We've all been at that point in our lives where someone does something to hurt us, and it isn't always easy to forgive them for what happened. Sometimes people can never get past what others do, and instead, it weighs them down.

I have had several instances where I can recall being so hurt by others' actions towards me that I never wanted to see or speak to them again. I have held grudges for years (and I mean close to decades), and if you're anything like me, you can relate to how hard it is to let go. When I entered my college years, I started to grow and realize that these grudges were still impacting how I functioned on pretty much an everyday basis. I hated knowing that I still could not let go of the past and the people that hurt me. Here is how I started on the road toward forgiveness...

First, I had to let go of all my anger. Everything that I was angry towards I couldn't change because they were already in the past. Realizing that what had happened was in the past made me realize I was carrying unnecessary weight around. This is the very first step you should take before forgiving someone. If you are still angry, you are not ready to forgive the person who did you wrong. Letting go of the anger will allow you to grow and eventually forgive the person.

A tip I have for stepping towards forgiveness is to write out your feelings towards the person and then read them aloud to yourself (or another trusted person if you want). This clears the air of anything that you have not realized feelings wise. You may have shown anger, but that anger may have been driven by sadness. Writing your feelings out allows you to explore the root cause of your feelings towards this person. Once you know where your feelings are at you can start to let go of the emotions toward the person.

Sometimes, if you are really daring, you may feel the need to actually talk to the person in order to forgive them. This is completely okay if and only if you know that talking to them will not make you hold a grudge even more. Sometimes talking to a cheating boyfriend or a friend that stole from you may not be a good idea if there are still some explosive emotions built up between the two of you.

Something to remember is that you have to forgive yourself in the process of forgiving others. You might have said something you regret or have done something you wish you could take back. In order to forgive the person, you have to forgive yourself first!

The last tip I will give is this: you can forgive someone and have them not forgive you back, and that is OKAY. You have to learn to accept their ignorance. Forgiving the person is about you, not them. You have the full right to forgive someone and choose not to talk to them again, at least you will be free of the weight they had once put on your shoulders.