Learn to Forgive

Forgiveness can sometimes seem difficult, but the benefits of forgiving somebody who has wronged you are endless. finding forgiveness in your heart will make you be happier and healthier.

Have you ever had your heart broken, been injured by somebody or been betrayed by a friend? It's inevitable that events sometimes occur in life that leave us emotionally battered and bruised. So, at times, we all harbour hate for those who have wronged us, or who've hurt the people we love. But it's what you do next that counts.

One of the most difficult spiritual lessons is forgiveness. Why should you forgive somebody who has wronged you? The answer is because you will benefit; finding forgiveness in your heart will make you be happier and healthier.

The meaning of Forgiveness

Forgiveness is sometimes incorrectly seen as a weakness. In fact, forgiveness is about taking back your power - it is strength. Without forgiveness, a toxic mix of hurt, resentment and revenge will eat away at you blocking out any positive emotions or future happiness. Nurturing a grudge or feeling bitter is damaging to yourself, not to the perpetrator. Forgiveness is setting yourself free from bitterness; it is emotionally unchaining yourself from the person who has hurt you.

Types of Forgiveness

*Forgiving someone: If somebody hurts you, the most freeing thing you can do is to forgive them. Forgiveness takes the emphasis away from the person who has done wrong and allows the person who has been wronged to cut themselves loose from the hurt.

*Forgiving yourself: This can be more difficult than forgiving somebody else - and even more corrosive if you are unable to do it. If you have made a mistake, try to make amends and make right what you have done wrong. But then you must move forward - don't constantly turn over the mistake in your head - let it go.

Spiritual examples

Forgiveness features in many world religions, for example, the 'the merciful shall be shown mercy' is part of the Christian Sermon on the Mount, and the story of the Prodigal Son teaches that forgiveness is possible even after many misdeeds.

In Buddhism the practise of forgiveness is key, because holding on to thoughts of revenge or hatred are said to damage your future karma and present wellbeing. Buddhists are encouraged to pity the wrongdoer, as he is the damaged one.

In Hinduism, not forgiving means you are carrying a burden that will weigh you down, and forgiveness is a release from this weight.

Forgiveness is not...

1) Excusing or condoning bad behaviour.

2) Accepting or enduring bad behaviour.

3) Forgetting bad behaviour. You can forgive without forgetting. Remembering, although not dwelling upon, what happened can help you learn and avoid this situation in the future.

The Benefits of forgiving

*Allows you to release negative emotions

*Allows you to form positive relationships free from the fear of past mistakes

*Enables you to trust again.

*Leaves you healthier in body as well as mind and spirit. Studies suggest that people who are able to forgive are calmer and have lower blood pressure.

*Enables you to move forward in life and cease dwelling on the past.

*Breaks the bond between you and the person who has hurt you.

Learn to Forgive

1) Understand that your feelings do not impact the wrongdoer. The only person you are harming by holding onto hate is yourself. Refuse to be a victim by taking control of the situation with forgiveness.

2) If you can receive (or give) an apology or an acknowledgement of the wrongdoing, this can be helpful. But it is not always possible. Forgive the person even if they don't deserve to be forgiven, and whether or not they acknowledge their error.

3) What have you learned from this negative experience? How can you avoid being treated in the same way again? Don't repeat mistakes.

4) Let go of the experience: stop thinking about it; stop talking about it. It is in the past. Focus on the people who helped you through this tough time. Think about the kindnesses you were shown.

5) Live your life and be happy. Don't try to prove to the world you that are happy with a dozen grinning selfies on your Facebook page. It doesn't matter what other people think unless you allow it to matter. You don't have anything to prove, if you are happy.

6) Wish the person who wronged you well - you'll be amazed how this simple act lightens your load.


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