You ever been upset with someone and you swore that you would never forgive them? Did you do something to someone that upset them and you didn’t forgive yourself even though they forgave you? Well the other person may not have forgiven you, but the point is that you still didn’t forgive yourself. If you said yes to any of these questions, well once again you’re not alone.
What is Forgiveness
Forgiveness is one of those things that people struggle with because it means that you are releasing feelings of vengeance and resentment toward a person or a group of people who harmed you or did some kind of wrong to you. You probably have been in a position where you didn’t want to forgive someone because you thought it meant that whatever they did to wrong you, you were letting them off the hook. You thought you had to get back at them for there to be ‘justice’. In my post about saying no to revenge, I mentioned that best kind of revenge is no revenge. Forgiveness was one of the last tips I mentioned that can help you to move forward from that bad thing. Forgiving someone is one thing, but forgiving yourself is a different one.
Forgiving Yourself Can Be Tough
Ever heard the phrase, ‘forgive, but don’t forget’? That doesn’t just apply to other people, it also applies to yourself. If you wronged someone, yes you and the other person don’t forget it, but have you forgiven yourself? Forgiving yourself I personally found to be harder than forgiving the other person. This true for a number of people. Depending on how bad you wronged someone, you can have quite a bit of trouble forgiving yourself. You may cheat yourself out of doing something fun like hanging out with old friends you haven’t seen since high school. You may not want to eat because you feel like you don’t deserve food. You may isolate yourself from other people because you feel like you don’t deserve to be around people. If you’ve hurt someone, you may not want to be around them, so you may distance yourself from them. The reason for this may be because your afraid you’ll hurt them again whether it’s through your actions or words. Even if the other person forgives you for what you did, you may still not forgive yourself.
If you have struggled with forgiving others as well as yourself, here are some ways that can help:
1. Move On and Forgive The Other Person
If you were wronged by someone, forgive them even if they don’t forgive you. Easier said than done I know. What the reality is that your forgiving them so that you can move on with your life and not be hindered, influenced, or controlled by the other person’s words or actions. Remember, you have the final saying in your life, not someone else. They can’t make you feel bad without your consent.
2. Understand Yourself
If you wronged someone, apologize to them yes, but also look into why you wronged to begin with. Your don’t always notice your behavior, but others notice it. Understand what feelings are taking place. Allow yourself to feel what your feeling. If you don’t like those feelings, you can change them. Try putting yourself in their shoes and see how you feel if you were mistreated or wronged by someone. Treat others the way you want to be treated.
3. Forgiveness Helps Your Overall Health
Forgiveness is connected with your mental and physical health. Physically, forgiveness can lower your blood pressure and heart rate. Your sleep quality improves and fatigue is reduced. If you hold a grudge, your using up quite a bit of energy which can be fueled by anger, resentment, or jealousy for example. Mentally and emotionally speaking, forgiveness can be relieving and you can free yourself from feelings of depression and hostility and lower your anxiety. You can relieve yourself from feeling bitter toward the other person. There is a certain kind of heaviness that comes with not forgiving someone (the grudge is they heavy feeling). This kind of heaviness can be draining and I can speak from experience.
4. Let the Healing Process Begin
You want to move on from whatever it was that hurt you? Well forgiving someone allows the process of healing to begin. If you want to move forward and leave the past in the past, you need to allow yourself to heal. You are worthy of being healed. Don’t let anyone tell you that your not. One thing to keep in mind, the healing process can’t be rush. The healing process can take long or it can be short. It all depends on how bad you were hurt and how wronged you were. If there was more than one person involved who hurt you, the healing process can take longer. Take each day one at a time. Remember baby steps are good.
Here is a video that describes in depth about how forgiveness is freedom. Sara Montana is a writer and editor who talks about her journey of forgiveness and how it can be tricky. I would suggest that you keep and open mind and watch the whole video.
Final Thoughts and Sum Up
Forgiveness can be tough to do, but it’s the best kind of revenge and it’s one of life’s great lessons. We free ourselves from the victim mentality that comes with being hurt and wronged. You can begin to be at peace and most importantly you are not giving someone else authority over your mind and heart.