How to Free Yourself from Resentment and Forgive Others
Being betrayed, lied to, and cheated disturbs the peace of our mind and makes us question our own self-worth. The emotional response of anger and hurting back is only natural. As time passes by, these emotions, if not dealt properly, take the shape of resentment. It could be a grudge that you hold on to, for too long, for the bad things that have happened. Or a bitterness which can only be released through the act of forgiveness. But is it really easy to forgive? To look into the eye of the person who has caused all the hurt and unhappiness to you, and utter the three words “I forgive you”? The person who you might have loved once? How can you let go of the memory of that betrayal?
As Mahatma Gandhi said, “The weak can never forgive as forgiveness is the attribute of the strong”. It may not be easy to let go off the past but it is the very thing that will set you free. Holding on to negative emotions will only cause you pain and suffering and make you bitter. Whereas, letting go of it will make you compassionate, give you back your peace of mind, and make you open towards life. Below are a few ways of letting go of the resentment and forgiving others.
Change the Way you Think
Instead of thinking that the hurt which was caused was intentional, try reasoning with it. If the person was someone you once had an emotional attachment with, believe that they are feeling remorseful at some level too. Moreover, try putting yourself in their shoe and imagine how you would’ve gone about the situation. Acknowledge that we are all humans who make mistakes every day, and that no one is perfect. Lastly, remember that whatever others do and the way they treat you, tells more about them than you.
Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself
As they say, time is a great healer, and with healing comes mercy. Forgiveness is a gradual process too. It is okay to carry anger for a time being, as it is the positive method of healing. When an individual forces forgiveness, it only makes them bitter, and half of the time that forgiveness is not genuine. So take your time, but once it is done, don’t look back at it with a sour heart. Furthermore, if you don’t have it in you to pardon their behavior for them, do it for yourself, for your peace of mind, because you deserve it.
Don’t Be the Prisoners of the Past
You can both accept what happened and move on, or you can over think about the past and make it more dramatic than it initially was. You will then be stuck in the past forever, if you don’t let go of the chip on your shoulder. So liberate the painful memories, and don’t let it control your feelings, otherwise you will remain a puppet of the past.
If not for anyone else, do yourself a favor by incorporating the notion of forgiveness in your life, and free yourself from the resentment of the past. Life is too short to spent with bitterness in the heart.
A Selection of Forgiveness Quotes
“Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.” ~ Oscar Wilde
“The Paradoxical Commandments
People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.” ~ Kent M. Keith, The Silent Revolution: Dynamic Leadership in the Student Council
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi, All Men are Brothers: Autobiographical Reflections
“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” ~ C.S. Lewis
“Dumbledore says people find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right.” ~ J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.” ~ Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience
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