How much hurt are you holding on to? Is it the reason behind the resentment and anger that is burning you from within? Forgiveness can help you overcome it. By embracing forgiveness, you not just escape the bitterness and vengeance from physical or emotional hurt in the past but also become open to empathy, love, peace, and joy.
What is forgiveness?
Forgiveness is to show empathy and mercy towards someone who has hurt you, irrespective of what he did was justified or not. It is about letting go of the anger and resentment that you hold for someone, even when he does not deserve it.
Why does it matter so much to forgive someone?
Holding on to something which has hurt you deeply can make you feel unworthy of happiness. It can lower your self-esteem. Unless you let go of that hurt, you give the offender the power to control your emotions. Studies have shown that forgiveness can result in many psychological benefits and benefits the person who forgives in more than one way. Here are some of the benefits of forgiving someone-
- Improves self-esteem
- Opens your heart to love & empathy
- Builds healthier relationships
- Decreases depression
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Improved PTSD symptoms
- Lowers blood pressure
- Boosts immunity
- Strengthens cardiovascular system
How to start forgiving?
Forgiveness may not come at once as your mind and heart pulls you back with all its might, reminding you of the past hurt and wanting you to hurt others similarly. But, it is important that you understand that you are the biggest beneficiary if you decide to forgive.
To begin forgiving, the first thing you need to know is ‘who do you need to forgive’. While it may seem obvious in some cases, it is still very crucial to sit and assess the hurt you have been inflicted with and who caused that hurt. Foremost, understand your pain and acknowledge that you are going through it. The bigger your pain, the higher is the need for forgiveness to heal yourself.
As you identify the person who needs to be forgiven, look at him with a victim mentality. Understand what made him hurt you so deeply? Check if he has been hurt by someone in the past. Feeling his wounds will make you feel empathetic towards him. Being in empathy with the person who has hurt you makes it easier to forgive him.
You can consider starting a positive new regime like working out every morning or helping one person every day. The positivity will help you to cut down on the bitter emotion stuck within you. You may even start by spreading love in every small way you can – like listening to an elderly person and giving him company or being kind to a street dog and giving it some food. Kindness and love expands your heart and helps you in practising forgiveness.
Last but not the least, ensure that you are not operating from a place of pride. Doing that will make it difficult to forgive as it would hurt your ego. Check yourself constantly and operate from the space of mercy.
Once you can learn to forgive and embrace others irrespective of what they have done, you will heal miraculously, be at peace with yourself and open yourself up to profound joy and some of the best relationships.