How to forgive someone who has hurt you can be difficult unless you know it’s what you need to move forward with your life. The timeline technique is a great way to overcome past hurts.
First off you need to know what happens to you when you don’t forgive. There are many consequences of not forgiving; they don’t hurt the one who has hurt you. These consequences only hurt you, the one who is bearing the hurt.
By not forgiving you are hurting yourself mentally and physically.
I know most of us to like to hold onto a grudge as it makes us feel better. At one time I did this as well. Holding onto the grudge made me feel superior.
I would have constant thoughts running in my head of how if I ever saw the person again, what would I say? How would I react?
These thoughts ruled my life. Then one day it dawned on me, I was hurting while the other person was living their life happily. My thoughts did not affect them whatsoever. Sadly these thoughts were my thoughts.
I was suffering daily due to the fact of holding onto something which was never going to be resolved because the other person was never going to say sorry.
Waiting for something which was never going to happen, I was wasting my life away. I started meditating as well this was when I was getting into the counseling field.
It took a lot of work to get over it, but I did. I also learned there were simpler methods such as the timeline technique which would have gotten me through the process much faster.
Nowadays when I have someone ask me how to forgive someone who hurt you, I point them to the timeline technique.
You can read this study done on forgiveness to see how the brain heals emotional wounds when forgiving someone has taken place.
Now let’s talk about the consequences which affect only you.
The depression comes on because we are waiting for a resolution which is never going to take place. Also, the person who needs forgiveness may have been someone who was close to us; this also causes a deep sadness due to the resentment we hold against them.
Usually, this is an indication that you are letting others hurting you be present in your daily living. Most times depression can be a healthy thing, it’s an indication that something isn’t working.
It’s when people sink into a depression that it becomes unhealthy.
Depression is often encountered with people who have mental health illness, but if it is caused by an unexpressed emotion, it can be far more dangerous for your health. It not only impacts your mental stability but it can also damage your physical health.
What’s more is a person who suffers from unforgiveness depression will have a hard time trusting or sharing their feelings with others. This can lead to further triggers which worsen the situation.
Stewing in our anger while throwing angry daggers at another is never going to work!
Because we are the ones, who are left angry about an actual/perceived hurt we experienced, the person who is getting angry daggers thrown at them won’t even feel them. Your anger will not affect them whatsoever.
Unresolved anger is one of the determining factors to the destruction of marriages, breakdown of the family and the weakening of bonds we have developed with others.
Many times people believed the past hurts could be forgotten, but this is not true they are always there reminding you how you were wrong. This makes anger worse. Any time tension or trigger points are activated, anger will come out.
This emotion loves to play on our weakness of not forgiving or letting go. It creates such a passion in a person that they may be enabled by it to commit atrocities which they didn’t mean to happen.
As most of you know stress is the root cause of many illnesses in our body.
Here’s a little personal story about me.
Before I met the man I married, I was a very healthy person. No illnesses whatsoever. People were usually amazed at how fast I was able to overcome flu or a cold.
But then I met my husband, for a few years everything was great. My children were born, we were getting along great. Cracks started to appear in our marriage. He was still in the partying stage, while I was ready to move on to live a more stable life.
About two years after our marriage I started getting ill. There are times where a cold that would last a couple of hours or so would last for days. Other times my body would ache. Then in 2013, I was diagnosed with colon cancer.
During my husband’s partying stage, which he is still in, there were times where I would plan my husband’s funeral in my head because I had not heard from him for days. Stress was so high I would go out looking for him.
My older two noticed how much stress he was causing me. The younger two were too young to see what was happening.
I cannot believe I let this go on for 17 years. Living in this unhealthy relationship destroyed me mentally, physically and spiritually.
Meanwhile, the colon cancer was removed by a colon resection. But it was too late; it had already spread to the liver and lungs as well there were some lymph node nodules. My oncologist had me try many different types of chemotherapy, but none of them were working.
My body was not responding in the way it should; this is all due to the stress of having someone in my life who was not healthy for me.
Finally, in July 2018 we decided to separate. I had enough. As soon as he left, I felt like I had no longer need to worry about him, which I had been doing for 17 years.
My oncologist and I decided to try different chemotherapy. My body was so glad that it just soaked this chemotherapy right up. Cancer went into remission. Before cancer went into remission, it had been growing like crazy. My liver specialist had given me four years at the most.
Once cancer went into remission, it started shrinking like never before. Now my oncologist says I have 30+ years.
What a difference it makes when the cause of stress is removed.
I have a deep sadness inside me that my marriage didn’t work. But my happiness is more significant that I will be around for my kids for a very long time.
My husband has already been forgiven by myself. I feel sorry for him due to the state of his life.
Not forgiving someone can cause a lack of sleep. The reason this happens is that we lie in our beds going over all the things which have hurt us. Sleep is impossible when our mind is churning full of thoughts.
