Ever notice how easily children forgive? My son has one friend, H, whom is so similiar that though they can spend hours together happily, they frequently have brother-like spats. Most recently, my son criticized H’s new haircut, which quickly devolved into name calling across the park. An hour later, they were completely immersed in strategizing battle plans together against another team of boys. Over and over, I observe kids (mine and other peoples kids) forgive, and move on to enjoying the next moment with eachother. One minute they are battling it out over tinkertoys or who called who a stupid head, and the next minute, they are sharing PB&J sandwiches and excitedly planning their next mission into space.
Are you holding a grudge? Is it holding you back from fulfilling your potential? Is it wasting your energy? Is it diminishing your joy?
Here are some good reasons to change your habits, let go of old grudges, take your power back, even forgive yourself!
Holding onto a grudge limits your options – We do not make the wisest of choices when our decision making process is clouded by anger, hurt, resentment and vengeance. These decisions are reactive, high on emotion and low on logic. Give yourself the chance to experience your best life by approaching everything with a spirit of love and acceptance. When you are open to receiving love, you will find it in unexpected places AND people and acceptance, and help, support and exciting new opportunities will begin to show up for you. The best way to embrace your future is to forgive (let go of) whatever is keeping you stuck the past.
Angry grudges prevent you from addressing the real emotion – When you don’t want to forgive, it’s usually because you are deeply angry. Anger though, is usually our defense for protecting more vulnerable feelings such as hurt, disappointment, or fear. The tricky thing about anger is that it allows you to stay focused on the other person and what they did or did not do, rather then examining, processing, and owning your own feelings. If you want to forgive someone, try suspending judgment about who they are as a person and why you have the right to be angry. Instead, take a deep breath and get real with yourself about what you are truly feeling. This can be quite challenging but if you can uncover what your emotional part in the situation is, you may find that forgiveness won’t be quite as difficult as you thought.
Clinging to anger renders you powerless – Harboring resentment, however justified, is something that may make you feel like you have the power and are in control ( my unforgiveness makes you suffer, right?) but it is ultimately, controlling you. The more you spend time reliving the “story” of why so and so doesn’t deserve to be forgiven, the more you erode your own daily power. What benefit are you gaining from holding the grudge? By choosing to forgive, however, you reclaim your power and your ability to create a positive result from a not so positive experience. It’s going to be difficult to experience any kind of freedom as long as you continue to simmer in anger and resentments. Set yourself free and choose empowerment.
Forgive Yourself – Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, you may want to consider forgiving yourself. Holding a grudge, or judgment against yourself is not effective. Accept the fact that you did the best you could, at that moment, in that situation, with the knowledge and beliefs that you had and then let it go. As the quote says, “To err is human; to forgive divine”. Choose the high road and let forgiveness bring you freedom.
Need help working on this? Call me for a 20 minute complimentary consultation to discuss how I may help you work towards forgiveness!