needs to carry the weight of this heavy bag while the person who caused this is free and light. When we practice forgiveness, we release our pain and resentments; we find inner peace and acceptance of all the experiences of life.
Not knowing when to let go and not allowing ourselves to forgive someone will only make us feel stuck in a place of anger and will increase the feeling of hurt. It doesn’t solve or change anything but prevents us from healing.
- Forgiveness is for our own growth, peace, and harmony. By not letting go, we’re holding onto the pain, hurt, a grudge that harms us more than the offender.
- Forgiveness lets us be mindful and live in the present. It helps us bring peace with the past and provide closure.
- Forgiveness gives us the strength of moving forward without holding resentment and anger.
- Forgiveness allows regaining our power that we’re giving away unknowingly to the offender by being angry or holding grudges.
- Forgiveness brings us back to good mental and physical health.
Why practicing forgiveness is powerful?
Practicing forgiveness gives us an opportunity to create space for the future instead of lingering back to the painful past. Thinking about the things that caused us harm is only going to hurt us and as the saying goes; hurt people hurt people.
So instead of holding the bitterness and having the idea of seeking revenge; let’s bring peace and wellness in our life by rendering them forgiveness.
Once we understand, how powerful this art of forgiveness is and how tremendously it helps us; it becomes easy to practice it.
Why should you journal for practicing forgiveness?
To me, journaling is a cathartic experience. This beautiful practice gives me the space to be myself without seeking any outer validation. Journaling soothes my soul as I pen down my deepest emotions and I will never stop saying how miraculous this art is. If you’re new to journaling; consider reading this.
By practicing journaling for forgiveness, you will render yourself a non-judgmental space to re-analyze the situation and introspect your thoughts. Here’s my six-step journaling method to help you practice forgiveness.
Journaling exercise for practicing forgiveness:
Before sitting down to journal, I always practice this breathing exercise to ground myself and clear my mind. Find a place where you can spend the next 30-40 mins in peace without any interruption. Open your journal and follow these steps.
1. What and who do you want to forgive? What actually happened that caused you hurt or made you angry? Was that some words or actions or their behavior? Analyze the situation.
2. Acknowledge your emotions. How did this make you feel? What were your thoughts? How did you feel in your body? Also, bring your awareness to how you’re feeling now.
3. Write about what prevented you from forgiving that person? Do you need closure from their end or an apology? Are you willing to move ahead even when these aren’t provided? What can you control?
4. Why is it necessary for you to forgive them? How will your life improve if you render them forgiveness? How will you feel after you forgive them? How will your life change if you forgive them and move forward?Picture your before and after here. The progress will prompt you to render them forgiveness.
5. Cultivate compassion. Be in the person’s show for a while and try to understand why they did so? What is their story? Where are they coming from? What are they suffering from that made them hurt you? ( Note that this doesn’t justify their behavior. It’s about you being kind and empathetic.)
6. What did this incident or person teach you? There’s learning in every step of life and I’m sure you will find one if you pay close attention and be mindful of your thoughts.
Additional journaling exercise for practicing forgiveness:
Besides the above-mentioned journaling exercise; here’re some creative journal prompts to help you practice this impactful art of forgiveness through journaling.
- Write a letter of forgiveness to the offender and describe everything you wish to say to that person.
You can start with:
‘ I forgive myself for not forgiving you earlier ……..’ or ‘ I render you forgiveness because…….’ This will help you get started and give permission to open up. In the end, burn this piece of paper so as to allow yourself to let it go. This exercise really helps me every single time I struggle with rendering forgiveness. It provides me the sense of release and it feels as if the heavyweight from my chest is lifted off.
- Another exercise that I found super useful is writing about the time when you were able to forgive someone. How did that make you feel? Writing about this will make you realize that if you can do it once, you can do it again.
If you choose to practice any of the above exercises, I would love to know about your experience. How journaling made you feel and how this helped you?
Practicing forgiveness through journaling:
The mere thought of you reading this and showing up for yourself makes me feel so proud of you. Know that you’re capable of rendering forgiveness and you so deserve doing this for your own self. Also, do practice some self-care while you’re on this journey of forgiveness.
Make sure that you’re resting well, hydrating enough, and taking care of your emotional as well as mental health. Remember that this is just a phase while you have your entire life yet to be discovered, yet to be explored.
It indeed takes a brave heart to take this step and I’m here, right in the corner cheering for you. Sending you so much love and light, always.
I’m also offering 1-1 coaching calls now; book your complimentary call here.