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The Life-Changing Power Of Forgiveness

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Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Want to transform your personal or professional life for the better? Start with forgiveness.


Avoid Festering Wounds

When you hold a grudge, you harbor resentment, anger, and hatred towards someone who’s wronged you.

We all do it. It’s almost as if we feel compelled to stay mad at the offender because we must punish them.

And what’s the punishment? The cold shoulder or silent treatment? A who-does-life-better competition where you’re the only one keeping score?

You may never even cross paths with the person again. Your slow drip of revenge goes virtually unnoticed, which is why you need to let go.

What’s in store for us if we don’t let go of the hurt? Festering wounds that never get the chance to heal because you continue to reopen them.

​Before you know it, you’re stuck in time, reliving the pain over and over. Your personal and professional life can’t reach their full potential when you’re stuck in the past.


Repercussions Of Resentment

You’ve probably heard the anonymous saying that holding a grudge is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.

When you hold onto past wrongs, you only harm yourself. Ongoing hatred and anger increase negative stress hormones in your body, leading to health issues.

​Chronic negative stress harms your emotional, mental, and physical well-being. It increases:

  • Tension
  • Anxiety
  • Fear
  • Self-harming behaviors, like addictions to food, alcohol, or drugs

Once you understand how badly resentment affects you, it’s easier to choose to forgive if for no other reason than your own well-being.

​Do it for your health. A life well-lived with a healthy mind and body is the best revenge, anyway.


Forgiveness Is A Practice

‘Practice’ often comes right before the word ‘forgiveness.’ Forgiveness doesn't happen overnight; you must mindfully make the choice and put in the effort to let go of ill will.


How To Take The High Road And Start Forgiving

The people you begrudge hardly ever perceive the depth of the wrath you hold for them. Likely, they haven’t given you a second thought while you stew over them. On the other hand, maybe they’re embarrassed by how they treated you and think about you all the time, wishing they had the nerve to apologize.

The truth is, you have no idea what they’re thinking. It’s best if you decide to leave them and their offenses in the past.

But how? How do you start forgiving your ex-love who broke your heart or the parent who abandoned you? How do you put the past behind you on the old business partners who left you financially drained after your business failed?

​We’ll walk you through some tips to start your journey.


Practice Empathy And Recognize Your Limited POV

You have a limited point of view of the situation. All you know is what happened and how it made you feel; often, that’s not the whole story.

For instance, maybe your mother-in-law intended to compliment you, but her poor word choice hurt your feelings instead. Perhaps she has trouble with that because of things that happened in her past.

That guy that cut in line at the deli? He’s slowly losing his ability to think clearly due to age and other physical factors.

​When you recognize your limited knowledge, you can begin to imagine the reasoning behind the hurt. You acknowledge that you make mistakes, too. Who might you have wronged without knowing it?


Take Baby Steps

The best way to forgive the worst of the worst in your life is to forgive minor slights first. Your mother-in-law’s backhanded compliments. The guy who jumped in front of you at the deli counter. That person that cut you off in traffic. Let all those infractions go with a dose of empathy.


Do It For The Loved Ones In Your Life

Holding on to hurt does the most damage to you first. Next, it negatively impacts your mood and actions. Purposefully let go for better relationships.


Remember To Be Thankful

It’s hard to see the good when focusing on the bad. The opposite is true, too. An attitude of gratitude can drive out the negativity clouding your brain.

Meditate daily on the things you have to be grateful for. Rewiring the brain to look for the positive actually turns you into a more positive person.

​Take your thankful thoughts one step further by considering the positive aspects of the person who hurt you. For example, recognize that your ex-spouse is a dependable part of your children’s lives and helps shoulder the load of raising kids despite your differences.


Find Your Support Squad

No man is an island, meaning it’s impossible to get through life’s trials and tribulations alone. Luckily, you don’t have to.

Intentionally surround yourself with people who can help. It’s never too late to start building your support system if you don’t have one.

Enlist the expertise of a mental health therapist. Professionals have a neutral third-party vantage point and a toolbox of skills to pass along to you to help you get out of the revenge rut.

Next, look for social groups in your community to begin making friends. Let your unique interests and hobbies guide you.

​Look to literature to give you more tools and motivation to forgive. So many wise writers have passed down a legacy of knowledge from their studies, work, and life. You get to devour their words at your speed and let them change you for the better. After all, the ball is always in your court when it comes to forgiving.


Life Lessons

Humankind is fallible and messy. People will hurt you and let you down. Recognize that you are just as imperfect.

​Accept that life will hand you trying times and trying people. Learn to look for the lesson in what happened to you. Use those lessons to improve yourself, and you’ll be unstoppable in life, love, and business.


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