In life, we all come across situations that hurt us and forgiveness seems incomprehensible, however, holding onto such negative emotion is solely detrimental to yourself. To forgive is to rid yourself of pain. Harbouring hurt can impact your mental health which is dangerous; your health is everything you have. This is much easier said than done, so below I’ve listed some tips to help with this process.
Why should you forgive someone?
Forgiving someone is a way of healing and moving on from a painful situation. Letting something continue to hurt you is giving whoever hurt you more power; you should try to limit the impact they have had on you. Festering emotions will only bring you down and your mental health is too precious to allow that to happen. Refusing to forgive someone and becoming entrapped in your hurt is torturous – you’ve suffered enough already and this is prolonging it. Once you forgive someone you will feel much lighter, happier and more at peace. This catharsis will close an old chapter and start a new beginning.
Everything happens for a reason
If it’s not a blessing, it’s a lesson. Take this situation as potential for self-improvement and developing insight, and this positive mindset will help you to forgive. In life, you have to undergo some struggles to learn important lessons; you aren’t born with wisdom – it is something that is developed with experience. You may wonder what good could come from such negative events but there is always a silver lining – even if you have to search desperately for it. Personally, facing struggles has made me much more confident as I have proved my strength to myself. Having my life taken away has taught me who I am and what is important to me, and I would never have made such great self-growth if there wasn’t a necessity to it. And if after some soul-searching, you can’t extrapolate some positives from a horrendous situation then you will have to accept it as a bad experience. In life, you have to take the bad with the good and maybe everything you’re going through is preparing you for everything you ever wanted.
What were they thinking?
It’s always a good idea to step into the shoes of someone else to see from their point of view, although, it may not be a nice view. Depending on the situation, you can hypothesise why the person might have acted as they did. Were they hurting and wanted someone else to feel that pain? Were they motivated by greed or anger? Or were they simply being selfish? Understanding why can comfort you – even if their actions were horrific, you can empathise a little more.
Time is a healer
Time and space can be extremely useful – it gives you the opportunity to cool off and to put everything into perspective. The heightened emotions die down and you can see the situation clearly. In our age of instant communication the benefits of the passage of time are underplayed but allow yourself to take time out – you don’t need to fix everything immediately. It allows you to analyse the situation, which is particularly helpful. As time moves on, you begin to care less as more pressing matters tend to arise which demand your attention. You might not be able to forgive at this moment and if so then wait it out.
Express your pain
I am very much of the mindset that a problem shared is a problem halved. Talking with someone you trust about a situation that has hurt you is often therapeutic. Keeping things bottled up and stagnant may lead to you feeling worse and for a prolonged period of time. Furthermore, your friends may have great insight into what has happened and you may gain a better outlook. You may feel that talking is cathartic and every time you talk about it you will feel less hurt until it becomes matter of fact.
An apology goes a long way but sometimes people can be reluctant to give one or maybe it’s not possible. Or maybe the heinous nature of the situation warrants much more than a few heartfelt words. Without closure it is much harder to move on; it’s as if the situation is still ongoing and hasn’t fully finished. But this shouldn’t prevent you from healing from this situation – sometimes you won’t get the justice that you feel you deserve but you just have to accept that. It’s out of your control and the only thing you can do is to refuse to give power to it so you feel better.
To conclude, choosing to forgive someone is a great form of healing. It may seem too difficult but you can start slow; think about what happened and confide in a friend. Once you forgive you will feel like a weight has been lifted from your shoulders and the absence of negative thoughts circling in your head will make you feel much more positive. Remember that everyone makes mistakes and that not everyone has the same values/standards as you. Forgive for your own sake – you will feel a million times better.
DON’T BE BITTER, BE BETTER