5 Reasons to be more forgiving
We’ve all been through this at one time or another: someone we’re close to says or does something that offends us - or worse, they betray our trust. Of course our feelings are hurt, but at some point we make a choice about whether or not to forgive them. When your feelings are hurt, especially by a person close to you such as a friend, family member or boyfriend/girlfriend, it can be really hard to get over. We often struggle to deal with the pain and we want to shut those people out of our lives, which is completely understandable, especially if they hurt you really badly. However, forgiveness is not necessarily about the person and is more about finding peace within yourself. So, here are a few reasons to be more forgiving.
Allow yourself to move on
Moving on plays a big part in the ‘process of forgiveness’. As much as we often struggle to put hurt feelings behind us, it is one way to help us heal. Not getting past the situation means you’re still holding onto it. And dwelling on a situation only invites negativity. Think about whether this really is worth holding onto and if keeping a grudge is adding any value to your life. If not Choma, then perhaps it’s time to forgive the person for the sake of moving on with your own life and letting go.
Grudges are not worth it
Too much energy and effort is wasted on holding a grudge. A grudge is something that you feel, not what the other person feels. So the person that is most hurt from a grudge, like the anger, frustration, annoyance and hurt, is you. Holding a grudge doesn’t make you feel better or help you heal, it only causes you more hurt. A grudge can actually re-traumatize you because it simply causes you to feel the same negative feelings you first felt, over and over again.
Forgiveness brings peace
Making the choice to forgive is often making the choice to be at peace with yourself and the situation. Holding onto the hurt someone else caused you means that you keep engaging with the hurtful situation; in other words, you keep the hurt and the trauma of the past active in your mind, playing it over and over every time the person’s name is mentioned or whenever you see their face. Forgiving allows you to move on and find peace.
Forgiveness is brave
Forgiving someone doesn't make you weak Choma. In fact, forgiving someone is a brave thing to do. It’s always easier to hold onto your hurt and stay angry at a situation. Forgiveness means having to deal with the situation; having to reflect on it and deciding to recover from it - which is a very courageous thing to do. Any healing process is a difficult path, and so choosing this path makes you strong because it takes a strong person to face their pain head-on.
Forgiveness is for yourself
This is important to remember Choma: Forgiving someone doesn't mean that you accept what they did to you. It doesn't mean that you now have to invite them into your life or that you now have to physically meet them again and let them know you forgive them. You can forgive someone without wanting to see or talk to them and that’s perfectly fine.
When you forgive it is to make peace with yourself and to move on with your life. It’s not actually for the benefit of the other person. Forgiveness is about letting go and moving on.
Always remember, you can send me a message to talk to me about anything. So if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).
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