How To Forgive (Even When You Feel Like You Can't)
If we're honest, don’t we all have some deep-seated grudge towards someone or something? A heavy heart, lost loved one, or a belief that we've been treated unfairly? The problem with grudges is that these mental stories are keeping you locked in your own ugly prison of resentment and hate.
Resentments turn into anger, and anger is a dangerous place to be. Anger causes health problems: insomnia, stress, depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, heart attacks, unhealthy outbursts, bottled repression, issues with relationships and a higher tendency for alcohol and drug abuse.
The only neutralizer for anger is compassion.
This may be difficult, but you can still wish someone happiness, even if they hurt you. You can choose emotional well-being, even if things haven’t turned out your way.
Forgiveness is hard, but it can change your life. It doesn’t mean you've forgotten the past. It doesn’t mean you have to keep someone in your life. It just means that you have decided to move on and that you are ready to be happy. Wouldn't it be a relief to break out of the ugly, dark prison anger keeps us bound to? Here are a few tips to help you along what may be a difficult, but ultimately rewarding path.
1. Explore your emotions of hurt and the underlying fear attached to them.
Anger stems from a sense of helplessness. Explore what you were attached to you what you lost, then commit to change.
2. Seek professional help.
You don't have to do this alone. There are many professionals who are trained to help you overcome these difficult emotions.
3. Develop empathy.
If someone you love was abused or hurt, can you try to put yourself in the violator’s shoes? Forgiveness requires compassion; we need to remember the humanity in every living human being. We humans often make bad choices and behave poorly, but these choices are coming from a deluded mind. A sickness of the mind is much like a sickness of the body; it can multiply and take over.
4. Remember that forgiving is not forgetting.
Remember it and then let it go. It’s about acceptance of what is.
5. Think about your family.
Consider the negative effects anger is having on your loved ones.
6. Rely on facts.
The fact is that being angry cannot change the present situation.
7. Write down three good things that came from the negative situation.
From every situation you can find some positive outcomes; whether it is that you made a new friend or learned something new about yourself.
8. Live in the moment and practice mindfulness.
be continually present with whatever experience you are having. Don't give yourself an opportunity to dwell and exaggerate. Stop thinking about how much you were hurt and stop reliving the painful emotion over and over again, this is only fuelling your suffering. When you feel anger swelling shift your thoughts to the present moment and fill it with joy and laughter; eventually the anger will be pushed aside for happier emotions.
9. Take up a meditation practice.
Through meditation you can become the watcher of your thoughts and learn what triggers negative emotions. You can also visualize anger leaving your body and being replaced with a peaceful white light; imagine the healthy effects this will have on your health and relationships.
We can certainly all work towards forgiveness, and in turn live a more peaceful life.
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