When people treat you badly, it’s very easy to develop and hold a grudge. You may not understand how it could be possible to forgive someone for a slight, especially if the action was especially hurtful.
Maybe you think forgiveness is about the other person and somehow they benefit from you forgiving them. Forgiveness is not about the other person, it’s about you.
Forgiving another person does not always mean they stay in your life. Sometimes you don’t even let them know you’re forgiving them. You don’t even need to trust them again. Just forgive them to eliminate the negativity in your life and help you to move on – the forgiveness is for YOU..
Even horrific crimes can be forgiven. For safety reasons, you may want to use an indirect way of forgiving them instead of contacting them directly. Write a letter as if you plan on sending it to the other person. Talk about how what they did made you feel, and about how it made you think about yourself. Write about how you’re no longer going to allow them to occupy space in your head, and how you’ve forgiven them for what they did to you.
When you finish writing, seal up the letter in an envelope and put their name on the front. Then either throw it away (shred it first!) or burn the letter. It does not have to actually be read by the person you are forgiving, this exercise is to help you get past the negativity and the chains that are holding you back as a person.
If you find you can’t forgive on your own, you may want to talk with a professional. Therapy can really help you get past this hurdle, especially if the person committed a serious crime. If you have been abused, particularly over a long period of time, you may need therapy to help you get past what was done to you. There is nothing wrong with seeking help.
Once you have forgiven the other person, you will feel like a weight has been lifted, or chains have been removed. Grudges are not healthy for you and they do not affect the other person. When you bottle up negative feelings, you can increase your risks of developing heart disease, and other stress-related health conditions. You tend to age faster as well. Not forgiving others can dim your overall outlook on life, so why put yourself through all of that?
Remember that forgiveness is not about the other person, it is about eliminating the negativity in your own life. So free yourself today by forgiving others for the wrongs they have done to you.