The power of forgiveness is unparalleled. It can free us of our past baggage, making us happier and inducing a sense of contentment. Forgiveness acts as a healer in most cases.
“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
When we hold on to pain and resentment, we suffer more as the sorrow intensifies in our thoughts. It happens to most of us, that we find it really hard to pardon others who have hurt us or done something wrong – either deliberately or unintentionally.
We fuel the grudges, anger, and sadness within ourselves – not realizing that it’s actually causing harm to our own wellbeing.
Needless to say, forgiveness isn’t an easy ordeal – but it’s surely one of the greatest virtues that we can learn to master, in order to uplift our lives. It’s not about erasing the past but looking at it compassionately.
The power of forgiveness would help you to heal and evolve.
Forgiveness means to let go of hatred, instead of allowing it to ruin your peace. To put it in the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
There’s a popular saying – ‘Forgive and forget’ – but clinical psychologists have emphasized that these should not overlap each other.
In reality, forgiving and forgetting are extremely different. Forgiveness does not mean reconciling with the person who has harmed you.
It is not about pretending that what has happened is okay or re-establish any form of relationship with this person.
You don’t need to forget anything. In fact, you should always remember to ensure that such a situation doesn’t hit you twice.
Forgiveness can be of two kinds – decisional forgiveness and emotional forgiveness.
The former is tentatively easier, and it’s a conscious choice when you decide to look beyond the wrongs and focus on the good.
You no longer wish bad things to happen to the one who has inflicted pain upon you – instead, you just remember the good things about the person and move on.
Emotional forgiveness is rather difficult and takes longer to achieve. You’d need to uproot all negative feelings from your mind and heart.
The thoughts and memories of getting hurt would keep coming back. It’ll take time for you to completely heal before you can move on.
“It’s not an easy journey, to get to a place where you forgive people. But it is such a powerful place because it frees you.” – Tyler Perry.
- Here are 5 simple steps that can help you to practice forgiveness.
- Forgiveness leads to happiness:
Here are 5 simple steps that can help you to practice forgiveness.
1. Try to recall the moments of pain as the first step towards forgiveness.
If you try and ignore the incidents/ words/ actions that have hurt you, they’ll keep coming back. On the contrary, try to visualize those moments of pain and take deep breaths.
Acknowledge the fact that you’re hurt, and focus on the incident as objectively as possible. Feel the anger, until it mellows down.
Experience each emotion rather than expressing it through yelling or attacking. The more time you’ll give yourself in feeling the pain, the better you’d heal.
2. Try to empathize with the person who has hurt you.
Rather than forming a loop of endless negative emotions and succumbing to self-pity, try to understand the event from the offender’s point of view – what made him/her act in the way they did?
Empathizing is essential for forgiveness and it’ll help in replacing your anger with compassion, and soothe your pain.
3. Think of the times when you have behaved wrongly.
It might be difficult to forgive someone in the beginning, but once you shift your focus to think of the times when you were rude to someone or behaved wrongly and you were forgiven, things might start making sense to you.
Focus on the positive outcomes that the offense brought to your life, as you step ahead towards freeing yourself from the bitterness.
4. Take time to forgive yourself too.
Sometimes, it isn’t about forgiving the other person, but we need to forgive ourselves too. Remember that you too have a role in a conflict – and no matter how justified your actions are, it’s important to condone ourselves. Write down your feelings and read them again when you’re in a calm state of mind.
5. Hold onto that forgiveness.
When the negative emotions and memories keep coming back, try not to dwell on them. Replace the negative thoughts with happy flashbacks, and think about the good things that the offender has also brought to your life. And once you’ve made your mind to forgive – hold on to that feeling.
Remember, when you actually embrace forgiveness, you are simultaneously achieving a joyous and merciful mindset.
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Forgiveness leads to happiness:
It has been seen that a forgiving person is always more happy and productive, and here’s how forgiveness leads to a happier you:
1. You’ll get rid of the negative thoughts and feelings.
“Forgiving isn’t something you do for someone else. It’s something you do for yourself.” – Jodi Picoult.
Once you practice forgiveness, you’ll release all negative thoughts surrounding the person or situation bringing you pain.
Thus, you’ll have ample headspace for attracting all positive thoughts and indulge in being more productive than general.
2. You’ll be open to newer experiences.
“It takes a strong person to say they’re sorry and an even stronger person to forgive.” – Yolanda Hadid.
Holding onto grudges and ill feelings often stops us from trying new things or making new friends. We tend to think that we’ll again get hurt, or someone will cause pain again.
But as you practice forgiveness, you tend to be more open to newness. You would learn to believe that not everyone is bad in this world.
3. You’ll learn and grow.
“Forgiveness does not change the past but it does enlarge the future.” – Paul Lewis Boese.
Life is all about learning from your mistakes and then moving forward. Sometimes, those mistakes don’t necessarily need to be yours.
By forgiving someone, you’re able to look past the pain and hurt that they caused you. It’ll allow you to look at the circumstances and situation from a more objective point of view, helping you to learn from it.
We hope that this article will help you to forgive someone who has hurt you and motivate you to practice forgiveness as a part of good living.
If you also believe in the power of forgiveness, do let us know in the comments below.