10 signs you’re ready to forgive someone who hurt you badly

In the tapestry of life, hurt and betrayal often weave their way into our stories, leaving indelible marks on our hearts.

Forgiveness can seem like a Herculean task, especially when the wounds are deep and fresh. 

Yet, it’s a journey we must embark on, not for those who hurt us, but for our own healing.

Let’s explore these tell-tale signs that suggest you might be ready to take that courageous step towards forgiveness.

1) Acceptance of what happened

Picture yourself standing on the shore, watching as waves crash in, only to pull back and recede.

Just as the ocean accepts each wave, it’s essential for you to accept what has happened.

This doesn’t mean that you’re okay with it, rather, you’re merely acknowledging its existence. 

You’re no longer running from the event or denying its impact.

You’ve allowed the wave of pain to crash over you and now, you’re ready to let it recede.

It’s a tough pill to swallow, but acceptance is the first, most crucial step towards healing and forgiveness.

2) Compassion towards the person who hurt you

Now, this is a tricky one, isn’t it? Compassion towards someone who has caused you pain might feel counterintuitive.

Yet, the beauty of compassion lies in its transformative power.

It’s not about ignoring or justifying their actions. It’s about recognizing that, like you, they are human—capable of making mistakes and causing pain.

Here, you begin to consider that they may have been acting out of their own hurt or insecurities.

While this doesn’t excuse their behavior, it does give it context. Understanding this is like laying a bridge towards forgiveness.

Remember, though: Compassion shouldn’t compromise your well-being. Prioritize your peace first.

3) Ability to see the situation from their perspective

Imagine for a moment, stepping into their shoes. It’s a difficult exercise, no doubt.

But being able to view the situation from their perspective indicates you’re closer to forgiveness. 

Maybe they were going through a tough time, or they weren’t aware of the gravity of their actions.

Again, this doesn’t condone what they did. It simply suggests you’re gaining a broader view, seeing the forest for the trees.

This perspective can be crucial in letting go of the past and moving forward.

But keep this in mind: It’s okay if you’re not there yet. Patience is key in this journey.

4) Lack of desire for revenge

Ever found yourself daydreaming about scenarios where the person who hurt you experiences the same pain they caused you?

This is a common reaction to being hurt.

However, when these revenge fantasies start to dissipate, and you no longer harbor ill wishes, it’s a sign that you’re on the path towards forgiveness.

This shift means you’re focusing more on your healing than on their downfall.

It’s like letting go of a heavy rock you’ve been carrying around—suddenly, you feel lighter, freer. 

It’s definitely a process, and it’s okay to have setbacks.

5) Willingness to let go of resentment

As tempting as it is to hold on to anger and resentment, these emotions can become a poison, slowly eroding your joy and peace.

When you find yourself ready to release this pent-up resentment, you’re opening the door to forgiveness.

You’re choosing your happiness over bitterness.

It’s like deciding to release a bird caged within you—it may have become familiar, but it was never meant to be there.

Don’t rush this, though. It takes time to untangle emotions and to find the strength to let go.

6) Understanding of the lessons from the experience

lesson forgive 10 signs you’re ready to forgive someone who hurt you badly

Every cloud has a silver lining, even the painful experiences in our lives.

If you find yourself acknowledging the lessons learnt from the hurtful situation, it’s a clear indicator that you’re journeying towards forgiveness.

Maybe you’ve become stronger, more empathetic, or have learned to set better boundaries.

By recognizing these growth points, you’re not glorifying the pain, but rather, you’re reclaiming the narrative.

You’re turning a painful chapter into a story of resilience and growth.

And the thing is: Every experience, good or bad, contributes to the person you’re becoming. Embrace the lessons, for they are stepping stones in your journey.

7) Less emotional pain when thinking about the incident

In the initial stages, memories of the hurtful event may bring a rush of pain, similar to touching a fresh wound.

But as time goes on, and as you do the emotional work necessary, the sting starts to fade. You can recall the incident without it derailing your day or sinking your mood.

This doesn’t mean forgetting what happened, but it’s a sign that you’re healing, and that forgiveness is within reach.

It’s a testament to your strength and resilience.

Healing is not linear, and it’s okay to have good days and bad days.

8) Ready to establish boundaries

Forgiveness doesn’t mean putting yourself back in a vulnerable position.

