Life is like the ocean. There are high tides and low tides, just like how we have moments where we experience highs and lows. Some waves engulf you so much that you feel like you are drowning, while some waves give you a gentle push in the right direction. Without the momentum of human actions, which consequently have the power to affect and influence our emotions, our lives would be mundane. However, amid the myriad of emotions that we feel day-to-day, some emotions overpower and outshine the others. Unfortunately, if you play the reel of your life, moments of sadness and hurt stand out more often than the moments that have made you happy.
We have all experienced instances or gone through turbulent events in our lives that have knocked the ground out from under us. It is hard to keep your composure and not allow your anger and resentment to grow in these moments because they are strong and can make you act on instinct, likely leaving you with decisions you will regret. These decisions can hurt the people you love and care about or turn into self-destructive tendencies.
What hurts the most is when the person you trust the most in the world wrongs you. It could be a partner who was unfaithful, a friend who broke your confidence, or even a family member who disrespected your wishes and acted against them. Learning to forgive someone who hurt you is an arduous task, but it must be done.
Why Should You Forgive?
There is a misconception that forgiving someone is analogous to forgiving the fault in their actions or attempting to reconcile with them. You do not have to invite a person who hurt you back into your life during the process of forgiveness. Forgiveness cannot be implemented if forced, and you have complete autonomy to make your own decisions.
Forgiveness is the first step to healing yourself from the damage inflicted on you. By learning to forgive, you give yourself a chance to put yourself first and control what will happen next. By processing your emotions, you will be able to move forward with your life and close that hurtful chapter in your story. You will also grow spiritually if you forgive someone and get rid of the burden and negative emotions that cloud your mind and weigh down your heart.
Kindly note, forgiving someone who hurt you is unnecessary if the actions taken were intended to harm you or posed a threat to your well-being intentionally.
Adverse Effects Of Not Forgiving
The human mind and the thoughts it manifests are fickle and can be as poisonous to the body as eating unhealthy food or indulging in bad habits like smoking or drinking. Negative emotions, such as anger, can morph into resentment and hatred. If these emotions are not dealt with or are kept at bay for too long, they can erupt out of you at the wrong time and at the wrong person.
This is backed by science and research made by mental professionals. For example, holding onto grudges and experiencing the onslaught of destructive emotions can lead to stress and anxiety. These can transform into health-risking diseases such as fluctuating blood pressure. If you free them, you can attain peace and maintain good mental health.
What To Do To Forgive Someone
1. Accept that you are going to forgive the person.
It might take time to accept, so it is okay to prepare yourself until you reach a point in which you are ready. If you are not ready to start the process of forgiveness, then reading this guide may be in vain.
2. Identify the reason why you want to forgive the person.
Does this include thinking over things like will this person continue to be a part of my life? If yes, then is it detrimental to have them in my life, or will I gain something from it? Do you want to communicate with this person while surrendering to the forgiveness process? Other vital questions include: should you be friends or would you be better off as strangers?
3. Try to keep an open mind and analyze the situation from all perspectives.
Sometimes misunderstandings doom a relationship, and you might regret ending on bad terms. To see things objectively, you can also invite a close friend to provide unbiased insights into the situation and advise you accordingly. Having a third party witness this process can also relieve some of the emotional turmoil you have.
4. Try to use sympathy and empathy to reason why the person acted the way they did.
The sooner you accept their character and their wrongdoings, the easier it will be to move on. You should also evoke these emotions for yourself and realize that people’s actions are out of your control and not your responsibility, so you are not at fault for someone else’s mistakes.
5. Keep your circle of communication.
During this healing process, it is important to keep the circle of communication small so that the problem remains personal and does not become a victim to baseless rumors and senseless gossip, affecting you negatively.
6. Engage in activities that can lift your mood and divert your attention from what has happened.
Enjoying the good things in life can make you realize that forgiveness comes easy when you are surrounded by positivity. This is also a great mood booster to get rid of negative emotions.
The kindest thing you can do for yourself is to move past dark times and skip to the next chapter of your life, promising yourself happiness and peace. While the healing journey is tedious and deals with tough decisions and confrontations, it is worth it for the sake of your well-being and sanity.
The thoughtless actions of others can be selfish, and it can be infuriating to know that they are also insensitive. But while the person who has hurt you may have committed one grave mistake, it is cruel to wish ill on them. Doing so reflects poorly on you. No one is inherently bad, but they do carry the guilt of their mistakes and that should be enough relief for you to move on instead of building your resentment.
Hopefully, with this article, you can take a positive step toward forgiveness and a better future.