Everyone in this world has been a victim of some wrongdoing along the way. Sadly it is an unavoidable part of life. It is not all bad news though. You don’t have to be a victim. You have the choice to forgive. Learning the process of forgiveness will make your life a million times happier and easier. There are many reasons to forgive and let sh*t go.
Here are great reasons to forgive:
1. Live in the present!
If you choose not to forgive then you are holding on to something that has happened in the past. Your attention is therefore taken away from the richness of the present moment. Ironically – you are allowing yourself to be punished twice. Not only did you have to endure the incident that hurt you, you are also continuing to feel the pain and suffer it now. If you let go, you can focus can come back to now and you can enjoy the moment and get on with your life.
2. You aren’t perfect either, darling.
You are not the only person who has been hurt in the world. Holding a grudge and telling yourself that what someone else has done is wrong can make you forget that you too have upset others with your actions. Having a more forgiving attitude will soften those around you. If you forgive a friend for their bad behavior then they are more likely to forgive you when the time comes that you may hurt them. We all inevitably hurt others sometimes (even without meaning to).
3. Let your compassion grow
By refusing to forgive you are having a harder, more judgmental view of others than you need to. ‘I am not going to forgive my boss for taking credit for my report’ makes you fume! Taking the more compassionate road by understanding it could have been a mistake or recognising that your boss was under a lot of pressure and felt he needed to impress his boss, makes you more understanding. This does not mean that the incident was justifiable. It just means that you are choosing to see the human side of it and this will make you feel better.
4. Be thankful for the lesson
The Dalai Lama said ‘the enemy is a very good teacher.’ Taking whatever has hurt you as a lesson rather than as a reason to hold a grudge will be beneficial for your personal growth. Are you upset because your boyfriend does not treat you with enough respect? Look at the learning experience. What does this teach you? You need to be less tolerant of people’s bad behavior? To be more assertive? To love yourself more and others will follow?
5. Would you rather forgive or feel like s*it?
Let’s be honest. If you do not forgive your only other option is not to. Not forgiving and holding a grudge feels awful. It uses up energy and makes you feel mad, powerless, incensed. Choosing forgiveness is choosing the beauty of a peaceful mind. Forgiveness in its very nature is empowering and uplifting.
Forgiving does not mean that you cannot address the situation with the person who has hurt you if you choose to. This can be very healing if it is right thing to do for you. Forgiveness means freeing yourself from the pain of holding on and allowing yourself to move on – stronger and wiser.
When has forgiveness truly worked for you?