Step 9: We explored the potential benefit of forgiveness in our lives including forgiving ourselves for our imperfections or failings

In this step we look at the people that have hurt us or let us down. There is no pressure whatsoever requiring us to forgive the perpetrator. Sometimes it may be our loved ones that hurt us, how they handled the abuse or the mistakes they made that caused our struggle to be even harder. Forgiveness does not mean that we condone what they did or even that we want them in our lives. Forgiveness means we decide to let go of what happened and we move on with our future. This is not an easy step and can take time. The reason we explore the option of forgiveness is because resentment and hatred can be heavy burdens in our lives and can continue to cause this pain that we do not deserve. When we choose to forgive someone we don’t just do it once, it is a continuous process that we may need to do time and time again. It can be particularly difficult to forgive those that do not believe they have done anything wrong. The freedom that comes from forgiveness is for ourselves, not the other person. we need never tell them and their regret is not a requirement.

It is also crucial that we forgive ourselves for the wrongs we did, for our failings and for our shortcomings. Now that we have tried to make amends it is time to forgive ourselves for any hurt that we caused to others in our journeys. It is time to release the guilt we hold for not coping better, we did the best we could with what we knew. We can still take the lessons we learnt along the way without needing to hold onto the self hatred that can come with regret.

“Today I decided to forgive you. Not because you apologized, are that you acknowledge the pain that you caused me, but because my soul deserves peace”
Najiva Zebian