How to Forgive Your Ex (Hint: It's not what you think)

Forgiving someone is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. It’s your gateway to letting go of the past and opening yourself up to a world of freedom!

In order to truly forgive someone, you must also forgive yourself.

Before you get defensive, hear me out.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve tried to rationalize and think your way out of a problem or conflict. Some of these thoughts might include…If you cut this person out of your life, you don’t need to forgive them. If you place all the blame on the other person, you don’t need to forgive them. You don’t need to forgive anyone for “what they did to you”, and you definitely don’t need to forgive yourself because you didn’t do anything wrong.

A relationship is comprised of two people. One person is never entirely at fault. If you find yourself constantly complaining about someone else, consider what you’re allowing. Have you set the appropriate boundaries? Have you expressed yourself and changed your behavior? If not, it’s OK. It’s just something to recognize and forgive yourself for.

Holding onto feelings of anger or regret is like poison in your blood. In not forgiving someone, you are essentially harming yourself. Denial is another problem in itself. When you internalize your feelings, you are unable to process and let go. A past relationship will remain stuck in your heart, and you will undoubtedly carry it into your next relationship, whether it’s a romantic relationship, business partnership, family member, or friendship.

Forgiveness is not only a conscious choice, but a subconscious one as well. So much of it comes down to getting in touch with your feelings, and having an understanding of why it’s important to forgive in the first place.

There is often a misconception as to what it means to forgive. It isn’t about the other person. You aren’t “doing it for them”. You’re doing it for yourself. You’re making a conscious decision to move forward and stop dwelling over the past.

Can you imagine a life without guilt? Without holding onto past resentments?

Forgiveness is healing and incredibly freeing, and I am living proof of that.

It took me years to fully forgive and release my past relationship of nearly 10 years. Now that I have, I can confidently say that there is no greater feeling.

Studies on forgiveness have led scientists to suspect that those who have difficulty forgiving are more likely to experience heart attacks, high blood pressure, depression, and other ills.

Some reported benefits of forgiveness are less stress, more joy, and feelings of freedom and peace.

Remember, in forgiving someone, you are not “giving in” or saying what they did is acceptable. You are doing this for YOU.

Make a list of reasons why you need to forgive yourself. Make a separate list of why you’re forgiving someone else. During this exercise, imagine how you want to feel. Put on your favorite feel good song, and breathe in that emotion. Soak it all in, and let the past melt away.

For me, forgiveness equals freedom. Through the process of constantly forgiving myself and letting go of my exes, I’ve never felt freer.

I’m siding with Ariana Grande on this one. “Thank you, next.”