Should You Forgive And Forget? Why You Can And Should Learn To Forgive
‘I'm right and you’re wrong’. Sound familiar? This is a mentality that we are all guilty of falling into at some time or another. But what happens when we cannot move on from feelings of having been wronged? Should we choose to forgive, and if so, how can we go about it?
You have been wronged by your friend, your ex-girlfriend treated you badly, a work colleague has been talking down to you or you were cut up by a driver whilst on your way to work this morning. It doesn't matter what your reasons are, you feel wronged and completely justified in your resentment. You refuse to budge in your anger. You are in the right and they are in the wrong. What other justification do you need?
It can be all too easy to fall into this way of thinking. The role of the victim can be a safe and familiar one. It is one that we are unwilling to break out of. Knowing that you are the one in the right feels so good, doesn't it? Or does it?
Find out why forgiveness is the only way forward when you have been hurt.
It’s Not You, It’s Me
Forgiveness is not about how you were wronged or about the other person, it is all about you. You are the one that decides how you feel, how you interpret and react to a situation. You are in complete control of how another person can make you feel. So, when you are left reeling with hurt, anger, embarrassment or bitterness do not make the mistake of blaming another. This is nothing to do with them and instead, everything to do with you.
When you use the actions of another person to excuse filling yourself with disproportionate amounts of resentment and anger, you are hurting nobody but yourself. You cannot control how others choose to feel and act, but you can choose how you do.
We might try to fool ourselves that holding onto feelings of anger and self-righteousness can help us to feel better when we have been hurt, but as we have already discovered, when we refuse to let go of anger and resentment we succeed in hurting nobody but ourselves.
This is probably the most important reason for why we should make it a priority to learn how to forgive. But what are the other reasons?
When we refuse to forgive somebody that was in the wrong, we often mistakenly believe ourselves to be the one in control, using silence, anger or withholding our love or friendship to ‘punish’ the other person for making us feel the way that we do. However, when we react in this way we are far from being in control.
By refusing to try and forgive, and instead of digging our heels in with stubborn resentment, we are allowing the actions of another person to dictate our actions and emotions. When we are unable to forgive, we become bogged down with negativity; our anger creates obstacles that stand in the way of us feeling and acting how we want to. We only succeed in holding ourselves back, not the other person.
- How do I really want to feel?
- Do I really want to continue down this path of anger and bitterness for the sake of being ‘right’, or do I want to be happy?
Forgiveness isn't about being a doormat or turning a blind eye every time that somebody wrong’s us. Rather, it is about having a greater deal of respect and love for yourself and your happiness. It is about choosing to let go of the past and choosing positivity to melt resistance from your life, and make space for bigger and better things.
Whether you need to forgive someone that has passed away, a person still very much a part of your life or perhaps an old face from the past; learn how to forgive them once and for all for a lighter, brighter world.
There are several ways in which you can learn to let go:
- Refuse to be a victim. It can be all too easy to see yourself as a victim of the world, others or of your circumstances. Blaming your emotions on the things that are external to you can seem the easiest solution, but until you learn to look within and accept responsibility for your feelings and choices you’ll never be able to make room in your life for bigger and better things. So, regain control of the way that you feel and take responsibility for forgiving yourself and others.
- Choose to be happy, not ‘right’. More often than not, our inability to forgive and let go comes from our need to always be in the right. ‘They are wrong and I am right’. This attitude can be extremely draining and life-consuming, resulting in nothing but your own misery. So ask yourself; would I rather be happy or would I rather be right?
By opening yourself up to forgiveness, you can enable yourself to think from a clearer, more in-control point of view. This should not only help you to get better in touch with what it is that you truly want, but it can also help you to decide how it is that you want to move forward from your place of hurt.
So forgive fully and often. Learn to forgive both yourself and other people. Forgiveness equals freedom, so learn to forgive the past for a bigger and much brighter future.
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