These thoughts don’t only take place when we’re awake, but they also consume our dreams. Some people have nightmares culminated by the past hurts which lead them to stay awake rather than experience the nightmares.
Our mind becomes fixed on the emotional hurts. Rather than sleeping we keep thinking about the offenses which occurred.
Low Immune system
Due to the anger, our bodies are put into a fight or flight mode. Our body responds to extreme circumstances by attacking our immune system.
Some of the ill health consequences of holding onto a grudge or unforgiveness are:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- And other illnesses
When we think that we’ve gotten over it, unforgiveness will return with a vengeance. Pretending everything is okay never works. Most of us have a hard time forgiving.
Why do we have a hard time forgiving?
Because we think that we are owed a real apology from the person who has wronged us. Which if you think about it will probably never come.
Not many want to admit it. But receiving an apology in their mind will validate what they experienced as well they may see the offending party concede to their wishes.
What Are the Signs of Unforgiveness
- Uncontrollable Anger
- Making Snide Remarks
- Creating visions of how you could get them back at them
- Being a compulsive person
- Not taking responsibility for your feelings
- You’re physically unwell
- You make a mental list of all offenses
- The scene is continually replaying in your head
- You feel superior to the one who hurt you
What Will Happen When You Forgive
By forgiving someone who has hurt you, you’re accepting the reality of what took place. You’re also finding a way to live in a state of resolution.
Forgiveness is not something you are doing for the person who hurt you; it’s something you are doing for yourself. The one who is going to heal is you.
By forgiving others who hurt you will realize you have survived the incidence, maybe you will even experience some self-growth from this. This happens because it makes you learn more about yourself as well about your boundaries and needs.
How to forgive someone who hurt you can be simpler if you use the timeline technique. Why stay in something which is only going to hurt you?
Most of us can say our physical reality is right now. Many would say that the past is a memory while the future is somewhere in the distant not yet happened. It exists only in our imagination.
Remember the way we look at our past and the imagination of our future will influence how we feel in the present moment.
Many times people who are using this technique will still have the person who wronged them in their life. Knowing that the person might hurt them again, they will need to do some future forgiving. The timeline technique is great for that as well. It will also help those who need to forgive someone who is not in their life anymore whether they are alive or dead.
For this technique, you will need to read my post on the insiders’ guide to submodalities. They are essential because you will know how to express the situation you are experiencing.
Reminder: you are doing some energy work. By this I mean you’re going to be using an extensive amount of energy. Once you’ve completed this exercise, have a large glass of water as well some protein to replenish your energy.
You may even experience some high emotions, ride them out as they appear because they are a part of your healing process.
For past hurts
- Find a comfortable place in your home where you will not be disturbed.
- Once you found this comfortable place, I want you to sit or lie down.
- Countdown from 3-1. With each countdown I want you to inhale and exhale. With your last exhale close your eyes.
- Now imagine, visualize or feel that there is a line on top of your head going from the present to the future and present to the past. For some this line goes from left to right, for others it could be from the back of your head facing forward, yet others will see a diagonal line. It doesn’t matter what kind of a line it is or which way it faces as long as it is your past going into the future.
- Now you will need to imagine that you’re floating up into this line. You find yourself standing on the line.
- What you are going to do is walk back to your past to where the person first hurt you. Go as fast as you can or take as long as you need. Using your submodalities walk back to that time where you first experienced the hurt from the person you are going to forgive.
- Now find yourself at that spot. Look around just before they are about to hurt you. Notice what you see and how you feel.
- What I would like you to do is create a peaceful feeling around yourself, sort of like a protection layer.
- Now let the other person do what they did to you. You will not experience any hurt because you have your protection layer around you. Anything they say or will not hurt you.
- Rather than feel hurt, look at them, see how sorry you feel for them that they have to say these hurtful things to you to make themselves feel better.
- You feel sorry for them which means you can even forgive them. This happens because you realize whatever they did to hurt you was only done to make themselves feel superior to you.
- Notice what you are learning about yourself while doing the forgiving.
- Return to the present moment and imagine stepping down from the timeline back into yourself.
- Countdown from 3-1. When you get to one open your eyes, take note of your feelings.
For future hurts, if the person will be in your life
- Follow steps 1-5 above
- What you’re going to do now is from the present moment spread forgiveness for the person all the way to the end of the timeline. You can spread this forgiveness in a color you see as forgiving. If a color does not work for you, you could do it with a feeling.
- Follow the steps 13-14 above.
You can repeat this process for every forgiveness work you need to do.
What happens during the timeline technique process is you are discarding the emotional baggage while taking away the lesson. You may even ask yourself what have you gained from this experience. Rather than focusing on the experience of what took place, you will now have gained more knowledge of how you view yourself.
How to forgive someone who has hurt you with the timeline technique is discreet. As well the other person will never know what you did, so they will never experience the benefits of it.
But you will always experience the benefits of forgiveness!
Let me know in comments below what you think of this forgiveness technique I have provided to you.
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