Four Steps to Forgiveness offers you a quick and easy way to start forgiving. It can lead to deep and profound changes in your life. Its power is in its simplicity, so just start using it and you will see for yourself.
The Four Steps can be used for any kind of issue big or small. However, it is best to start with relatively small issues until you get the idea. In fact it is best not to try and forgive someone who could potentially cause you further hurt until you have some experience and understanding of the whole forgiveness process (see Tough Forgiveness and Reconciliation). Think of a small issue you want to forgive and try the steps below.
The Four Steps to Forgiveness:
It is best to do the Four Steps in writing till you get some experience.
Step 1: State who you need to forgive and for what.
Step 2: Acknowledge how you currently feel about the situation. This is best if it is your honest gut feelings, not the nice, polite or politically correct version.
Step 3: State the benefits you will get from forgiving. This will mainly be the opposite of what you are currently feeling. Sadness will become happiness, anger will become peace, heaviness becomes a feeling of lightness and so on. If you are not sure about the benefits just choose a few general good feelings which you would like to have for now (happier, more at ease, more confident etc).
Step 4: Commit yourself to forgiving. This is simply stating who you intend to forgive and the acknowledging the benefits which come from forgiving.
Usually, you will end up with Four Steps which looks something like this:-
Imagine your friend John has started avoiding you and you do not know why.
1. I am willing to forgive John for avoiding me.
2. I now choose to release my feelings of sadness, anger and fear. (You can choose to do additional emotional release later if you need to).
3. I acknowledge that forgiving John benefits me as I will feel happier, healthier and more peaceful.
4. I commit myself to forgiving John and I accept the peace and freedom which forgiveness brings.
In this example someone’s girlfriend, Janet, ended their relationship.
1. I am willing to forgive Janet for leaving me.
2. I now choose to release my feelings of regret, abandonment and fear.
3. I acknowledge that forgiving Janet benefits me as I will feel clearer, happier, and more able to create better relationships in the future.
4. I commit myself to forgiving Janet and I accept the peace and freedom which forgiveness brings.
In this example someone was fired from their job.
1. I want to forgive my boss for firing me.
2. I now choose to release my feelings of anger, sadness, unfairness and disappointment.
3. I acknowledge that forgiving my boss benefits me as I will feel positive, happy, and more able to find a better job in the future.
4. I commit myself to forgiving my boss and I accept the peace and freedom which forgiveness brings.
To help guide you through the steps here is a Four Steps to Forgiveness Worksheet.
The Four Steps to Forgiveness is from the book Forgiveness is Power.
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Four Steps to Forgiveness
A powerful way to freedom, happiness and success.
William Fergus Martin