5 Reasons Forgiving Helps You More Than Your Offender
Forgiving someone who hurt you can be very difficult. You may feel they should pay for what they did to you. You lie awake for hours some nights, thinking of ways you would like to see that person pay for their wrongdoing. While you are doing that, however, chances are that person is getting a good night’s sleep and thoughts of you rarely enter their mind. They have moved on, or may not have seen anything wrong with what they did.
You can move on as well, but it is going to take work on your part. It may sound crazy, especially if the offender did something awful to you, but a good way to do that is by forgiving that person. You do this, not for them, but for yourself. It can prove to be a valuable and healing tool.
There are several reasons why forgiving those who hurt you will end up helping you more than it does them.
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1) Forgiving is healthier. Continually being frustrated or angry can start to take a toll on your health. It can sometimes interfere with your blood pressure, can cause headaches, increase your anxiety and/or depression, increase your chances for heart attack or stroke, and may weaken your immune system. You are worth more than letting someone do this to your health. You will live longer and enjoy a better quality of life when you forgive.
2) Forgiving saves time and energy. It takes a lot of time and energy to continually hold a grudge. Without it, you could use all that time and energy on yourself to set goals and move forward. There is a whole world full of opportunities waiting for you out there. So reach out and grab them.
3) Forgiving clears your mind. Spending so much time thinking about the offender can intrude on your thoughts and your concentration. This, in turn, could have a negative impact on your personal life as well as your career. Allow your time to be spent on things that matter, such as becoming the best version of yourself.
4) Forgiving allows relationships to exist and thrive. It will be difficult to keep any relationship healthy when you are so focused on the pain and the anger you received from your offender. Freeing yourself from that will allow you time to make meaningful relationships grow. Those are the ones to concentrate on.
5) Forgiving can be the best revenge. Sometimes the best way to get revenge on your offender is for them to see you move forward and succeed in life. They may dislike seeing you happy and successful, knowing they mean nothing to you anymore. A happy life, where you have forgiven and moved on, can truly be the best revenge.
One thing needs to be clear about forgiveness. Just because you are forgiving that person does not mean you are letting them off the hook for what they did to you. When you don’t forgive and you continue to be consumed by anger, hostility, and frustration, you are letting them keep power over you. When you do forgive, you are taking your power back and not letting them have any of it. You refuse to allow them to control any part of your life. Let’s face it, they are not worthy of having that control over you. When you forgive and take your power back, it becomes a feeling of freedom and personal empowerment.
So how do we actually forgive? You don’t have to speak to the person. It’s up to you, but remember you are doing it for yourself and not for them. In some cases, it’s better you don’t approach them. They may not want to hear it or will refuse to accept the responsibility for their actions, which may upset you more.
You can sit and write a long letter, saying everything you want to say if they were in the room with you. When you are through, tear it up or burn it. Don’t keep it, because you are letting it go. Follow up with affirmations such as telling yourself,
I am a strong person and deserve happiness. I let go of the hold (insert name) had over me and now I have my power back. (Insert name) no longer has the slightest bit of power over me. I am free to move on to better things.
Meditations can be helpful to many people when they are trying to get through this process. Visualization is another powerful tool you might want to add. You must visualize already having succeeded and feel the wonderful emotions it brings to feel powerful again. It may not be easy. In fact, depending on the circumstance, you may have to do this process more than once. Nevertheless, each time should become a little easier if you truly want to move on and if you believe the affirmations and the visualizations you are doing.
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