How do we ask for forgiveness? Remember, we do not want to simply say I am sorry. We want our apologies to be deeper and more profound. You may be thinking, where do I begin?
Well, if you have chosen option 1, begin by making your list. You can make a list of people you would like to apologize to. What makes you feel remorse? Ask yourself, why you are asking to be forgiven?. What were you thinking of at the time? What was your life like when this happened? What was the motivation behind your actions? Why did you do what you did?
If you have decided to call this person, start by simply asking them for a few moments of their time. Be open and remember to be honest. This will be difficult but the outcome and healing will be worth it. Breathe, and begin by explaining to them that you want to make amends for your actions. Tell them what was happening in your life at the time and how you plan to make changes so you do not repeat the past. Even if they are not willing to fully listen, or believe in you, believe in yourself and stay on course. Actions speak louder than words. Taking the proper steps to forgive yourself will allow you to move forward. If this person doesn't want to help you, they can witness your transformation from afar. This is for you! Once you have explained where you were at mentally during this time, then apologize. If there is a physical action you can take to make amends, do it! Then recognize what you have just overcome; the fear, the anxiety of facing this person; and the courage it took you to admit your fault. I am proud of you and you should be proud of yourself! If you have chosen to write a letter you can follow the same outline but in writing.
Option 2 - If you are just not ready to face anyone, remember that it is OK to start here. Asking ourselves for forgiveness can be just as difficult. Start but figuring out what you want forgiveness for. What have you done in the past that you feel remorse for.
I forgive myself for being snippy and mean to others. I have been fighting a financial down fall and I cannot take living pay check to paycheck anymore. I get angry and I hurt others with my words. I see others who are not struggling and they don't work half as much as I do. I realize that I take out my frustrations on my mother and that is not fair. I make her feel guilty so she will do things for me. I am intentionally sarcastic with my best friend and jealous over what she has. I have yelled and screamed at others who did not deserve it. I fought with a co-worker because I was frustrated and I belittled her. I will be more aware of my tone of voice and how my actions affect others. I will be more patient and calm when I speak to others. I will do better. I will find a better paying job if my boss does not promote me. I will practice anger management techniques. I will write in my thankful journal and be more open about my feelings. I will do this!
I forgave myself first. Then I addressed what was causing me to feel guilt and remorse. I explained to myself what I was thinking and feeling. We need to be honest. No one else will read this. Your writing needs to be blunt and raw. You are not being graded, so do not worry about spelling or punctuation. Write and let it flow out; there is no wrong way to do this. When you have finished your letter go somewhere quiet and read it to yourself. Then close your eyes breathe and say " I forgive you". "I deserve forgiveness". Rip it up or burn it and let go of it. Be mindful moving forward to not repeat these mistakes, actions or harmful words.
Remember to make a plan to change your behavior and to avoid these actions in the future. I truly believe these steps will help you to start feeling better. You have got this! Stay strong and positive. Have a blessed week and remember that you are stronger than you believe. Have faith in yourself !