Who hasn’t been hurt by others? Have you ever been hurt by someone close? Often we are hurt and deceived by people closer to us. When such things happen our immediate resort is to retort and fight or stay silent and push them away. In this process, we forget the harm these negative feelings do to us. We develop hate, anger and vengeance without even realising. Our body slowly becomes a shelter for resentment.
Hurt comes in different ways, a divorce settlement, a friend suddenly stops having contact, a parent that is constantly criticizing, a sibling who doesn’t understand you. All of these actions and many more will hurt you and might cause pain. But to give in and suffer or to let go and embrace forgiveness is up to you.
Forgiveness is a topic that is often misunderstood. When you forgive someone it doesn’t mean that you are breaking the shackles on the pain they caused you. Rather, it means that you are freeing yourself from the shackles of vengeance and negativity. You do not need to forgive someone just because it was suggested or maybe someone said that it was the right thing to do. You forgive someone to free yourself from the negativity that the pain is going to add into your life. A few benefits of forgiveness are:
- Your mental health improves and strengthens.
- You have less anxiety and stress
- You become capable of having much healthier relationships.
- Your immunity system develops.
- Fewer symptoms of depression.
- Lower levels of blood pressure.
Why is it so hard to forgive and easy to hold a grudge?
We as humans are very primitive. It is easy for us to hold grudges and anger. But dealing with the issue and moving on from it, is considered a tough task. As hard as forgiving someone seems, it isn’t so. Coming into terms with what has happened and how the other person has hurt is no doubt painful to experience again. But, moving forward is the way for growth and development. Here’s how you could start your journey to forgiveness.
Learn why forgiveness matters
Forgiving someone no longer depends on the question of “do they deserve it” or not. It is a process of inner development for you. When you do not move on from the situation, you are holding onto the pain that a certain someone has caused and it will be affecting your self-esteem and world-view. You do not have to ever forgive someone because of what they have done, but like we said earlier you do because you want to continue growing.
Develop empathy for your forgiving mind
This may not always be the best-case scenario and easy, but it has proven to have worked for many people. If you find it hard to move on and let go of the pain, put yourself in the position of the transgressor and look at their life situation and imagine what could have made them hurt you. While you start developing empathy, you will strengthen your mental health and deal a lot better in every life situation.
Sometimes we do things that we do not generally do. We behave in ways that are not our usual ways. The importance of this situation is understanding that we are human too. Before forgiving anyone else it is important to forgive ourselves for the hurt we might have caused others. We are not perfect but to accept our imperfections and being nice to our self is what will make us feel better, it is the first step towards self-growth.
“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you”- Lewis B. Smedes