We have all had occasions where we’ve felt hurt or angry towards someone, often someone close to you. Perhaps they said or did something that devastated us, and we feel hurt or even betrayed. In some cases we still want to (or have to) include them in our life but even if we don’t, how do we handle all of our negative feelings? The answer lies in forgiveness!
I know forgiveness can be difficult but it is also powerful! But continue reading to find out why embracing the difficulty of forgiveness makes it worthwhile.
Refusing to forgive harms you more than the person you’re upset with. There is a saying about poison damaging the vessel in which it’s kept, and that applies here. You’re not hurting the individual you refuse to forgive, nearly as much as you’re damaging yourself. Consider the negative feelings you’re compelled to hold on to.
Forgiving lets you to release the pain. Whenever you say, “I forgive you” and mean it, you instantly free yourself from the grudge you hold, and can move on and live your life peacefully. Carrying excess emotional baggage is hard, tiring, work.
Most grudges become bigger than we are. They can consume your existence. You can try to convince yourself that you'll push this individual into a little box in your mind, and forget about them, but you can't. It seems impossible. Invariably someone brings up the person’s name, or invites them to a party you’ll be attending, and you’re torn about having to cancel your plans to avoid him. Grudges grow. And the more you hold on to them, the more time and emotional energy it takes to keep them going.
You might feel like you were wronged so why should you forgive? You can decide to be the “bigger” person. You can tell yourself that you’ll forgive, because it’s the “right” thing to do. When you live by a particular set of morals and values, that little voice in your head may insist you be the one to forgive. Listen to it.
Forgiveness brings rewards. Although you may not know it, the friend you forgave could realize their mistake and decide to try harder to be more caring. They may become inspired to forgive people who have wronged them. You may also end up enjoying wonderful times and events with those you forgave. Everyone wins when you forgive.
When you forgive, you lower your blood pressure. It’s a medically proven fact.
Vengeance and resentment flourish in those who refuse to forgive. What would you rather feel: hurt, anger, and resentment, or peace and happiness?
Consider your own actions and words in what happened. If you’re struggling to forgive, replay the incident in your mind. What did you say? How did you react? How did you end the exchange? After you gain a clear, emotionless, understanding about what happened, choose to forgive.
And at the same time forgive yourself – this may be the hardest part! When you hold onto blame and guilt and shame, these things become barriers to your happiness.
When you decide to live a more conscious existence, you have more room to forgive those who upset you. When you realize forgiveness is in your best interest, and in the best interest of the other person involved, you can move forward and reclaim your life.
The power of forgiveness is within you. Use it to create greater happiness.