Gratitude Practice for Forgiveness

One thing many of us share is a history of trauma. Our traumatic experiences can affect us deeply and can contribute to our addictions, depression and other mental health issues. As we are healing from our trauma, we might find ourselves still angry with the people who hurt us. We might feel we are unable to forgive them.

Oftentimes when we are angry, we focus our attention and energy on what is angering us. We replay memories of the trauma and revisit all the ways in which we were hurt. We might list out all the factors of the traumatic experiences and the reasons why we are still angry. Our resentment towards the people who hurt us continues to build. We might find ourselves feeling bitter, anxious, confused and sad.

Very often the people who hurt us most are those with whom we are closest. Instinctively many of us want to distance ourselves from these people, avoid them, cut them off and end the relationship altogether, but is there another way to handle our anger? One way to work through our anger is to use a gratitude practice for forgiveness.

Instead of directing our focus so intently on the anger itself, let’s try switching our focus to gratitude. What has this trauma taught me that I can be grateful for? What have I learned from my pain? How have these experiences helped shape my journey? What can I use from this experience to help me in my emotional recovery? How has this taught me to heal?

Any time we have painful experiences, there are lessons we can discover within them. Our anger can cause us to grow in our consciousness and awareness. We can learn more about what we are sensitive to and what triggers us, thereby learning more about the unhealed wounds that still need our loving attention. We can learn more about ways in which we can protect other people and avoid hurting them as much as possible. We can learn more about human nature and the ways in which we hurt each other, consciously and unconsciously. We can choose to see all of our learning experiences as helpful and necessary for our growth and expansion.

Our anger can be a gift if we choose to see it that way. We can open our hearts to gratitude. “I am grateful for the lessons my pain has taught me. I am grateful for the ways my pain has helped me grow. I am grateful to the people who hurt me, and I am grateful for everything I have learned from them. I am healing. My healing is a gift.”

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