Do you remember that big fight you had with your bestie on the playground in elementary school? What was it about? Did someone new enter the picture, or was it something completely different?
Either way, how long did it take you to make up? And, why does it take adults so long to forgive and forget, and move forward in their relationships? The answer may surprise you.
Here are 5 reasons why forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself.
At some point in our lives, we’ve been hurt or betrayed so badly that we can’t begin to think about forgiveness because we’re too busy trying to heal or stay sane.
Occasionally, you’ll hear about those great forgiveness stories by everyday people just like you and me. How are they able to put everything on the table and do the work to forgive and live a happier life?
They have learned the truth about forgiveness.
1. Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself because you deserve it.
Forgiveness happens when you let go of anger, resentment, and the desire to get even associated with an offense or someone who hurt you.
Understandably, when you’ve been hurt, you want an apology as soon as possible. But is that realistic? Despite whether you receive an apology or not, you can forgive the other person.
Let’s talk about the three most common signs of unforgiveness which are excessive anger, resentment, and guilt to see if they are familiar. If so, commit to taking action now.
2. Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself because you need it.
Anger is a normal, healthy, and even appropriate emotional response to a real or perceived offense. It is harmful only when it’s uncontrolled.
Anger may reveal itself as:
- name-calling when angry
- engage in road rage
- friends, family, colleagues avoid you
- you blame others for your angry outbursts
When you commit to healing and doing the necessary work, you are also committing to the newfound freedom that comes from forgiving yourself and others.
3. Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself because you’ve decided that you deserve it.
Resentment is the big sister to anger. It’s having negative feelings for or a desire to get even with the person who hurt you. It can turn into rage and even hatred if it’s not addressed.
As a teenager, I remember when I realized what my dad was doing. He often compared my older sister and me because she went to college directly after high school. I was so proud of her and knew he was too.
He was also angry and disappointed in me because I was a troubled teenage mom and married at a young age. I was also a non-traditional college student who later obtained my BA and MA degrees with three children while working full-time.
But, the cruel comparison to my sister often made me feel like a failure. My dad talked about everything I didn’t accomplish. As a result, I resented my sister.
The danger of harboring resentment is that it can make you feel unworthy, regretful, and impact your relationships. Those inadequate feelings can make you feel stuck in your current situation with no way out.
I decided to work through my resentment because it was unhealthy and unproductive.
4. Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself because you are not a victim.
Guilt is an emotion you feel when your action or inaction hurts someone. You feel like you’ve acted against your principles. Guilt can also make you think that you’ve negatively impacted someone else’s life or believe life isn’t fair. Lingering guilt can be crippling. It can make you feel like something is suffocating you. It’s almost an indescribable feeling!
Guilt may reveal itself as:
- crying spells
- unnecessary apologizing
- head pain
Admittedly, I made some terrible decisions as a young mom and lived with the guilt for years! I tried to be a good parent and wanted to do better. It was the great Maya Angelou who said, “when you know better, you do better.” And, eventually, I became a better mother.
5. Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself because you learn to stop living in the past and enjoy the present. You also learn how to live in the moment.
Do you or someone you know struggle with anger, resentment, or guilt? Or, do you want to learn more about the power of forgiveness, if so please join me for my free masterclass. It’s on Tuesday, June 9th at 8 pm EST, Free Your Mind: 3 Steps from Resentment to Freedom: http://bit.ly/freeymclassim
I truly believe in the power of forgiveness and the freedom it brings. I finally found freedom and happiness and want the same thing for you. Will you join me?