If you’re preparing to forgive, you’re likely also ready to set and assert boundaries.

Maybe you’ll need to limit contact with this person, or clearly express what behavior is acceptable to you.

Establishing these boundaries shows a healthy respect for yourself and your emotional wellbeing.

It’s akin to rebuilding a house after a storm—you wouldn’t rebuild without reinforcing it, would you?

Take your time with this, because the boundaries you set now will serve you in the future.

9) Being at peace with the past

When you can look back at the past without it triggering a storm of emotions, it’s a clear sign you’re ready to forgive.

You’ve navigated the waves of denial, anger, bargaining, and depression, and have arrived at a place of acceptance.

It’s not about painting the past in rosy colors, but about not letting it control your present.

It’s like taking a deep breath after a long dive underwater—it signifies relief, release, and readiness to move on.

Be patient with yourself during this process.

10) Feeling ready to move forward

Finally, a powerful sign that you’re ready to forgive is feeling the pull to move forward.

Maybe you’ve recognized that the past is holding you back or that clinging onto anger is draining your energy.

If you’re eager to release this and stride towards a brighter future, you’re on the brink of forgiveness.

It’s a courageous move, akin to standing on the edge of a cliff, ready to dive into a sea of possibilities.

Always put this to heart: It’s your journey, your pace. When you’re ready to take the leap, trust yourself.

Should you forgive everyone who hurt you?

“Should you forgive everyone who hurt you?” is a question I often hear from friends and readers alike.

It’s a nuanced one that lacks a one-size-fits-all answer, just like my friend Jake’s story.

Jake was hurt by someone close to him, and it took a long time for him to heal.

One day over coffee, he asked me, “Should I forgive her even if she never apologized?” This refers to his girlfriend of 10 years who cheated on her with a coworker.

My answer was simple yet complex: “Forgiveness is about you, not them.”

You see, forgiveness is deeply personal. It’s not an endorsement of the hurtful actions of others, nor does it mandate reconciliation.

Instead, it’s a form of self-care, a release of the bitterness and resentment that can hold you back.

So, should you forgive everyone who hurt you? Well, you’re not obligated to.

Some actions may seem unforgivable, and that’s okay.

What’s important is to seek peace, healing, and growth for yourself.

You can choose not to carry the weight of resentment without necessarily labeling it as forgiveness.

It’s all about finding what works best for you on your journey to healing. It’s about recognizing that you deserve peace, however you can find it.

Why forgiving (the right people) is important

Forgiving is an act that comes with a myriad of benefits to both your mind and your body. It’s actually more self-fulfilling than it appears.

Here are some reasons why forgiving is important:

1) Inner Peace

Forgiveness allows you to make peace with your past, helping you to release anger and resentment that can eat away at your peace of mind.

2) Emotional Growth

The act of forgiveness often requires introspection and self-understanding. This deep emotional work can lead to personal growth and enhanced emotional intelligence.

3) Freedom

Holding onto anger and resentment can feel like carrying a heavy burden. Forgiveness can release you from this weight, creating a sense of freedom and lightness.

4) Improved Relationships

Forgiving can help you develop compassion and understanding, skills that can enhance your relationships with others.

5) Health Benefits

Research suggests that holding onto negative emotions can lead to physical health issues. Forgiving can alleviate stress and potentially improve overall wellbeing.

Final words

Circling back to the concept of the grand tapestry of life, forgiveness can be seen as the threads of resilience, courage, and understanding, interwoven to create a picture of healing and peace. 

Remember: Forgiveness isn’t about minimizing the pain caused or erasing the past, it’s about choosing your peace over prolonged suffering.

It’s about recognizing the strength within you to rise above the pain, to learn from it, and to move forward.

When you forgive, you claim a victory not over the person who hurt you, but over the pain they caused.

In this way, forgiveness is the ultimate form of self-empowerment. Choose wisely, forgive courageously, and live freely.

Picture of Gershom Mabaquiao

Gershom Mabaquiao

Gershom Mabaquiao is a scholar of psychology, oral tradition, and interpersonal relationships. His creative works have been published in Inquirer.net's Young Blood section, The Unconventional Courier, and Tint Journal. He lives in the Philippines with his best friend-turned-partner and their dog, Zuko. Gershom has plans of taking his master's degree in Clinical Psychology to help young adults heal the inner child in each of them.

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