Most of us have been hurt or wronged by people we love or care about. Maybe you have been criticized by parents, cheated on by a spouse or, constantly told you are stupid by the people around you. Whether they hurt us by actions or words the effects can cause us to feel bitter and resentful. It is when we hold on to these feelings that we start to cause ourselves problems and this can leave us with lasting feelings of anger, bitterness or wanting revenge.
What is forgiveness?
Forgiveness is a conscious decision to let go of resentment, bitterness, anger and thoughts of revenge.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you deny the other person’s responsibility for hurting you, and it doesn’t minimize or justify the wrong. You can forgive the person without excusing the act. Forgiveness brings a kind of peace that helps you move forwards with your life releasing resentment and pain.
The act that hurt or offended you might always remain a part of your life, but forgiveness will help to alleviate its grip on you and help you focus on other more positive parts of your life. Forgiveness can also help you to understand and offer feelings of empathy and compassion for the person who hurt you. Forgiveness also stops you looking back at past events and allows you to focus on the future.
What are the benefits of forgiving someone?
Letting go of hurt, anger, pain and bitterness can make way for compassion, kindness, understanding and peace.
Forgiveness can also lead to:
Healthier, happier relationships.
Less anxiety, stress and hostility.
Lower blood pressure.
Fewer symptoms of depression and sadness.
Lower risk of alcohol and substance dependency.
The ability to look to the future and stop focusing on the past.
What are the effects of carrying this hurt and pain?
When we are unable to forgive the person who wronged us we will repeatedly bring the same scenario’s into our lives, relationships and experiences. If you become so wrapped up in the wrong you will never enjoy the present or the future. This can often lead to depression and often alcohol dependency which will numb the constant pain. The pain you are carrying can also stop you feeling that your life has purpose or that you are of value and loved by others.
When we carry around anger, frustration, un-forgiveness and pain our energy levels are of a low vibration. When we live on a low vibration we attract people on a low vibration, thus bringing forwards the same kind of relationships we have previously experienced, so nothing will change. As we forgive and change we will higher our vibration and attract people on a higher vibration, changing our experiences and our relationships.
How to forgive?
By forgiving you are committing to change, letting go of negativity, releasing fear and living in the present.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Look at the situation honestly and how it is affecting your everyday life, health and well-being. Do you want this person to still be in control of your life or are you going to take back control and stop playing the victim?
How will forgiving this person change your everyday life? Will it allow you to make the changes you need too to start enjoying you life?
When you’re ready, actively choose to forgive this person who’s hurt or wronged you so that you can move forwards with your life.
Move away from your role as victim and release the control and power the offending person and take back control.
As you let go of hurt and pain you will no longer define your life by how you’ve been hurt in the past. You will be living in the present and planning your future. You might even find compassion and understanding for others.
What if the person I’m forgiving doesn’t change?
Getting another person to change his or her actions, behaviour or words isn’t the point of forgiveness, we all have fee will. Think of forgiveness more about how it can change your life, by bringing you peace, happiness, and emotional and spiritual healing. Forgiveness can take away the power the other person continues to have in your life.
Forgiveness is about you and moving your life forwards, not the person who wronged you.
If you are constantly looking at the past, how can you enjoy your present and build your future???