Why forgiving is good for you

Sometimes, it feels like it’s easier to stay mad.

They said something to you, or they treated you poorly.  It was wrong, and you’re upset.  You don’t think you can ever mitigate the anger, and it feels like they don’t deserve it.  But that’s not the right way to go about moving on.

It’s really hard to forgive someone, especially someone we care about.  And that’s really counterintuitive, because you think it’d be easy.  You’d think that the people we love the most would have this free pass to forgiveness because they’re close to us.

But it isn’t that way.  It’s different because the people who care about us the most shouldn’t be the ones who hurt you; we put this enormous trust in them that they’ll keep us safe, and they’ll treat us how we should be treated.  I mean, we all need people who are on our side.

But, what happens when that trust is damaged?  What happens when someone injures our feelings towards them?

You forgive, and you move on.

If you can move on together from it, then do so, and keep this incident as a lesson. But, if the relationship is damaged beyond repair, it’s something that you just accept. Some relationships are meant to last forever, and others aren’t.  And, sometimes, it isn’t even anyone’s fault that doesn’t work out.  You’re just different.  And that’s okay, because both people deserve to be happy.  Both people deserve fulfillment, and both deserve to find people who are dying to meet them.

Forgiveness isn’t the same as forgetting.  I think the two often get confused.  Forgiving implies that you acknowledge the problem, but you’re willing to move past it.  Forgetting means the problem never happened.

When you forgive, you grow and learn about yourself.  You challenge yourself by accepting that something happened, but you don’t want to dwell on it.  But, when you just forget, there’s no growth that takes place–it doesn’t get anyone anywhere, because it’s just burying the problem in a mound of ignorance.  And it isn’t exactly the blissful kind.

Forgiving is good for you.  It takes all of those hurt feelings and stress, and it frees them. When you forgive, you give yourself permission to heal.  I’ve known people who never forgive, and they’re stuck in this emotional rut, still angry at people who damaged them years ago.  That’s no way to move forward; you’re not becoming any better of a person from it, and you have this beautiful opportunity to!

You don’t have to wish the person ill if the relationship is beyond repair.  If you had a close relationship with someone, you want them to be happy, because there’s always a part of you who’ll remember how joyful their smile made you.

Sometimes, the best thing for you is to move on and wish them all of the happiness in the world.  And that’s really hard to do, but it’s so good for you.



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