"Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness". This quote by Marianne Williamson makes so much sense. We've all been there. We've all been betrayed by somebody and felt hurt, angry, vengeful with the sole thought of "revenge" in mind. Very rarely has the thought of forgiveness crossed our minds. We are so consumed by the damage inflicted on us that forgiveness doesn't even seem like an option. But does that help us? Sticking to the hurt, and reliving "being betrayed" every single day? You & I both know the answer to that. And this is why we need to learn how to forgive someone who betrays us.
10 Steps To Forgive Someone Who Cheated On You
Here are my 10 steps that'll help you learn how to forgive someone who cheated on you. In fact, they will not only help you deal with the betrayal in a manner that won't hurt you or anybody else but also help you achieve a sense of inner peace.
1. Throw a 'Fuck You' Party
The initial feeling that stems from being cheated on is generally of rage. You become a volcano of anger brimming with the lava of revenge that could burn anyone that comes in your path. So instead of indulging in a knee-jerk reaction which you may regret later, throw yourself a "Fuck you" party.
The rules for this party are simple. You are both the host & the guest. You will narrate the story out loud about how the person betrayed you. Repeat it as many times as you want. Then look at a picture of the person who has wronged you and abuse the shit out of that person. No holds barred. Don't be conscious. You're free to use the choicest of expletives and all the colourful vocabulary you can think of. Pour yourself a glass of wine (or gulp down a beer) once you're done.
As weird as it sounds, the process is extremely cathartic. You release the toxic bitterness and are left with the satisfaction of having spoken your heart out. In a way, you make peace with the situation by accepting it. It also helps you get rid of the simmering tension that could have made you feel suffocated had it been bottled up.
2. Put Yourself In The Wrongdoer's Shoes
I know it's easier said than done. But think about it. A person isn't born with hate, deceit, anger, and betrayal in his blood. It's his experiences in life that shaped him that way. More often than not, a person who inflicts hurt on another person has a history of being hurt himself. Either that or they may be suffering from a pathological disorder.
Anger and hate usually reside in a sulking and damaged heart. People with such hate inside of them act out of vengeance. They feel that their actions are completely justified because the world deserves payback for mistreating them. Therefore, think of your wrongdoer as a victim and sympathize with him.
I am not saying accept the wrongdoing. I'm telling you to acknowledge their sickness and let go of your hate. It helps you understand the fact that their actions are a result of who they are as a person and not because they have something personal against you.
3. Stop Broadcasting Your Pitiful Condition
Betrayal is a bitch. And living with it on a daily basis is an even bigger bitch. The temptation to share your story with other people and to blame your transgressor is irresistible. But I advise you to steer clear of this temptation as it doesn't help.
What happens when you keep repeating the story is that you remain stuck in the problem. You keep hurting yourself each time you narrate the story and as a result, the wounds remain fresh. You victimize yourself and sit in a dangerous comfort zone of self-pity where badmouthing the wrongdoer works as a soothing balm for you. This blame game can do more harm than good.
So stop telling other people your story like a broken record in order to gain sympathy. Chances are that most of them are only treating your story as a source of entertainment and collecting gossip material to share in their respective peer groups & social circles. Don't give them that opportunity. Keep your dignity intact.
I'm not telling you to suffer in silence. I'm saying that if you have to share your story, then do it with your loved ones - the people who truly understand you, support you, and wish you well. This will not only make you feel that you're not alone but also help you move on to better things in life.
4. The 'Fire Letter Dissipation' Technique
The mind and the heart have a lot to say especially when they're hurting. And sometimes you don't have friends who you can share your bitter experience with and find some solace. This can make you feel lonely and helpless. So to counter such a situation I recommend you try the "Fire-Letter dissipation" technique.
In this process, you first write a letter where you pen down everything about the incident. The content can include your feelings about your offender/transgressor. Pen your angst, dilemma, questions, sorrow, and pain. Don't leave anything behind. Then write about how you forgive them for their misdeeds and are moving on.
Now safely burn the letter. See your sorrows, sadness, and anger burn with the paper. As you see the smoke dissipated by the paper, visualize all the pessimism and negativity being released from every cell of your body.
This process is therapeutic. You'll feel much lighter post the completion of the exercise. It is a form of closure that you achieve which leads you to inner peace.
5. Learn Your Lesson
Treat the mistreatment or betrayal as an education. Understand what went wrong, how you ended up on the wrong side of the situation, and learn your lesson from it.
If you were in a relationship, then rewind back to the points where you ignored the red flags and supported the bad behaviour of your partner in your desperation to be loved. Make note of the mistakes that led to your current miserable state. If you were in a business dealing, then recollect the sequence of events and recognize the weaknesses that put you in a compromising position.
