“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Forgiving someone who has wronged us can be one of the hardest things to do in life. You may feel as if you’re doing the other person a favor when you offer your forgiveness, which may not seem quite right. Why should you let them off the hook when they’ve hurt you?
If this is how you currently see forgiveness, then it may be time to change your perspective. Forgiveness isn’t merely about releasing the other person from their guilt – it’s also about freeing yourself from those negative emotions.
Indeed, the secret to freedom is forgiveness. Let’s explore this concept further below.
Sometimes, it may seem next to impossible to forgive someone. They’ve hurt you or a loved one deeply and, quite frankly, you may feel as if you have every right to be upset. And perhaps you do! There’s nothing wrong with being upset, as everyone is entitled to their own feelings. However, it’s when you refuse to move past this upset that it can become a problem.
When you’re unable to forgive someone, you’re basically letting them continue to hurt you. By holding on to these feelings of resentment, betrayal, and pain and continuing to replay them in your memory, you’re denying yourself emotional freedom. You’re allowing this other person and their actions to have control over your emotions, and it’s simply not necessary. Ultimately, you can reclaim this power by letting go of these feelings of victimization and choosing forgiveness.
This doesn’t mean you’re going to just forget about the past. In fact, remembering the pain can be to your advantage, as it may help you avoid the same situation in the future. Redefining forgiveness is more about recognizing that our negative feelings aren’t helpful. They won’t change the past or the person who hurt you, so why bother holding onto them? Forgiveness is about accepting the situation for what it was, recognizing the anger and resentment, and then moving past it so you can get back to a place where you can feel happy and free. Remember, forgiveness isn’t about letting the other person off the hook – it’s about freeing yourself from toxic emotions.
How Do You Reach a Place of Forgiveness?
You may find it difficult to change your perspective and reach that place of forgiveness, but remember it really is in your own best interest. If you want to experience the freedom of forgiveness, then keep the following tips in mind.
- Practice empathy. Try and look at the situation from the other person’s perspective. What may have been going through their minds at the time? Do you think they wronged you intentionally? You may have an easier time forgiving if you try to understand their mindset.
- Consider your role. Is there any chance you are at least somewhat responsible for what happened? Could you have done something differently? If you can see that the other person isn’t entirely at fault, it may be easier to let go of your resentment.
- Commit to moving on. It may take a while for you to completely forgive someone, but as long as you’re committed, you will get there eventually.
Don’t give up on forgiveness – freedom may be just around the corner.
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