Forgive + Forget
What does that even mean? Does it mean admitting you're wrong? Is it a sign of weakness? If you're asking something from someone, do you lose the upper hand? How many times have you decided not to forgive someone? Maybe they didn't deserve it, what's the point, why even bother, right?
Let's talk about the selfish reasons to do so.
Most people think that forgiveness is something that takes two people, a forgiver and a forgivee. But what I've found is reaping the benefits of forgiveness doesn't require anyone except you. Now, it doesn't mean you have to reconcile with them, or even say a word to them, because forgiveness doesn't mean excusing or forgetting what happened. They don't even have to say sorry; forgiveness is something you do for yourself to lower your psychological distress by getting rid of those negative emotions that you've held onto. What if I told you psychologists have found a substantial correlation between reduced stress, better heart health, lower anxiety, lower pain perception, and most importantly, higher overall happiness- all attributed to your ability to be a forgiving person.
The lowest times in my life happened not just during the times I was getting hurt, but after. When I was holding on. That's one thing I'm good at- brushing things under the rug. But by doing so, I was holding on. Never facing the problem, but acquiring a rather substantial club of grudges hanging out under my carpet. It was consuming me slowly; and years later I was still catching myself playing the situations over in my head at 3 am. It was unhealthy. I realized one day as I went out that I had negative feelings towards quite a few people I ran into. Some for things done to me personally, and some for the immature reasoning of others just associating with those few afterwards. The list was gathering, and I finally got to see the light on the situation.
Finally, some sense came to me.
"Why am I disliking someone so much, letting myself wither away, doing actual damage to myself, while they aren't even thinking, or even aware that I have such negative feelings?"
I began to write letters. I felt like the ink on the paper was my poison, and when I finally was finished writing, the poison was gone.
I felt better, stronger, happier. Finally, after years, I felt like I could heal.
All it took was just forgiving.
So, is there anyone from your past that you're holding a grudge against? I challenge you to forgive them. I promise you'll see a difference in your happiness.
Cheers to a happier, healthier, grudge-free life.