Make note of these things. Write down the lessons you have learned from these experiences. Read them and absorb them. This practice will make you proactive as a person in dealing with similar situations in the future and you'll be able to handle them effectively without becoming a victim again.
6. Accept What Has Happened
I'm not telling you to accept or tolerate wrongdoing. I'm telling you to accept the situation, learn from it, adapt, and move on. A big reason why we fail to forgive people who have hurt us is that we refuse to accept what has happened.
We are so blinded by hate and revenge that we constantly keep obsessing over the hurt. As a result, we fail to move on and make progress in life. We are more reactive than understanding. So all our responses to situations are guided by this suppressed anger and hurt. In a way, we allow the past to dictate terms to our present and our future.
We have to understand that the first step to forgiveness is acceptance. Accept that something wrong has happened. You can't go back in time to change things but you can be grateful for the lessons that it has taught you. Nothing in life comes for free. Sometimes you got to suffer the pain to evolve into a better, stronger person.
Acceptance, therefore, leads you to forgiveness. Don't accept the wrongdoing, accept the fact that is has happened and you will deal with it in a manner that will preserve you, and help you move on to greener pastures in life.
7. Focus On Self Improvement
If you can't convince yourself to forgive your transgressor, then think of the benefits that forgiveness has in store for you. Once you forgive a person, you detach yourself from all the negativity. You no longer see yourself as a victim. You take control of life and want to focus on how to make it better. Therefore, forgiveness empowers you.
Don't dwell on the hurt and cry rivers because somebody wronged you. Instead, channelize that anger and hurt to pursue a passion and excel at it. Focus on a greater journey of self-improvement. The distraction will help you as you'll find a new source of happiness. Remember Frank Sinatra's golden words - "The best revenge is massive success".
After all, what message would you want to give a person who betrays you? That you are still living in the past, succumbing to the negativity resulting from their wrongdoing and letting them get the better of you? No. You want to send a message across that says "Bitch, now see me fly". Hop on the 'self-evolvement express' and gift yourself a better life.
8. Forgiveness Is Freedom
Sometimes being the bigger person, taking the high road just doesn't come organically to you. Damn! it didn't strike me when I was cheated on so I'd be lying if I sounded too idealistic about it. But what I did realize is that the more I hung on to the sorry tale of my suffering, the more it pinched me and bogged me down.
I became a sadder person with every iota of positivity sucked out of me because of me romanticizing my pain. Don't lock yourself up in a room. Just forgive the person even if they haven't apologised to you. Don't do it for them. Do it for you. Your betterment, your well-being hinges on how you want to see yourself.
You want to look at yourself in the mirror and be proud, not pitiful. Ultimately, forgiveness frees you from the shackles of negativity, self-pity, and makes you a stronger and more evolved person.
9. Turn The Tables On Your Story
Forgiveness is less about you showing mercy on the outside and more about how you feel about yourself on the inside. Instead of narrating your story as a dark, gloomy tale with a heartbreaking climax where your condition is worse than a prisoner's in the Guantanamo Bay prison, try narrating it as the story of an underdog who overcomes his obstacle of betrayal and emerges victorious at the end.
Fake it till you make it. The mind's a funny place. If you trick it into believing you are detaching yourself from your transgressor and not letting him affect you, then you'll ultimately end up believing your story yourself and your manifestation will bear fruit in reality.
You will recover much quicker from the debacle and probably surprise yourself. So try this technique. Be the hero of your own story. A protagonist who wins at the end. Stories with happy endings are always blockbusters.
10. Maintain Your Class
Yes, you've been betrayed. Yes, you're angry. Hell yes, you want revenge and have probably slapped them & broken their bones in your head. But instead of acting on these impulses and doing something that you'll regret, maintain your class. Have some dignity in distress.
You don't have to stoop down to their level to seek revenge. That'll make you the same as them. And you wouldn't want that, would you? As George Bernard Shaw rightfully said "I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it."
It won't be easy. There will be many people (not your well-wishers) who will try to instigate you and rile you up so that you say something or do something in anger but don't fall in the trap.
Just distance yourself and say "I don't wish to comment on that. It's a private matter and I'll handle it myself". The true test of your character is how you handle adversity while maintaining your dignity. So let your character speak for yourself.
It's not easy to handle betrayal. But it's not impossible either. I haven't made a list that you have to follow compulsorily. I've only stated the ways (from my personal experiences and observations) in which you can deal with this adversity in the best possible manner.
Try whatever works for you and let me know how you feel. You can contact me on my mail if you need a person to talk to. It takes a big heart to forgive somebody. And I have complete faith in you that you'll overcome your demons and reward yourself with a better life.
To conclude, I'd like to share with you one of my favourite Mark Twain quotes - "Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it".
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