Learn to be Forgiving
My clients ask me, “Why must I learn to be forgiving? I didn’t do anything.”
Forgiving someone who hurts you is sometimes the last thing you want to do. You may be convinced he or she deserves all the hate you can throw at them. Forgiveness, though, is something you give yourself. If your anger is hurtful to someone else they just avoid you. When you hold a grudge against someone it’s like hitting yourself with a hammer and expecting the other person to say “ouch”.
I want to share with other reasons forgiving someone is the healthy choice to make:
Living in the past ruins your present and future
A great future requires you to be focused on the present. This is something you can’t do when you live in the past with resentment. Life is happening to you right now. All the time you spend in the past is gone forever. Forgive and move on so that you can reclaim your life. You’ll feel lighter and you’ll be happier.
Not forgiving creates misery
Feeling negative all the time feels terrible. These negative thoughts affect you mentally, emotionally and, yes, physically. Thinking good things creates a good mood and strengthens your body. When you look at these pluses and minuses you can see why you only hurt yourself when you hold onto animosity for someone.
You become stronger
Forgiveness is a challenge. Staying angry is easy. Show yourself your inner strength by taking a deep breath and forgiving someone. Forgiveness becomes easier the more you do it. You learn to detach and let go. The added bonus is that being more forgiving changes the energy between you and another enabling others to forgive you more easily.
You can change your attitude even if you can’t change the past
Why hold onto the anger? What do you accomplish by staying angry for ten more years? Your anger doesn’t harm the other person except it harms your relationship if it is someone still in your life. You can’t change the event of what happened in the past. It’s useless don’t try. Instead change your attitude and smile again.
People often come back eventually
Whether you do or don’t forgive someone he or she may eventually come back into your life. That one will usually act like nothing happened because he’s over it. She may not even be aware of how much she hurt you. If you hang on to all those feelings as if your life depended upon it you’re going to feel terrible again. The sooner you release and let go of the pain the sooner both of you can move on to something new in your relationship.
- Everyone makes mistakes
Everyone has done something she or he regrets. Think of some of the things you’ve done you wished you hadn’t. You can’t expect someone to forgive your mistakes if you won’t forgive theirs. It’s just not possible to live a perfect life free of mistakes. Mistakes will happen, sometimes intentionally and at other times inadvertently.
Forgiving someone can be the best way to get revenge
Here’s a perverse way to look at forgiveness… and I say this with a smile. Sometimes when people upset you they do so deliberately. You may feel the need to strike back at them, but the better response is to forgive them. Show them you’re still living and enjoying better life. As I ready once, “The best revenge is to live well.” Get revenge on your enemies by forgiving them. Nothing annoys them more!
Forgiveness improves your health
Being peaceful and happy is the key to a long and healthy life. Strengthen your health through forgiveness. Even the Mayo Clinic supports this idea. They say that forgiveness can lead to healthier relationships, lower blood pressure, a strengthened immune system, improved heart health, and higher levels of self-esteem. What a powerful , cost-free strategy to improve your health.
You can forgive quickly
While time does heal all wounds, it can also take a long time to do so. Forgiving someone can happen quickly, even immediately. Forgiving someone is the quickest way to enhance your mood after you’ve been wronged. It’s also totally free so take advantage of it. This resolves the pain of the wound quickly and you don’t have it holding you back.
Forgiveness is something you do for yourself. Not forgiving just damages your health and happiness and ruins your future. Be good to yourself. It doesn’t matter that it seems as if you’re letting someone get away with their transgressions. What matters is that you forgive them and release from you the pain and resentment. You might need to remember what they’ve done so you know they have that potential within them, but let the anger and resentment go.
Mahatma Ghandi put it best. He said that the weak can never forgive because forgiveness is something only the strong can do. It’s true that forgiveness takes real strength. The fastest way to heal is to forgive. Remember that forgiveness also doesn’t mean giving someone else a second chance to hurt you. It just means you’re letting go of the suffering.
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