Letting go of the past can be hard to say the least. To forgive and forget sounds much better on paper than it does to practice it in life. But, forgiveness is definitely something we need in order to move on in life. My Granddad taught me that it’s important to say my piece and then move on. Holding onto feelings and thoughts for a long time can hurt you more than what caused you to be upset in the first place. My Granddad was a wise man, and someone I will forever learn from. With 2018 just beginning, let’s move forward with acceptance, joy and forgiveness.
- Holding a grudge brings you down. Forgiveness sets you free.
There is nothing worse than keeping those negative feelings locked up inside when you could easily forgive and move on. Have you ever had an argument with a friend over something stupid but still refused to forgive them? Think about that time and try to be active and enjoy yourself whilst doing so. During several tests and experiments, universities across the world have come to the conclusion that when thinking about a grudge you’ve held/ or are holding, you become sluggish, heavy and weighed-down. Practicing forgiveness makes you happier, freer and feel overall unburdened. If you don’t believe me, try it out at some point. Forgiveness is such a key part in moving forward in life.
2. Forgiving doesn’t mean you approve of bad behaviour.
Many people seem to think forgiveness is allowing people to walk all over you and that you’ll be stuck forever being used or hurt, but it’s not. Forgiving means you understand that people make mistakes, some greater than others, but that’s on them, not you. Forgiveness is about accepting what has happened and that there is nothing anyone can do to change it. You can choose to fill your heart with the negativity of being wronged by someone, or you can forgive and be at peace with yourself and the world. Some people have every right not to forgive others, but the ones that do forgive those that have wronged them – they understand that they must continue as they are, show kindness and love and justice because if they won’t, who will?
3. The hardest person you can forgive is yourself.
We live in a society where we have been programmed to criticise everything about ourselves. If we don’t look perfect, or have the latest phone or are into the latest trend, we start to blame ourselves for not being ‘good enough’. And during those times, we have our fingers pressed firmly on the self-destruct button. When we finally get past that, we feel foolish and silly. The hardest thing you can do is forgive yourself for forgetting to love and respect yourself no matter what. Once you’re able to forgive yourself, you’ll start treating yourself in a more kind and genuine way. Not everyone has the courage to forgive themselves, but it’s one of the best feelings in the world when you can forgive yourself.
4. Forgive and forget doesn’t literally mean forget what hurt you.
People struggle with the concept of ‘forgive and forget’, for example, if you were to argue with a friend over something small like the time you ordered pizza and you wanted pineapple on it and your friend didn’t so when they made the order they got the pizza without it, that’s when you can forget about the argument and move on with your life and your relationship once you’ve sorted out your feelings with your friend. With more serious cases, forgive and forget means you’ve forgiven the person who caused harm if they deserve it, ‘forget’ is when you move on with the relationship/friendship and attempt to continue on with your lives better, stronger and with the knowledge that this has happened, it may happen again, but it has happened, and bringing up those negative feelings can only cause more harm than good. Forget is just a word we use to symbolise us moving forward without harbouring any negative feelings towards anyone else.
5. Forgiveness allows you the opportunity to help others.
Forgiveness does give you the opportunity to help others, especially those that have wronged you. Just by showing a bit of compassion, empathy and love it all goes a long way. If you could help someone with their pain and suffering after doing wrong to you, you’re helping them learn to forgive themselves, and hopefully preventing another hurtful situation where even more people become involved. Again, it doesn’t mean you’re okay with their actions or behaviours, but you’re turning negativity feelings and experiences into a positive and more productive future.
6. Not everyone deserves to be forgiven.
It’s okay to not forgive someone for something horrific. It’ll be 3 years ago in March that a friend of mine was killed senselessly with no rhyme nor reason. At the time I was angry, I wanted the man who did it to burn. Of course I’m still incredibly angry and heartbroken, and I’ve not forgiven the guy that did it. But I’ve come to be at peace with what happened. There’s nothing I could have done to change anything, there’s nothing anyone apart from the legal system could have done to prevent his murder. So instead of keeping this anger built up, his friends and family are campaigning so no one else has to ever go through what we’ve all been through. If you’re not able to forgive, carry on until you believe justice has been served. But only you can decide if you’re able to forgive someone for something they’ve done. No one else can decide for you.
7. Take as long as you need.
Some heal faster than others, and that’s okay. Everyone is different and it can take someone longer than another to forgive the same wrongdoing. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty or pressured into forgiving someone if you’re not ready to do so or, if you can’t forgive them for what they’ve done. I’ve been looking into forgiveness and different ways of trying to practice it. I feel like I’ve been angry for so long at the universe for taking away my friends in 2015 and then my Granddad March last year, I just needed to let those feelings go. For me, forgiveness is about being at peace with the pain you’ve faced in your life. Forgiveness frees you from pain and allows you to move forward in life without a burden that brings you emotional, physical, mental and spiritual strain. This doesn’t just happen over-night, so take as long as you need to heal.
I hope that you found some of these helpful! It’s so important to set yourself free from unneeded stress and hassle when you can, and forgiveness is a perfect way to help do just that. Sometimes, forgiveness is the only way you’ll truly feel better about things that have happened. But it’s also very important to remember that forgiveness can only happen on your terms and your terms only. No one can tell you to forgive, no one can tell you when to forgive. I hope this post came across with that message!
So until next time, keep safe and have an awfully big adventure for me.