How to be more forgiving
HAVING A LITTLE MORE FORGIVENESS IN YOUR HEART CAN BRING YOU INNER PEACE AND IMPROVE YOUR RELATIONSHIPS. BUT IT’S ALL ABOUT GETTING THE BALANCE RIGHT, SAYS ANNIKA ROSE
Your tendency to dwell or let go depends on how your personal process of forgiving unfolds. Some people can make peace with the past in an instant, while others get so caught up in the pain that they struggle to move on for a long time – even a lifetime.
Dealing with life’s difficulties can be tough when you’re searching for the will to forgive. Whether the hurt happened a moment or a decade ago, intentional or not, if someone has wronged you, it’s normal to feel heavy-hearted and angry. It can be a struggle to take your next step in the situation. If the culprit was you, shame and blame add another dimension of complexity to the forgiveness mix.
Your mind thrashes between forgiving, forgetting, avoiding it completely and going over every detail a thousand times.
PUT IT INTO PRACTICE
The festive season brings forth many opportunities for connection, reflection and gratitude. Yet be mindful that in-between the cooking, gift-giving and catch-ups, seasonal stressors can also find a way to creep in and cause disharmony. Is a family dinner, for example, complete without a personality clash or two? Moments of sibling rivalry and bad behaviour can resurface without warning, spilling out even before starters are served. As forgiveness plays such a significant role in your closest relationships, there’s no better time to flex your forgiveness muscle than at family get-togethers.
Forgiveness takes great strength. It's about having the courage to accept, then let go of what happened. Not condoning it, yet no longer wishing it could have been different somehow. Gently moving out of the place in the past where you're stuck, struggling, hurting, angry. Going beyond retaliation or justice-seeking, to a more peaceful place. It's about respecting yourself, nurturing your needs and consciously choosing to treat yourself kindly in the present. By letting go, you’re actively making space to let more freedom in.
Holding a grudge towards others, or yourself, can hurt a great deal and significantly hold you back. Conversely, making the courageous choice to let go can finally release you from the clutches of the past.
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.” Mahatma Gandhi