Forgiving in Writing

1. Make a list of all the people you have not yet forgiven. For each person, finish these sentences for each offense.

I felt_when_

(hurt, angry, etc.) (describe what happened)

because_. I still feel_

(why you felt as you did) (describe present feelings)

(If possible, add an empathic thought that reflects the other person's state/view at the time, such as: "You were probably feeling pain/insecurity yourself at the time," or "I guess you thought harsh punishment was good discipline." Then, "I want to forgive you.")


2. After finishing step 1 for each person, complete this statement. Dear_,

To the best of my ability, I forgive you for all the hurt you caused me. I release my burden of ill will toward you now, and free you and me to live. (If you shared some responsibility for the offense or carried extreme resentment, you might ask the offender to forgive you, or you might wish to add a statement about forgiving yourself.)


3. Some people find it useful to ritualistically burn the writings as a symbol of closure.

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