Okay, so I may have lied in my title. It was honestly just to get your attention and I guess it worked? Forgiving isn’t always easy. The different situations you’re put in, the pain you’re dealing with, and the emotional state you’re in all contribute to how you start to forgive someone, but the process of forgiveness is always the same.
1. Accept it
“Wow, so you’re telling me to take that L?!” Why, yes, yes I am. Seriously, accept what happened! Whether someone lied to you, cheated on you, stabbed you in the back, accept it. Don't seek revenge, which is petty and childish. Right now, we are learning how to forgive like an adult. You can’t change what happened and you surely can’t control others' actions. Accepting what happened and coming to terms with the fact that someone's true colors have been shown doesn't mean you can't be upset—I mean, you just found out some pretty terrible crap. Be mad, be angry, but know when to let that go and learn how to be at peace with it.
2. Learn from it
While you're accepting what happened, you should figure out what you're supposed to learn from that person. Also, learn your worth so you won't put yourself back into the same situation. Learn to forgive even if the other person isn't sorry, because sometimes other people just really and truly don't care about your feelings and that's a cruel and heartbreaking lesson. Learn that forgiving is NOT forgetting! “Forgive and forget” is by far the most foolish advice to live by. Instead, take what happened to heart, learn your lesson and never forget it, know what to avoid next time, and most importantly, know what type of people are bad news. Snakes are everywhere, and man, they'd love to sink their teeth into you. You only have yourself to blame if you pretend a snake is a rabbit.
3. Move on from it
By this point you should have cried it out, screamed in a few pillows, vented, complained, and learned to be more cautious around people, and right now you're trying to move on. Now, understand that forgiving someone could take any amount of time, from a few days to several years. It's hard to forgive. You can't move on from the heartache you went through until you forgive. Forgiveness isn't for the other person to feel better about what happened; it's for you to finally feel at peace with the hand life dealt to you. Forgiving someone doesn't require you to cut the ties with the person who hurt you, but it requires you to be more cautious and to decide whether staying around the person who hurt you is really worth it. Don't apologize for reaching your limit with people. You can't control other people's actions, but you can control how you react, so don't waste your time being angry and bitter over something you can’t change. Distance yourself if you have to—take your sweet, sweet time to get over it—but know that there will come a time when you just have to forgive them for what happened and move on with your life instead of dwelling on the past.
So, take that “L” like a grown-ass adult, learn to forgive but never forget the lesson you were taught, and move on with your life because dwelling on your hurt is only killing yourself. This is how you forgive in three “easy” steps.