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

In the Moment - - Wellbeing -

RE­FLEX AC­TION

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.

FOR­GIV­ING FREE­DOM

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

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