‘Forgive yourself first. Let go of past hurts and direct your spirit to goodness and hope by having gratitude.’ ~Janet Taylor, M.D
Why we should forgive
Holding on to a grudge builds up anger and resentment in the body. When we are hurt the natural thing to do for most people is thinking about revenge and how you can make the other person feel the same terrible feelings as you have. However, learning to forgive can heal your own wound rather than trying to force it upon someone else. Forgiveness has the power to help you let go of past hurts and thereby live more calmly in the moment with no anger or resentment. Forgiving is easier said than done and a lot of people are struggling to forgive others who hurt them badly. The key is all about knowing the reasons why we forgive. We forgive to let go of bad feelings in order to move on with our life. We forgive to let anger and resentment out of the body. We forgive in order to live with more peace in the present. We forgive to heal our own hearts.
How we can forgive
Even though forgiveness is hard, almost anyone can learn to forgive. The Stanford University Forgiveness Projects have led the largest research project to study the effects of forgiveness on hurt individuals. They have found proven ways to help you forgive people who have hurt you. We will go through 4 of the most important factors that will help you forgive.
- Know exactly how you feel about the situation or person you are going to forgive. What happened and how did it hurt you?
- Make a commitment to yourself to do what you have to do in order to feel better. Understand that forgiving is all about healing your own heart and not actually make right of what happened or allowing it to happen again.
- Understand that forgiveness does not necessarily mean reconciliation with the person who hurt you. It means to accept what happened and being able to move on in the right direction. To stand up for yourself, but not for the person who has hurt you.
- Remember that a life well lived is the best payback you can give to the person who has hurt you. You are too good to consider a possible revenge. Let go of the past and live your life to the fullest. Show yourself that you are better than the situation or person that hurt you.
Why it is difficult to forgive
When we have been hurt our pride and self-esteem is injured. We feel let down and as though our expectations have not been met. A natural instinct is to want payment for the damages and possibly even revenge. We want to make the ones who wronged us feel the same pain as they have given us. However, revenge has never solved anything and will only cause more damage to the situation. The best thing to do is to forgive what happened in order to let go. This does not mean that one should cancel the consequences of their hurtful actions. On the other side, the goal should be to show empathy and understanding for the other person’s point of view. In order to forgive we have to understand that forgiveness is not so much about the person or situation that hurt you and rather about healing your own heart. Only then will we be able to move on with our lives fully.
What happens if we do not forgive
If we do not forgive we will hold on to resentment and anger. This is likely to cause you stress as well as damage to your body. Built up tension and resentment can even lead to illnesses in the future. Forgive to take care of your own life and health!