The Powerful Benefits of Forgiveness

The Powerful Benefits of Forgiveness

While forgiving others who have hurt us isn’t always easy, in the end, it greatly benefits our mental health and overall well-being. To be clear, forgiving others does NOT mean you agree with or condon their poor behavior. It also doesn’t mean that your feelings don’t matter. Forgiveness simply means letting go of the negative feelings that are holding you down and cause you prolonged distress. 

Forgiving someone who has hurt you isn’t easy, and it does take some practice, but it will lead you to a greater sense of peace and joy. 

Here are some steps to take to learn to forgive.

Process your own pain.

Have you really faced your pain and processed it? You’ll need to do this before you can let those feelings go. Give yourself permission to feel your feelings deeply and fully. Cry, yell, hit your pillow, do whatever it takes to allow those feeling to make sense to you. If you are having trouble feeling anything or getting stuck in anger, ask for help.

Learn to forgive yourself.

It takes two to tango. While we can easily point to others to blame for the 'ugly' incident, the truth is, we most likely played a part in the incident going sideways. Misunderstandings, triggering words, unresolved emotions from past events...even retaliation in the moment shows our own ugliness. It’s time to forgive your own humanity and any wrongdoing to both yourself or others.

Try and understand all sides and perspectives.

True forgiveness is impossible without a sense of understanding. You can try to forgive, claim you have forgiven, only to have those negative nagging feelings crop up again and again. When we try to understand why someone has acted the way they have, it can wipe out the negative feelings instantly, almost as if by magic. 

A critical parent may act that way because they, too, were the victim of a critical parent. An overbearing boss maybe dealing with a personal tragedy at home. Our cheating spouse may subconsciously self-sabotaging his/her own life because they don't feel worthy of happiness.

Life is complicated and so are human beings. Putting our own pain aside for a moment, taking a breath, and listening for the why behind the pain can bring about a magical ah-ha moment.

If you’d like to speak to someone for guidance and perspective, please reach out to us at 716-446-9226.