Relationships, whether they are romantic or platonic, can have their highs and lows. Conflict is completely normal and sometimes may lead to some much-needed distance between you and someone you care about. But does distancing ourselves mean we don't need to forgive?
A few months ago we wrote about not accepting apologies that don't come with changed behavior. The lessons regarding boundary setting in that post are important, but they don't negate the importance of forgiveness and how important it is for your relationships AND for your own self-care.
Forgiveness doesn't mean resolving every issue and making it "okay" again with people who have caused you harm.
Forgiveness can simply be the act of releasing whatever energy you harbor toward a negative situation, a person, and even yourself. When we don't forgive, we may hold on to feelings of ill-will or resentment. That resentment tends to eat away at us or reveal itself in other destructive habits. For example, resentment of a parent for their shortcomings might manifest itself as unhealthy habits in romantic relationships. Not forgiving yourself for not meeting a goal can result in hesitation to go after new goals or a habit of speaking to yourself in a harmful way.
Self-care is any act that we do deliberately to take care of our mental, physical and emotional selves. It's the act of avoiding harmful things or feelings that can be detrimental to our mental, physical and emotional selves.
That means that if we are to consciously practice self-care, we have to begin actively forgiving and releasing negative energy and feelings that we have toward other people, situations, and ourselves.
Tips For Practicing "Forgiveness" For Self-Care
1. Focus on living in the present, and remind yourself that forgiveness means you are attached to the past.
2. Be honest about who you are, and what role you play in every situation.
3. Take ownership over your own feelings and energy - and stop giving negative situations permission to control those feelings.
4. Decide what you need from the situation - do you really need an apology? Or do you need a permanent distance from a person or situation?
5. Meditate on good energy, forgiveness, and the act of "release" in order to consciously process your emotions.
If you have any other tips related to forgiveness, feel free to share them in the comments below!