Senior Brand Manager in Callmechat, working since 2019,
 with experience in background over 5+ years in industry.

Sometimes we have a hard time admitting that bad things really happened and that they hurt. We may even deny the intensity of our feelings to remain in problematic relationships. Acknowledging how you feel is one step in the fight against the tendency to stay in abusive and painful relationships. In any case, you are not ready to forgive until you are clear about how you feel.

It is just as important to know exactly what was done that was unacceptable. This means trying to remember details as best we can. It does not mean we have to exhaustively examine every minute of what happened. The purpose is to free us of the tendency to deny and minimize what occurred. We want to know that what we experienced was unacceptable behavior and to be able to state in clear language what was not okay. How can we know what to avoid in the future if we are unclear about the lines crossed? Coming to clarity about what causes us pain makes us less likely to repeat a hurtful situation.

Share Your Pain with Someone You Trust

The most important element to forgiveness is to tell a handful of trusted people what happened. This means talking about how you feel and what about the hurtful situation was not okay. Sharing your pain with a few trusted people helps you cope; it helps you put feelings into words and makes them clearer. Sharing pain allows other people to care for us and provide us with guidance and support. Sharing our pain helps us to connect with the universality of hurt and allows us to feel less alone.

To talk openly with one to five people does not mean it is better to tell twenty people. When we share our story with a couple of people we do so for support and guidance. When we share our story with a larger number of people, we often do so to denounce the offender, offer a cry of pain, or let people know how we have been victimized. These reasons are different from looking for support and guidance and are too often simply the retelling of our grievance story.

If you cannot find trusted friends or family, then try a therapist or support group. If no one is available, you can write down your experience on paper and then review it. You can share what you have written anonymously in chats on the Internet.

I must mention one caution: please do not share your pain with people who can hurt you or take advantage of your confidence. You also do not have to share your pain with the person who has hurt you, for that person is not necessarily an appropriate one.

When you have shared your pain with a few trusted people, you can take the next step and learn to forgive. You know how you feel, you know what is wrong, and you have shared your pain.

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