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9 Ways to Make Amends and Seek Forgiveness

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Today, August 25th is National Kiss and Make Up Day.  And what better way to celebrate this day than discovering nine practical ways to seek forgiveness and make amends?

Mood swings can be the cause of many damaged relationships, leaving feelings of regret, and devastation and guilt in their wake.

Reconciliation often starts with seeking forgiveness. Forgiveness is often a long and painfully complicated road, but the journey has to start somewhere.

There are many health benefits to consider when choosing to forgive. The power of forgiveness has been proven to lower blood pressure, as well as decrease stress and physical pain, strengthen the immune system, and lessen anxiety.

Based on a 2014 University of Miami study, peacemaking efforts such as apologies, offers of compensation, and owning up to one’s responsibility makes it easier for people  to forgive and reduces anger.

“Making amends in a healthy and meaningful way takes a lot of hard work, truly contrite persons not only work to repair the damage they’ve caused but also work to make the kinds of changes in themselves that lessen the chances they’ll engage in similar transgressions again.”  

George Simon, PhD.

While mending fences is anything but easy, receiving the forgiveness of those you have hurt , along with extending forgiveness to those who have hurt you, is definitely well worth the effort.

Choosing to forgive yourself key. Forgiveness is not just an apology, it is demonstrating to yourself and to others that you are a different person. Although you cannot go back in time  and do something over, you can still start from this day forward.

When bipolar disorder is at the source of our past mistakes in a relationship, the road to forgiveness can be long and painfully complicated. Here are nine ways to make amends, seek forgiveness and start  moving forward.

#1 Recognize that Bipolar disorder is a condition that you have, not who you are.  Bipolar disorder does not define you!

Though you must still live with it, you can stand up to it, accommodate yourself to it, resist it, accept it, and manage it. Separating yourself from it in this way is going to allow your true character help you decide how you want to live with your illness and its consequences. Remember that stability begets stability.

#2 Apologize

Genuinely and sincerely apologize to the one you have offended.  It doesn’t matter what you say. What matters is that you sincerely, and genuinely express remorse for what you have done.  

#3 Make Amends

Let the person know that you care about the relationship and you desire to resolve it in the best way that you can. Making up for past wrongs can be an difficult and painful process for those with bipolar disorder. Don’t forget that forgiveness is a process, not an event.

#4 Accept Responsibility

When seeking forgiveness, do not make any excuses. Instead, confess that what you did was indeed wrong. Bear in mind that it may not matter to the wronged party if you were manic or depressed at the time.

#5 Strive to Demonstrate Good Character

Be sure to show that whatever behavior(s) you exhibited were the exception, and not the rule. Always strive to do your very best to prevent further episodes that may cause you to act in ways you normally wouldn’t. Be responsible, reliable, trustworthy, competent, and focused.

#6 Remain Humble and Committed to Treatment

Find the best treatment providers you can. Being willing to prove that you value the feelings of others in your life, experts say, often translates into the notion of “making sure you do all that you can to stay mentally healthy.”

#7 Realize That Everyone Makes Mistakes

But do not continue to repeatedly make the same mistakes. It is also necessary to forgive yourself as well and the best way to do that by making amends with those whom you have wronged.

#8 Ask for Forgiveness

Ask to be forgiven for your wrongdoing, and let the other person to know what’s going on your life.

#9 Recognize that Rebuilding Trust is a Process

Rebuilding trust that has been broken is a painful and difficult process that takes time.  Lot’s of time. Not a one-time event. “Often forgiveness must be earned over time, especially if there have been repeated breaches of trust” because of illness, says Daniel L. Buccino, a clinical supervisor at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.  Just as long as you are genuinely sincere, remorseful and strive to keep moving forwards, it is a process that is well worth every ounce of effort.

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