Mental Health

Give Yourself the Gift of Forgiveness

When someone has wronged you, forgiveness may be the last thing on your mind.  You’re convinced they deserve all the anger and hostility you feel towards them.  Does your anger harm the other person?  In most cases, the other person just stays away.  So give yourself the gift of forgiveness.

Holding a grudge is like punching yourself in the face and expecting the other person to say, “Ouch.”

Forgiveness is the healthy and logical choice for several reasons:

1.  Living in the past steals your present and taints your future.  A great future requires an attentive present.  That’s not possible if you’re living in the past.  Life is happening right now at this moment.  Every moment spent in the past is lost forever.  Reclaim your life by forgiving and moving on.

2.  Failing to forgive creates misery.  Creating and maintaining negative thoughts doesn’t feel good.  Pleasant thoughts support a pleasant mood.  By refusing to forgive the person that wronged you, you’re harming yourself.

3.  You’ll be stronger.  Forgiveness can be challenging!  Staying angry is easy in a certain way.  Show yourself just how strong you are.  Take a deep breath and forgive.  It becomes easier with time.

  • As an added bonus, the more forgiving you are, the more others are willing to forgive you!

4.  The past cannot be changed, but your attitude can.  What is the purpose of your anger?  If you stay angry for the next ten years, what have you accomplished?  Nothing you do today can change what happened yesterday.  Change your attitude as quickly as possible and smile again.

5.  They’ll be back sooner or later.  Whether you forgive them or not, they’re sure to pop back into your life in the future.  In most cases, they’ll act as if nothing ever happened.  However, your resentment will make you feel bad all over again if you’re still holding a grudge.

  • The sooner you forgive, the sooner you can put the matter to bed.

Give Yourself the Gift of Forgiveness

6.  All humans make mistakes.  We’ve all done or said things we later regret.  You can’t expect to be forgiven if you’re unwilling to forgive.  Living a perfect life and making perfect choices isn’t possible.  Mistakes happen.

7.  Forgiveness may be the best form of revenge.  If someone upset you, it’s possible it was intentional.  While you might feel the need to strike back, forgiveness is the best policy.  Show them you’re enjoying bigger and better things.  Living a happy life is the best revenge!

8.  Your health will improve.  Happiness and peacefulness undoubtedly support good health and longevity.  Live a long and wonderful life.  Be forgiving.  The Mayo Clinic states that forgiveness can lead to:

  • Healthier relationship
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Stronger immune system
  • Improved heart health
  • Higher self-esteem

9.  Forgiveness is fast.  Time may heal all wounds, but it can take a long time.  Forgiveness is instantaneous.  There’s no faster way to enhance your mood than the simple act of forgiveness.  Forgiveness is fast, effective and free.  Take advantage of it.

Forgiveness is self-serving.  It’s something you do for yourself because the alternative is harmful to your health, happiness and future.  Be good to yourself.  The fact that you’re letting the other person off the hook is secondary. Forgiveness is necessary.  Forgetting is optional, depending on the situation.

Mahatma Gandhi said, “The weak can never forgive.  Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.”  Forgiveness requires real strength.  The fastest way to heal any transgression against you is forgiveness.  Remember that forgiveness doesn’t always mean that you give the other person a second chance.  It means that you’re not willing to suffer any longer.

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