When someone who cares about you hurts you, you have two choices: Hold on to your anger and resentment, or embrace forgiveness and move on.
Some experiences leave lasting feelings of anger and bitterness in people, but through forgiveness, you can also achieve inner peace, hope, gratitude and happiness. Forgiving another can lead to physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.
Some of the benefits of promoting positive and optimistic thoughts, which individuals do have control over, include having: healthier relationships; more balanced mental health; having your anxiety, stress and hostility under control; lower blood pressure; a stronger immune system and greater self-esteem. It is therefore important for everyone to learn to be more tolerant and leave animosity behind.
If you are unforgiving, you may:
- Bring anger and resentment to each new relationship and experience
- Care so much about what is wrong, that you cannot enjoy the present
- Feel depressed or anxious
- Believe that your life has no meaning or purpose
- Lose valuable and enriching connections with others
If you feel stuck, try the following:
- Practice empathy. Try to see the situation from the other person’s point of view.
- Ask yourself why they behaved that way. Maybe you would have reacted similarly if you had to face the same situation.
- Reflect on the times when you hurt other people and when you have been forgiven.
- Write in a diary, pray or practice guided meditations.
Keep in mind: reconciliation may be impossible if the person who committed the offense has died or is not willing to talk. Even if reconciliation is not possible, forgiveness is.
Related article: Forgive to improve the present