It’s often said that we should forgive others in order to move on with our lives. But what if we can’t seem to let go of the anger and resentment we feel towards someone who has wronged us? Is it really worth holding onto that anger for the rest of our lives?
1. What is forgiveness and why does it matter
First and foremost, forgiveness is a personal choice. You might still choose to forgive someone and that is entirely up to you.
Pointing fingers will not make any of your problems go away; the only person who benefits from this nasty cycle is whoever is manipulating both of you.
Forgiveness takes time, but it may be the best path for everyone involved. When we stay bitter about what has happened to us, we allow ourselves to continue hurting – whether we’re hurting others or ourselves – and we stop allowing new possibilities into our lives. This can lead to feelings of resentment, anger and fear – feelings that don’t do anyone any favours in the end! —-> We can think better thoughts about what we’re holding onto and what we’d like to let go of.
2. When is the right time to forgive someone
There are a few things to consider when trying to decide when is the right time to forgive someone:
1. How badly did they hurt you?
2. How often do you think about the hurt that they caused you?
3. Are you able to move on with your life without forgiving them?
4. Can you have a healthy relationship with this person if you do forgive them?
5. How do you think this person feels about their actions?
6. How do you think this person should be feeling for what they did to you?
7. Does forgiving mean that you’ll stop punishing them?
8. What would it cost you not to forgive? —> If the wrongdoer has died , or if they have changed so much that it would be impossible to trust them ever again, forgiveness may not be necessary. If this person continues hurting you, then forgiving is not the answer.
3. Why it’s difficult to forgive people later in life
When somebody does something hurtful, our natural instinct is to want to forgive them as soon as possible. But forgiving someone isn’t always the right thing to do. Here are four reasons why it’s OK not to forgive someone:
1. They may not deserve it.
2. It may not be healthy for you.
3. It can hinder your healing process.
4. It sets a bad example for others.
4. The benefits of forgiving someone when they are not sorry or have changed their ways
It’s often said that forgiving someone is good for both the forgiver and the forgiven. But what are the specific benefits of forgiving someone when they’re not sorry and have no intention of changing their ways?
Forgiveness can help you reclaim your power. When you forgive someone who isn’t sorry, you’re essentially taking back the power they took from you. You’re no longer allowing them to control how you feel.
Forgiveness can also help you move on. Holding onto resentment and anger towards someone is only going to keep you trapped in the past. Forgiving them can help you let go of those negative emotions and move on with your life.
Forgiveness can also improve your mental health. Research suggests that holding onto resentment and anger towards someone can be linked to a higher risk of depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
Forgiveness is also good for your physical health. Holding onto negative emotions like sadness, regret, and bitterness can put you at greater risk for heart disease, hypertension, obesity, and even decrease the effectiveness of cancer treatments.
There are many reasons why forgiving someone might be difficult, but it’s often said that the benefits of forgiveness are worth it because the benefits of forgiveness favour the person forgiving more than the person being forgiven.
Forgiving someone can help you reclaim your power, let go of the past, and improve your mental and physical health. If you’re finding it difficult to forgive someone for their wrongdoings, try thinking about the benefits mentioned above and see if that makes the process a little bit easier.
Fiona Craig is a life coach, psychotherapist, business mentor, and published author of the award winning self-help book, “Stuck in a Rut – How to rescue yourself & live your truth” helping women remove the fear, worry and guilt to confidently take the steps towards creating the life they want to live.
Fiona has been interviewed by The Australian Women’s Weekly, Women’s Fitness Magazine and The New Daily and written articles for Collective Magazine, Herald Sun Melbourne, Sunday Life Magazine, Career One, I Am Woman Magazine, plus Mouths Of Mums and other online publications. You can learn more about working with Fiona at www.lifebalancecoach.com.au or call 0405 433 217.