However difficult it may be, forgiving individuals for wrongdoings is necessary for personal growth and ultimate relationship success. Wronged individuals may not reach forgiveness overnight, and often must work toward forgiving others for slights. If you're helping a group of adults try to forgive important individuals in their lives, guiding them through forgiveness activities is an effective way of helping them let go of their hurt.
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Many individuals who are struggling to forgive feel weighed down by emotions that they aren't necessarily able to express to the individual who wronged them. Help these emotionally taxed individuals overcome these issues by guiding them through the writing of a forgiveness letter. Ask each individual in your group to compose a letter to the person he is struggling to forgive in which he expresses his thoughts and feelings regarding the individual. By creating written communications, your group members can more effectively work through their feelings and express sentiments that they might struggle to convey were they speaking to this person face to face. After the letters are composed, leave it up to the group members to decide whether or not to send this correspondence.
Allow your group members to act out the forgiving process by engaging them in forgiveness role-play. Allow each of the group members to take a turn role-playing discussions with the individuals they are trying to forgive. Ask another group member to act as this individual, receiving the hurt individual's messages. As they move through these role-plays, they may become more comfortable with actually speaking face to face with the individuals who have done them wrong.
Give your group members a chance to express their upset through art by engaging them in the creation of forgiveness art. Before members of your group arrive, set up art supplies, scattering canvases, paints and brushes around the space. When group members arrive, ask them to use these tools to in some way capture their emotions in art. After group members craft their creations, allow them to share them, explaining what they showed.
Encourage your group members to think about what they need to forgive by asking them to create forgiveness recipes. Arm each group member with a recipe card, and ask her to write out a recipe for how to forgive. This recipe may include things like "2 cups of understanding" and "a punch of compassion." Encourage your group members to keep these created recipes with them, or stow them away so they can look at them later should they need reminders of how to forgive.
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