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5 Steps to Forgiveness

03/25/2015 02:40 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2015
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Forgiveness. It is one of those things that can sound so challenging and difficult to do, yet not doing it can be detrimental our growth and overall well-being. When we don't forgive and hold on to bitter resentments, we can find ourselves feeling stressed, miserable, angry, or sad for years after an event happened.

Maybe it's that ex boyfriend who seemed to always take more from you than give. Or maybe it's that friend who rarely told the truth. Or maybe the person you're struggling to forgive is yourself -- for doing something that hurt someone else.

Regardless of who it is that we need to forgive, the act of forgiving is equally beneficial. When we forgive, we free ourselves and others from the binds of pain and hurt and open ourselves to true healing and love. Through the power of forgiveness, we open ourselves to the a new way of being, which allows us to attract and create more loving relationships in our lives.

Here are the 5 steps to forgiveness:

1. Identify why you have been struggling to forgive. Have you been making yourself the victim? Have you been putting the other person up on a pedestal? Have you been putting yourself down? Have you been putting yourself up on a pedestal? Have you been feeling guilty for the things that had happened in a past relationship? Have you been blaming the other person?

2. Be willing to forgive. Though we often see forgiveness as a challenging task to do, the reality is that, really, the most important thing that we need to do is to be willing to forgive. When there is a willingness for a change to occur then it is much more likely to happen. If we are holding on to our past hurts and unwilling to forgive for whatever reason, then we will continue to find ourselves stuck in a place of suffering.

3. Release it. Once you have identified why you struggle to forgive and have a willingness to forgive, the only thing you have to do is to simply let it go -- just like that popular song from Frozen. Release it to the universe.

4. Trust that healing will occur. Once we release it, we may find ourselves going into a bit of a panic in our minds. We may start having thoughts of "What if this doesn't work?" "How is this going to work?" or "But I don't feel any different!" These are merely fear-based thoughts created from our ego, which is the cause of our struggle to experience happiness, joy and love to begin with. So trust and have faith that a shift will happen.

5. Be open for healing. Once we are in a place of trusting that a shift in our perception will happen, we must be open to receive. What I mean by this is to be an observer. Pay close attention to the things that come up for you in your day to day life. Make note of the people you see, the things that people say, the songs you hear on the radio, the ideas that pop up in your mind, how you feel emotionally throughout your day and so on. By being an observer of ourselves and our own experience, we are able to be aware when healing does occur.

So if you are in place where you need to forgive someone or yourself, go through these steps. These guidelines are not meant to be a "do it one time only and everything changes". Rather, it's something that we may need to do every day or a couple times a day for several days or a week or so before we can begin to notice ourselves feeling lighter, happier, and more free.

Be committed to this process of forgiveness. It is by being committed that we will be able to truly forgive and create relationships and a life filled with love.

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In the comments below, we're going to do step no. 1. So, share why you have been struggling to forgive either someone or yourself.

This blog was originally published on JenniferTwardowski.com

Jennifer is a self and relationship coach and teacher. She helps women worldwide create fulfilling relationships with both themselves and others so they can live happy and joyful lives. Click here for her Free Self and Relationship Healing Meditation.

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