Forgiving someone, especially a loved one can be challenging to do. Instead of forgiving, we can often spend time talking negatively about a person to others. We can spend even more time replaying a situation in our mind and recalling what specifically was done/said, and possibly thinking about how to get even with them.
However, I’ve learned that this is all wasted time and energy. Even when someone does or says something cruel to you, here are 5 reasons why you should always forgive…
It’s Truly For You
You don’t deserve to hold onto grudges and sacrifice your happiness. The only person that can choose happiness is you! Forgiving is not sending the message that they’ve won or are stronger than you. You made the decision to move on from the situation and heal, not to dwell and become absorbed by it – and that’s truly a powerful decision to make!
To Learn From the Situation
Replaying a situation over and over again in my head is something I’ve done and possibly something you’ve done too. It’s exhausting and unproductive. Don’t you agree? Instead, you can spend your time and energy thinking about what you’ve learned from the situation. Maybe you learned that your roommate is not a close friend anymore, or maybe you learned not to trust someone so quickly. Either way, you learned… and that’s something to be thankful for!
To Attract New Experiences and People
Holding onto a grudge can put your guard up and send a signal that you don’t want to be bothered. That might be true, but again, you don’t deserve to stay unhappy by someone’s words or actions. Once you forgive, you are welcoming new people and experiences to come into your life (whether you realize it or not). You shouldn’t feel that you must put your life on hold. People make mistakes and situations don’t always happen the right way – but it’s a comforting thought to know there is always more to explore in life.
To Re-establish or Reorganize Your Relationships
Maybe it was your best friend, father, co-worker or roommate who upset you. Whoever it might have been, forgiving allows you to think clearly about the person. I remember getting into an argument with a roommate days before moving out. Luckily, we had a chance to talk and we forgave one another. Once I was able to forgive her, I could finally think clearly about our friendship. I realized that this argument showed a side I hadn’t ’t seen from her. As a result, we both agreed that we weren’t close friends anymore. Although this was upsetting, forgiving allowed me to appreciate the moments I did have with her and move out on peaceful terms.
To Live in the Present Moment
Holding onto past situations and feelings keeps you from being in the now. You might be tired of hearing “live in the now” or “be present”, but I think it’s truly worth discussing. I actually used to pooh-pooh the idea of being mindful and present – and how it was the best thing for you. When I decided to forgive others (and myself too), I experienced the enjoyment of being present.
We obviously have no control over changing the past. We luckily, however, always have control of today and making the most out of it.