You may have heard the saying that holding a grudge hurts the grudge holder more than it hurts the recipient. It’s like holding hot coals with the intention to throw them at someone else, only to suffer the burn ourselves. While it’s easy to agree with the logic of this statement it’s not so easy to implement it when someone has done us wrong.
Anger and resentment are emotions that, when bottled up, turn toxic and affect every aspect of our lives i.e. mental, emotional and physical. Holding a grudge and silently seething on the inside is a taxing process on our psyche and biology and we end up paying the bill.
In previous blog posts we talked about the power of the mind to influence the body, for better or worse, for health or sickness. In that context, the aggravated state of mind of holding a grudge is especially unnecessary and will only leave us run down and drained.
The first step toward forgiveness is acknowledging that we do most of the suffering. Once we realize this truth we can finally free ourselves from the chains of negativity and exchange despair with hope. Now we can create the life we want and deserve, life that is free from the physical, mental, and emotional side effects of anger and resentment.
Recognizing that we are the one who benefit from forgiving others will make it easier to let go and release the toxic anger and resentment we shackled ourselves to.
When you are ready to move toward forgiveness, take the following steps:
1. Look at the situation from all angles, see the big picture. Imagine that a friend of yours was there with you; would he or she come to the same conclusion about the meaning of that moment?
2. Consider your role in this a situation, which thoughts or actions contributed to this event. Avoid the mind trap of self blame; just consider how your actions may have contributed.
3. Find the good in this unfortunate situation; focus on solutions for they are inherently positive and resolve to understand the some of the limitations which lead the other person to act out.
Not only will this process help you to release the toxic emotions that have built up inside, it will also help you to grow as a person.
Forgiveness, first and foremost is a decision to live free of negativity. In truth, you only forgive yourself; it could be for perceiving things in a certain way or not standing up for you, etc.
Recognizing your role in the situation you may be able to stop yourself from repeating this pattern of behavior in the future. With this insight in place, the only question remains is: Do you want to be happy or right?
If you need further assistance in how to forgive, please contact me. There is so much to gain and nothing real to lose.