You may have times when you’ve been hurt or feel angry toward someone close to you. They may have said something that devastated you or performed some behavior without thinking that triggered feelings of frustration and anger. And yet you still hope to include them in your life.
The wisest thing to do is to forgive whenever you have these experiences.
But forgiving often proves to be more challenging than you think!
Read these points about forgiveness to better understand why it’s best to forgive:
1. Refusing to forgive harms you more than the individual you’re upset with. There’s an old saying about poison damaging the vessel in which it’s found and that saying applies here.
- You’re not hurting the individual you refuse to forgive nearly as much as you’re damaging yourself. Consider the ongoing hurt feelings you’re compelled to hold on to.
2. Forgiving allows you to release the pain. Whenever you say, “I forgive you” to someone, you’re instantly freed from holding on to the grudge. You can now move on and live your life as peacefully as possible.
- Carrying excess emotional baggage is something to be avoided if at all possible.
3. Most grudges become bigger than we are. They just seem to take over your entire existence. You may convince yourself, “I will push this individual into a little box in my mind and not think about them,” yet, you’ll soon find that to be impossible.
- Others may bring up the individual’s name or invite them to a party that you’ll be attending. Then, you’re faced with the decision of whether to avoid the individual by cancelling your plans. Grudges grow. And the more you hold on to them, the more time and emotional energy it takes to keep them going.
4. You can decide to be the “bigger” person. You can tell yourself that you’ll forgive because it’s the “right” thing to do or because the Bible says so or for whatever personal reason you believe.
- When you live by a particular set of morals and values, that little voice inside may insist that you be the one to forgive. Listen to it.
5. Forgiveness bears many fruits. Although you may be unaware, the friend you forgive may realize the true error of their ways and decide to try harder to live a more caring existence. Or they may learn something about forgiving others and apply it in their life.
- You may also enjoy many more wonderful times and events with those you forgave. Everyone wins when you forgive.
6. When you forgive, you’ll have lower blood pressure. It’s a medically proven fact.
7. Vengeance and resentment flourish in those who refuse to forgive. Would you choose to feel hurt, angry, and resentful or peaceful and happy?
8. Take time to consider your own actions and words during the unsavory event. If you’re struggling to forgive, go over the entire incident in your mind. What did you say? How did you react? How did you end the exchange?
- After you gain as clear an understanding as possible about what happened, choose to forgive.
When you decide to live a more conscious existence, you may have more room to forgive those who upset you. Realizing that forgiveness is in your best interest and the best interest of the other individual involved, you can move forward and re-discover a bright future.
The power of forgiveness is within you. Use it for your own greater happiness.