You have been hurt by people, probably and infinite amount of times in your life. The perpetrators could have done something so small as cutting you off during rush hour, or as life-altering as abuse or assault. The one thing that all the offenses in the world have in common, is that you have the ability to forgive the offender. How to forgive is a complete different topic, but here are some good reasons to forgive.
1. Your happiness is in your hands
When you hold on to the bitter feelings after someone has wronged you, it creates a hole in your life. It becomes a reciprocal process of filling the hole with empty feelings of hatred, sadness, anger, grief, or guilt. Holding on to these feelings seemingly paves the road that you will take. Everything you do and experience will be stained in some way by these feelings. Even happy things will be seen through a filter of bitterness. However, when you choose to let those feelings go, and try to hold on to happiness, love, contentedness, and peace, you have again paved the road you will take, but this time with glaringly different results. You will be able to go throughout the day (or your life) with a happy filter. Everything will be slightly sweeter, rather than slightly bitter.
2. Stop being a victim
When you decide to forgive, you stop the offender’s ability (either imagined or actual) to control you. By forgiving someone of their hurtful actions, you take yourself out from under their control and suddenly you are your own person again. You are in control of your own feelings and are the captain of your own destiny. Forgiving others takes you from a passive circumstance to the driver seat of your life.
3. Most people are doing the best they can
Have you ever heard that smiling more, even when you aren’t necessarily happy, will make you a happier person? Forgiving people more readily and more often will breed in you more compassion for others. Perhaps there is something that you have been trying to get over your whole life, some forgiveness you need to give. The simple practice of forgiving the little things and brushing away the feelings of momentary anger or grief that come with life’s daily interactions will make it easier for you to conquer the big challenges in life, and will help you realize that most people aren’t really bad, and are really trying the hardest they can to be decent human beings.
4. What goes around comes around
Mercy and forgiveness are themes that show up all the time in our lives and make us either the owner or the petitioner of it. Those people who forgive readily and without hesitation are always the easiest people to forgive. Chances are you will make a mistake that hurts someone’s feelings eventually, and when you do, you will want to get rid of that feeling of guilt and regret. If you are a forgiving person, others will likely take that approach with us.
5. Forgiving gives room for reflection
As you start to forgive people, and not just that, but becoming a forgiving person, you will be able to make room in your life for reflection. You will be able to see the people in your life as teachers, and not necessarily as offenders. You will be able to prepare yourself for future interactions and experiences and know how to handle different people. Instead of being constantly bitter thinking about and individual, knowing how they work and how you work will help you to not end up hurt again.
There are these and many other reasons why forgiveness is so important in our lives. For advice please look at our other posts here.