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Forgiveness might be the single greatest emotional tool after love, the ability to release the hurt inside and carry on with our lives is incredibly powerful. We think about forgiveness as simply something we do or give to others, when really it is a chance for us to become stronger in our own lives. We have all been wronged at some point in our lives and although the pain of being hurt in that very moment is a lot to deal with, it is living with that hurt day in and day out that is the real suffering. Forgiveness is never easy, especially when you are on the receiving end of the emotional pain, so here are a few things I do to remind myself of how important it is to give and seek forgiveness regardless of the situation.

1. SEPARATE THE ACTION FROM THE INDIVIDUAL

Remind yourself that nobody in the world, including you, is perfect, that we all mistakes, misjudge, and miscalculate. Now imagine a world where we are defined by our mistakes rather than who we are as human beings, everyone would simply avoid, or even worse hate, each other. By removing the action of making a mistake from the individual, you are able to see them for who they really are, and in the process remind yourself that deep down inside everyone has good inside them, we just slip up every now and then. Remember it is who you are, not simply what you do that defines you, and it should define everyone else to.

2. WEAR THEIR SHOES

Always ask yourself why the specific person would do, or say, something that would bring hurt or pain to your life, especially if a strong relationship already exits. Perhaps they had a bad day, maybe they are one’s feeing the pain and they want you to connect with them, or maybe they are simply crying out for help. Try and see things from their angle, in a way it helps you from singling yourself out, and putting the weight of the situation on your chest. By walking in their shoes, you get a better understanding of just how bumpy the path is they are walking on, and now you can walk by their side knowing what they are going through.

3. KEEP YOUR ARMS OPEN

I watched a beautiful talk by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf last night where he discussed the importance of keeping our doors open to people with all their mistakes and flaws. As human beings we always need to keep some space in our arms for the people who have wronged us, because the reality of the matter is when they come back, we are probably all they have left. When your heart is always open to people, nothing but love surrounds your entire being, because you rise above the hurt and pain every time, emotionally, nothing is more powerful.

4. SHOW MORE LOVE

The first step to forgiving is reminding yourself of your love and care for people. By increasing that love and concern when something comes between you and the person you care about it shows that nothing can come between you both, that no issue, however bad, is more important than the love that binds the two of you together. Never forget your love for each other, and you will never something tearing you apart, because nothing can.

As humans we are in our natural state when we love, smile, and bring joy to the world and although rainy days make their way into all our lives, it is forgiveness that brings out the sunshine again. Your ability to help mend a heart that has broken yours is one of the greatest displays of emotional strength, not only do you heal a relationship that means so much to you, you also heal yourself. Love Over Pain, Always.