1. Stop actively trying to forgive them.
2. If it was just words that hurt you, figure out why you were triggered to fear they were true. That’s what you’re here to resolve.
3. Wish them joy and wellness – not because they deserve it, but because you don’t deserve to live with the burden of their mistakes forever.
4. Be the bigger person and try to imagine what wounds made them act the way they did.
“The true mark of maturity is when someone hurts you and you try to understand their situation instead of trying to hurt them back.” – Unknown
5. Make a long list of the ways that you are a better person because you had to adapt in the face of adversity, and it made you wiser, stronger and more determined to build a better life for yourself.
6. If that person is no longer in your life, consider that their loss was not a punishment, rather, a form of protection.
7. Realize that people don’t always come into our lives to love us. Half of them come into our lives to show us to ourselves, to slowly make us into the people we need to be for the ones who will be with us forever.
8. Be honest about whether or not you contributed to whatever happened between you.
9. If you’re not responsible for any of it, accept that their actions are out of your control, but what you can change is how you respond to them.
10. If you are responsible for some part of it, forgive yourself, and watch your resentment toward them slowly disappear.
11. Stop trying to create a more just world by hanging onto your injustices. Showing the world how much pain you are in will not convince it to retract the circumstances it handed you and make them right. That part is up to you.
12. Stop thinking more about what you know you’ve lost as opposed to what you don’t yet know you will gain.
13. Consider that this type of hardship and struggle has impacted basically every single person ever alive and that though its commonality won’t ease the pain, remembering that you are not alone and that you are not the only person to ever go through this will.
14. When the world hurts you, do the thing that most people are not big enough to do and imagine how you can possibly contribute to making it better, rather than being a victim for the rest of your life.
15. Be still and let every wave of emotion pass over you. Let it cleanse you and then let it tell you what you need to do next.
16. Get better at speaking up for yourself. Tell someone when they are being rude. Tell someone when you’re upset. So much of our inability to forgive comes from our inability to correct the situation when we actually have the power to.
17. Get better at disconnecting. You don’t have to be friends with everyone, certainly not anyone who’s hurt you in any significant way.
18. Take all of the anger that is still coursing through you and channel it toward building a new life. Living well is not the best revenge, it’s the only revenge that’s worth anything.