Unfortunately, many of us suffer for years from grievances we have not released.
And in spite of what you think about forgiving others, it has bee proven that there are positive effects of forgiveness and harmful effects of grievances, anger, and depression.
It is certain that you are hurting your psychological well-being, your relationships, and likely your physical health by holding on to your grievances.
Besides the anger and hurt, the loss of joy, love, and intimacy mar the lives of those who do not forgive. Please choose not to be one of these people. Please choose to forgive.
The good news is that we are more ready to forgive then we think. Our major obstacles are not the offenses themselves but the lack of tools with which to work. We only imagine it is the nature of the offense that is unforgivable.
However, if any of us look around we will find people who have forgiven the very same offense. No offense is unforgivable to everyone. If you look you can always find someone who has forgiven in similar circumstances.
Put Yourself in the Other Person’s Shoes
When you put yourself into both of the scenarios will see that the hesitancy to forgive is principally a question of motivation.
We feel unmotivated because lacking such compelling reasons as wealth or death we do not know how good we will feel when we have forgiven. We wonder if it will be worth the effort. Because we lack the tools to forgive, the effort can feel overwhelming.
Repeating the Same Self-Hurtful Cycle
Additionally to lack of motivation and inadequate training, we face other obstacle to forgiveness, and that is our tendency to continue reacting to hurt in ways that do not work.
When we are hurt we do not know how to suffer less and find peace. Each of us tries a variety of solutions to this problem, and some solutions work better than others.
If we would only stop doing what does not work, we would hurt less and be open to new approaches to problem solving.
Margy never got along with her in-laws. She and her husband Jim were married young and had a child right away. They had their second child a year later. The early years of their marriage were hard and made worse by harsh feedback from the husband’s parents.
They were always telling Margy and Jim what they were doing wrong and how their generation was better. The in-laws were intrusive and critical, and neither Jim nor Margy welcomed their visits.
Margy tried everything she could think of to resolve this problem. She tried confronting her in-laws. She tried saying nothing when they visited. She tried being overly friendly and hospitable when she spoke to them on the phone. She tried complaining to Jim.
She tried threatening Jim if the parents showed up again. She tried whining to him, and she tried accusing Jim of not caring about her. Nothing Margy tried changed her in-laws or made her relationship with Jim better.
The in-laws continued on their nasty, merry way no matter what she did. It is obvious in this case that doing what she always did was not working, yet she kept repeating the cycle without changing her reactions.