You can master the art of forgiveness over time and through practice, by implementing the LET GO Forgiveness Model. You will learn how to move through its five stages, from feeling victimized and disempowered, to being fully connected with your inner purpose and free to create happiness and experience joy.
There is not a definite time frame in accomplishing the steps of LET GO. It depends on how profound your loss is, how willing you are to forgive, how motivated you are to move on, and how ready you are to give up destructive behaviors. Completing this process may take weeks, months or even years. But once you choose to follow the steps of LET GO and achieve forgiveness, you will enjoy the rewards of a fresh beginning with a lighter heart and strengthened hope.
The five steps of the LET GO Forgiveness Model are:
1. Lament the harmful events.
2. Emote safely.
3. Tell your real losses.
4. Get clear about your needs.
5. Open yourself to fulfillment-appropriate actions.
1. Lament the Harmful Events. Focus more on what was done to you than who did it. Speak about the harmful events that took place and name the physical, material, emotional and spiritual harms they caused for you.
2. Emote Safely. This phase may be challenging, because you must allow yourself to experience all the pain-related emotions caused by the harmful experience, as they arise. Make sure you do this with safety. In other words, give yourself space and time to emote, and surround yourself with people you trust. Avoid further harm by not making yourself vulnerable to people who do not care. Be gentle with painful emotions. When they are intense, rest and sleep well. Do not strain yourself when you are in emotional pain. Respect your need to emote and make this phase of LET GO as safe as possible.
3. Tell your Real Losses. Once you have allowed yourself to emote safely, it is time to tell your real losses. These are the current financial and physical damages caused by pain-driven actions, which are within your control to recover. In this step, you must answer two questions:
a. How is my pain affecting my current relationship with my finances?
b. How is my pain affecting my attitude toward my physical health?
Now, name your current pain-driven behaviors and how they damage your financial and physical health.
4. Get Clear about Your Needs. In this step, you are called to identify what needs you must fulfill in order to recover your emotional and spiritual losses caused by the harmful experience. Such losses may be your innocence, trust, enthusiasm, love, hope, power, sense of control, faith in justice, sense of security, etc.
Answer the following question as concisely as you can by identifying the emotional and spiritual losses you suffered and expressing them as needs that you must fulfill:
What spiritual or emotional loss did this harmful experience cause in me that I need to give back to myself?
5. Open Yourself to Fulfillment-Appropriate Actions. In the final step of LET GO, you are called to open yourself to actions that fulfill the needs you identified in the previous step. Here, you must recover your emotional and spiritual losses and create abundance, avoiding acts of revenge or self-destruction. Few things are more destructive in life than the emotional and material energy spent on actions of revenge. But if you empower yourself to recover your losses instead of being vengeful, you will give a powerful thrust to your growth creating emotional, spiritual and material abundance.
Notice that this approach to forgiveness does not focus on forgiving the persons who have harmed you. Rather, it empowers you to forgive the damages you suffered by learning how to recover your emotional and spiritual losses and preserve your physical and financial health. In fact, this approach makes clear that you should not spend energy and money on vengeful acts but focus deliberately instead on creating happiness. This does not mean that you should not also forgive those who harmed you, but that you should consider the recovery of your happiness as the best form of revenge and decline to waste your energy and your life on avenging those who have harmed you.