Reasons to Forgive
There are more reasons to forgive than to continue to carry the burden of anger, pain and resentment. To forgive is to be merciful to yourself more than it is to let the other person who hurt you off the hook. To carry anger against another is to poison your own heart, administering more venom each time you replay the injury in your mind. If you cease repeating the offense inwardly, your outward anger will dissipate. Forgiving does NOT mean that your hurt and anger were unjustified. Forgiveness does NOT mean you need to be a doormat to someone else’s abuse or unkind behavior. Forgiveness does not even mean you have to spend time with the person who hurt you.
Forgiveness does mean that you take a larger perspective and view that person with compassion rather than hate. To let go of anger means that you make a choice to put your emotional energy into more positive aspects of your life. Forgiveness is releasing the depression, anger and desire for revenge that dwelling on the hurt has done to you. Forgiveness releases your own energy for more creative and positive approaches to life in general. Forgiveness creates healing in your own life.
In a relationship that matters it is a step forward in the process if you can acknowledge your feelings and express your anger and hurt constructively. In a forgiving relationship, the struggle over power is replaced by mutual compassion, respect and ‘giving the benefit of a doubt’. In such a relationship, each understands that mistakes will be made and hurts unintentionally inflicted. Accepting that we both do and will fail is called ‘proactive forgiveness’. Forgiveness is a process that takes time and hopefully, a regaining of trust, when the other person also wants healing of the relationship.