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How Practicing Forgiveness Can Improve The Quality Of Your Life
Have you ever thought about how forgiveness can improve the quality of your life? Forgiving is a tough thing to do, but when you find the courage to do it, it will free you from an overwhelming amount of negative energy.
If you are honest with yourself, you can admit that you have caused pain and hurt to others as well. Knowingly, unknowingly, willfully or not. We have all been hurt betrayed, disappointed.
Just thinking about any of those times can bring up old feelings of pain and anger. You might think keeping the memory and feelings alive will prevent the same situation from happening again. It won’t.
Do You Keep Pain Alive And Wounds Open?
Walking around holding onto resentment, grudges, and animosity will fuel the hurt. Many of us carry resentment for weeks, months, years, decades, and even a lifetime!
It’s not easy to forgive and forget, to simply let go and move on, but you know what? You should.
It is the only way to free yourself from the grip the pain and hurt has on you.
I realize that many people assume that if you forgive someone; you are saying what they have done to you is okay. Which of course it isn’t. You think to yourself, “why should I let this person get away with their awful behaviour?” The answer? To free yourself from the burden.
When you forgive, you in no way change the past – but you sure do change the future. ~Bernard MeltzerClick To Tweet
Forgiveness Can Improve The Quality Of Your Life When You Learn Its True Meaning
Forgiveness is all about releasing the person or people who have hurt you, no longer allowing them to have control over you, your feelings, or your energy. Let it go.
I know it is easier said than done, and I am sometimes guilty of not forgiving as quickly as I should. Forgiveness must be put into practice in order for it to work. It requires repetition. Forgiveness will give you both freedom and peace of mind.
Why would anyone want to choose bitterness and resentment over forgiveness?
Forgiveness demands courage and integrity, and forgiving makes it easy to give up your desire for revenge. You know that karma moves in two directions right? We sew the seeds we plant, be it good or bad. The choice is yours.
You can improve the quality of your life through forgiveness because when the negative feelings are gone, you can replace them with empathy, generosity, compassion, and kindness.
The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. - Mahatma GandhiClick To Tweet
See your ability to grant forgiveness as a way of moving forward. When you can do that, you will allow harmony to enter your life, and be at peace with yourself.
It is for your sake and has nothing to do with the person who has offended you.
7 Ways Practicing Forgiveness Can Improve The Quality Of Your Life
1. Forgive Yourself First
You need to first be at peace with yourself before going about forgiving anyone else. There might be things in your past that you feel embarrassed about or ashamed of. Have you hurt someone or even a number of people, which you now regret? Forgive yourself and grow from your past. If you keep reliving your past mistakes, they will be forever present in your future. How do you start the next chapter in your life if you keep re-reading the last one? Food for thought.
2. Let Go Of Negative Feelings
Negative self-talk as well as harboring negative feelings towards others will get you nowhere.
It sucks away your joy and productivity. This was a hard one for me to learn. In the past whenever I would think about someone who hurt me, all the negative feelings would come back up and I felt more hurt, pain and anger. The feelings I thought I had let go resurfaced, and were very much present.
When you forgive and think of those who hurt you, your feelings are no longer associated with negativity but rather, a sense of calm, knowing you have released the pain and left it where it belongs. In the past. That is growth.
It's one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody. Maya AngelouClick To Tweet
3. Empathy Is An Important Skill You’ll Need For Forgiveness
You just never know what is going on in a mind and heart of another person. Even if they tell you, you may never be able to fully grasp it. That is what makes us all unique. Something that might seem petty to me, might cause another person rage.
Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Let’s not confuse that with sympathy which is a feeling of pity for another person’s misfortune.
Ever made a joke about someone and it turned out you were the only one laughing? Did you end up hurting their feelings?
Someone you know, a friend, or a colleague might be going through one of life’s tough seasons and may react differently than they normally would. They might be going through something you know nothing about, which may affect their sensibilities. It can happen.
However, if their behavior is repetitive and draining you, forgive them but think about keeping a distance.
Great friends or partners want their relationship to be solid, which means they aren’t afraid to talk through disagreements. You can argue with the intent of coming to a compromise and solution. This means you can agree to disagree sometimes, without letting underlying tension or negativity linger.
I personally don’t have time for unhealthy and unproductive relationships, do you?
Never forget the three powerful resources you always have available to you: love, prayer, and forgiveness. - H. Jackson Brown, Jr.Click To Tweet
4. Acknowledge Your Role
They say there are two sides to every story right? Maybe three? I believe there is only one side to every story, which is the truth. There might be two, three, maybe even ten perspectives, but still, only one truth. Either way, you don’t have to be wrong for someone to be right.
Accept the part you played in the situation. As they saying goes, you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge. You may be completely and 100% innocent. But most likely you aren’t.
5. Learn Something From The Situation
No matter your experience, small or great. There is always a lesson to be learned.
Forgiveness will help you to improve the quality of your life because you are learning and growing. Change is constant, so don’t let disappointments get you down. Challenge yourself to do better, and be better. Your attitude is a small thing that makes a big difference.
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6. Time Is Necessary To Let Go And Move On
Time is not a healer, so no time doesn’t heal all wounds in that sense of the phrase.
Have you heard of Chronos and Kairos? Chronological time (the Greeks called it chronos) is the time on the clock we use day to day. When we plan, schedule, meet, work, etc.
Chronos time keeps us moving throughout the day.
Kairos time is sacred time when you can we slow down to notice and be mindful of what is actually happening within us. It is about paying attention to the small things you usually ignore, so if any healing of time will happen, it will be in kairos.
You may need a few weeks or even months to get over tough situations.
Just remember, the longer you distance yourself from the person you should be forgiving, the harder it will be to work out the problem.
If it is a situation not worth rectifying, or too much damage has been done, forgive yourself for your part in it, forgive the person who has hurt you and move on. Don’t dwell on it for too long.
Take your time, but make sure you get there. You owe it to yourself.
The real gift of gratitude is that the more grateful you are, the more present you become. Robert HoldenClick To Tweet
7. It’s Not Always All About You
Do you know that when you choose not to forgive someone, other people who have nothing to do with the situation might end up hurt because they are affected by it?
Take this scenario. A group of three friends who spend ALL their time together. They go shopping, to the movies, chat on the phone, etc. Two get into an argument and stop talking to one another. Neither of them has one nice thing to say about the other.
All the great times and moments from a friendship of a lifetime, gone down the drain. Neither one wants to back down and forgiveness is not in the cards.
So what position does this leave the third friend in? A difficult and uncomfortable one. Avoid any unnecessary drama at all costs.
Have you heard stories about Thanksgiving dinners gone bad? Siblings stop speaking, cousins can’t stand the sight of one another, uncles and aunts at war.
Behavior like that will have an effect on other family members. Forgiveness does not necessarily mean reconciling with the person who upset you. Remain cordial instead of making everyone else feel awkward. Forgiveness is a process and a life well-lived is your best revenge.
Forgiveness is a virtue of the brave. - Indira GandhiClick To Tweet
Questions To Think About
- Do you feel that you can’t forgive others until they apologize to you?
- Do you hold grudges towards other people?
- Do you still feel bad about things you’ve done in the past?
- Is there someone in your life now you need to forgive?
- Do you seek forgiveness from anyone?
10 Great Ways Forgiveness Can Improve The Quality Of Your Life
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Going into as much detail as you please, share an experience with me where you have forgiven or were asked for forgiveness.
Do you believe practicing forgiveness can improve the quality of your life?
Share your experiences with me in the comments section below.