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.”
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?