Forgiveness. We’ve all heard the word before, but do we truly understand the meaning of it? Do we really know how to forgive in a way that’s healthy for us? What are we supposed to do when someone has hurt us in a way that feels unforgivable and won’t apologize? How do we navigate the difficult times when forgiveness seems completely out of the question. And finally, do we truly understand the impact that choosing not to forgive can have on our own well-being?
Like pretty much any other human being on earth, I have experienced hurt and heartache throughout my life time. Believe me, friend, I’ve been there. As you’re reading this, maybe you’re thinking about a situation in your own life where you’ve been hurt and chosen not to forgive the actions that caused you such pain. Though it’s a part of everyone’s life, hurting is never fun. It can be easy to fall into the pattern of holding resentment and grudges towards those who have hurt you. But what if I told you that by doing that, you’re only causing yourself more heartache?
The negative impact of resentment
A lot of times when holding onto resentment towards others, we think we’re hurting the other person. An eye for an eye, as they say. But is it truly the other person who is most negatively impacted by such lack of forgiveness? Oftentimes, we may not even be on speaking terms with the other person, in which case they may not even be aware of how much of a grudge we hold towards them. In reality, we are the ones living with our own negative feelings everyday. And that negative energy you’re carrying around? Yeah, it’s actually taking up way more of your energy than you think.
First of all, holding grudges is just a major drain on your mental and emotional well-being. Feelings of anger and resentment are never fun things to carry around. The more often you think about grudges that you’re holding, the more drained you’re going to feel at the end of the day. It’s as simple as that. By holding that negative energy, you’re only really punishing yourself, and my guess is that’s not what you’re going for. So stop that!
You don’t need to hold onto those feelings if you don’t want to. It’s completely okay to let them go. I will tell you that yes, it is easier said than done and it may take some time to find your own forgiveness within yourself, but the path towards finding that forgiveness will teach you so much about your relationship within yourself. Because of this, it will become easier each time.
why you need to find your forgiveness
A common misconception I often hear is that forgiveness is about the other person. This is completely false, and once you’re able to shift your viewpoint on this you will already be halfway there to living a more positive lifestyle. Forgiveness comes from within, my friend. It’s about you coming to peace with your own feelings. Acknowledging the pain and yet being able to move past it. The other person doesn’t even need to know about your forgiveness should that not be what you’re looking for. This is your process, so own it and take charge!
Now you may be thinking that I’m crazy if I think that you could ever possibly forgive what Sally or George or whoever did to you. What they did is completely unforgivable. Let me just say that yes, there are a lot of things that people go through that are incredibly difficult to forgive (i.e. abuse, neglect, etc.), and I am not at all trying to discredit those instances. I understand that these are incredibly difficult to navigate. What I want to say to that is, again, that forgiveness is not for the person who hurt you, but for your own well-being and peace of mind.
how to forgive the unforgivable
Look within yourself and find the root of what you feel resentment towards. Were you cheated on? Did you have your heart broken? These actions absolutely cause emotional pain, and of course it’s common to feel anger and sadness towards such instances. Find the root of your problem, and then think about why the problem is causing you pain. Maybe you feel like you’re not worthy of love, or maybe it’s as simple as your ego has been bruised.
Obviously if the pain is fresh, you have every reason to take the time you need to heal. Forgiveness doesn’t happen overnight! But when you are ready, try to discover why you’re holding onto those feelings of resentment. Oftentimes, our reasons for holding on are more internally driven (i.e. problems with self confidence) rather than externally driven (i.e. the person we’re holding resentment towards).
Once you’ve reached this point on your journey to forgiveness, congratulations! You’re almost there! Whatever your reason for holding onto resentment, that’s what you need to target next. Work on improving your own internal struggles that are driving your resentment. By working on yourself and your own insecurities, you’ll find that you can truly understand the power of real, internal forgiveness. When you’ve worked through all of this, forgiveness will come naturally.
With so many reasons to find internal forgiveness, I would strongly encourage you to forgive for your own well-being. The journey won’t be easy and working through such internal struggles will always be an on-going process. However, with patience and determination, I have no doubt that you will be able to find your own forgiveness. By removing resentment, you’ll be able to live a much more positive life! Good luck!
Thank you so much for reading this article. What are your thoughts on forgiveness? Have you had a similar experience to me, or do you have a different opinion to share? I’d love to hear from you in the comments. Be sure to check out the recent posts for more great articles about living your best life and make sure you’re signed up for our email newsletter to receive access to the FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY!