Do you find it hard to forgive and forget? Bad things happen to good people, and few of us get through life without someone treating us badly. The problem with holding on to the anger and resentment we feel is that we become stuck in the past. It's much healthier emotionally to move on - and that involves forgiving people for what they did. Here are some tips to help you forgive and forget …
Table of contents:
- time heals
- forgiving doesn't mean condoning
- moving on is healthy
- people make mistakes
- letting go will do you good
- you can't change the past
- does it really matter that much?
- focus on gratitude
- look for the lesson
- get the right revenge
1 Time Heals
If someone has let you down or treated you badly, it feels painful. You may be angry at them for a long time. But you will look back and realise that it doesn't hurt as much. You have to consciously decide that you won't let it bother you any more, otherwise you'll end up stuck in the past and worrying about things that happened a long time ago.
2 Forgiving Doesn't Mean Condoning
Forgiving someone doesn't mean that you're condoning what they did, or that it doesn't matter. It may have been wrong for them to do what they did. But forgiveness is as much for your benefit as it is for theirs; by forgiving them, you will give yourself the power to move on from the past.
3 Moving on is Healthy
It's not healthy emotionally to be stuck in the past. Someone I know was still brooding years later over past events. I don't think he'll ever be free of the past, because he didn't want to be. He liked blaming other people too much, and that's a very negative mindset to be stuck in. Emotionally healthy people accept that sometimes things go wrong, and look to the future instead.
4 People Make Mistakes
We all make mistakes, and sometimes other people suffer the consequences of those mistakes. So whoever's caused you grief, cut them some slack and accept that nobody's perfect. You've probably done things that have upset others, and wouldn't you want to be forgiven for that?
5 Letting Go Will do You Good
Once you make the decision to forgive people, you'll feel so much better. Remember how people talk about feeling like a weight has lifted from their shoulders? That's how you'll feel. Forgiveness is a positive step forward, as you will feel that you've lost something that was weighing you down.
6 You Can't Change the past
We often find it hard to forgive and forget as we find it difficult to accept that these things happened to us. However, the past can never be changed, so why hang on to it? What you can do is learn from it and change your behavior in the future. That will be far more productive than brooding over the past.
7 Does It Really Matter That Much?
It can also be helpful to look at things objectively. Does what you're angry or upset about really matter that much any more? Have you just been holding on to an old grudge? If you think about it you may realise that you're not upset by it no, or that it wasn't really that important in the first place.
8 Focus on Gratitude
Instead of seeking happiness from the inside out, seek it from the outside in. Don't allow your happiness to be at the mercy of others and you won't be disappointed or let down. Count your blessings and list 5 things a day which make you happy. This happiness will make letting go of the hurt easier.
9 Look for the Lesson
If you want to forgive and forget you must first find the lesson in the pain that's been caused. Maybe it was to teach you to be more guarded with your feelings, or maybe it's to teach you not everyone has your best intentions in mind. Whatever it is, allow yourself to learn from it so you can move on.
10 Get the Right Revenge
When seeking revenge on someone who hurt you, the only right way to do it is live a successful and happy life. Be loving in your thoughts and actions so you are not a person someone has to forgive and forget. By living your life positively you will find letting go much easier to do.
Forgiving someone doesn't mean that you're giving them carte blanche to do what they want. Instead, it's allowing yourself to heal past wounds and move forwards. Isn't that so much better than hanging on to grudges? It will also allow you to rebuild relationships. Have you ever done anything that seemed unforgivable?
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