Forgiveness is About Being Nice to Yourself

Do you forgive or fester?   Which has served you best as you have gone forward?    Letting forgiveness in or holding onto the pain?

Before we dive into this discussion, let’s first think of it all in comparison to a physical injury and how we handle physical vs emotional injury.  So, let’s think of a physical injury – what did you do?  You didn’t wait and let the pain continue – you did what you had to do to make it stop as quickly as possible.  So why do we sometimes do the opposite when it comes to emotional pain?

We Feel “Right”

Oftentimes we hang onto this pain because we feel “right” and forgiving feels like it would be giving up that feeling.  But is it?  One step further, we at times want to make sure that the other person knows we are right and we want them to feel the wrongness of their actions.  So, we hold on.  But is that really doing us any good??  In fact, holding onto that hurt, anger, and resentment is actually hurting us.

Whatever happened, happened.  Holding on to it will not change this fact; it will just keep the negative feelings from the past alive.  It will keep us prisoner to our own pain.   So… let’s let go… let’s be kind to ourselves in these moments and release this pain.  Instead of worrying about being right, let’s be happy.  And there’s a certain freedom in that happiness you can’t get from firmly holding on to “rightness.”

Find Compassion

If you are still finding it difficult to forgive, try finding compassion for the individual.  It may be a struggle at first, but in the long run, it’s the only way to start the real healing.

Generally speaking, people act poorly when they are in pain, confused or both.  Considering what this individual may be going through may make it easier for us to find compassion for them.   And compassion is the key to forgiveness.  And the same goes for anything we need to forgive ourselves about – we too are just someone trying to work through something.  Let’s give ourselves a little compassion and soon we will find ourselves on the road to forgiveness.

Look at it From All Angles

Another strategy in the bag of tricks is to remember that everyone is living in their own self-created world.  We have no idea why the other person is acting the way they are or where they are coming from and they are in the same boat with us.  Given this line of thinking, just because something doesn’t seem okay to us in our world, it might be perfectly okay in the world they are living in.

In short, try to look at it from another perspective.  Let’s loosen our grip on it being my way or the highway and let some room in for other perspectives.  We may be surprised how quickly resentment flies out the window and forgiveness squeeks in.

You Won’t Remember This

Lastly, remember that years down the line we won’t remember this moment in most cases.  Whatever or whomever we are needing forgiveness from in this moment will most likely be a mere blip on the radar not very long from now.  So why make a big deal out of it now if we are only going to forget about it one day?  Let’s instead focus on seeing it as a future non-event and move on.  Let’s let ourselves move on and experience of the freedom of taking this baggage off our shoulders.

Forgiveness is All About Being Nice to You

Have I convinced you that getting to the point of forgiveness is of great value to you?   That being happy is better then being right?  That a little compassion goes a long way to your own happiness?  How have you found your way toward forgiveness?

24 thoughts on “Forgiveness is About Being Nice to Yourself

  1. I love where you said you probably won’t remember it eventually. So true! I know people who are mad at others and it’s been so long they cannot remember why. Such a waste of time and energy. Choose forgiveness instead!

  2. This is so great, it’s so true that forgiveness makes you feel so much better than holding on to the resentment!

    1. I completely agree Kelly – foregiveness is so much better of a route to go if you can manage to do so. It’s certainly not always easy.

  3. Very, very hard topic. Actually, we need to learn to forgive and understand what ”Forgiveness” is. I was struggling with that a lot. So I know, how hard it can be, to forgive, but the positive feelings you get after forgiving, are worth trying!

  4. Great post Lisa! I love how you compare it to a physical injury – we tend to understand those so much better than emotional injuries. You make a great point about forgiveness being nice to yourself. I absolutely agree. When we’ve been wronged in a huge way (abuse, neglect, etc.) it’s very hard to forgive the person. But what I eventually learned is that I had to forgive them for me, not for them. In doing this, I wasn’t admitting that what they did was okay, but I was allowing myself to heal and move on.

  5. I think, for me, the hardest thing about forgiveness is the fact that it’s sometimes fluid and needs to be done a few times over. That constant reminder can be really difficult to face over and over. It’s so important to try do it though.

  6. I use to give people the benefit of the doubt and offer them multiple chances, but that made things worse as then people just started walking all over me. Now I’m happy to cut people out of my life. There are things I do fester in, but these kinds of things isn’t one of them. Forgiveness is earned, as I’ll never forget, even if I’m not festering on it

    1. Forgiving and forgetting is definitely two different things – thanks for bringing both up. I think that forgiving is about your own decision to release the pain; forgetting is a whole different decision.

  7. It’s important to learn when to forgive but equally important to know when you shouldn’t. It’s true that a lot of the time you won’t even know why though. It’s pointless hanging on to negativity for no reason x

  8. I totally agree – I always say “will this matter in a month/year” etc.
    I always think of that saying – it’s like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. Holding a grudge only hurts you.

    Carrie xx
    redwritesabout.com

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