You might not have considered how forgiveness contributes to your overall happiness, but you should! Holding resentment against someone or remaining angry will run viral through your joy and overall enjoyment of pretty much anything.
I’ve had my fair shares of woe-is-me and but-I’m-a-victim mindsets but decided the alternative feels so much better. Forgiveness could be one of the most powerful things that adds joy to your life. Think of someone you are ABSOLUTELY NOT willing to forgive. Whatever they said or whatever they did was unthinkable and no one in their right mind would forgive them! Now that you’re thinking about it, how do you feel? Probably a little crummy or even A LOT crummy. You’re reliving this event over and over every time you think about that person, the event or anything that remind you of it. And your happiness is paying the price.
Step 1. Let Go & Forgive
Instead of thinking about what they did or said wrong, why not think about forgiving them? It doesn’t matter what the unforgivable act was, let’s just forgive. Once you forgive them they no longer hold you hostage to your resentment. Once you forgive, you are no longer held captive by the negative thoughts and feelings about the particular event.
Step 2. Take Back Your Power
I’m not sure if this is the ‘proper’ way, but in my mind if someone made me angry the last thing I want to do is let them have the satisfaction (known or unknown) of taking up any more of my joy. Especially because most people aren’t even aware of our hidden resentments we are holding on to.
Step 3. Forgive Alone
So to make this even easier for you… don’t tell them you’re forgiving them. There are no rulebooks on forgiveness. Sometimes you need to forgive just to get past the event or make yourself feel better. You don’t have to involve the other person at all. Take a moment to reflect by yourself and forgive them in your heart.
Step 4. Don’t Make Excuses - Know That They Didn't Know
If at this point you’re still not willing to forgive them, I want to clarify that forgiveness is not making the action right or giving it your OK. They could have been entirely in the wrong but in order to forgiveness does not mean acceptance. You don’t need to accept their actions, but you do need to forgive to feel better. So why not forgive them for not knowing any better and maybe add a little pray to help them get what they need to know better in the future?
I’ve had many longstanding resentments in my past that was really robbing me of my happiness until I had the bright idea to start forgiving. I didn’t speak to anyone about it, just a conversation with my innerself. I forgave them in my heart and was able to move on. I didn’t OK what they did, but I forgave them for not knowing any better and today that allows me to move on in life. And moving on for me means more freedom to experience joy and happiness.