The Benefit of Forgiving Others

Feelings of resentment and revenge are like heavy loads of sacks that we carry around on our backs. When we don’t offload these ‘sacks’, we not only get exhausted, but are also deprived of the happiness and well being that we so much deserve. Are there people in our lives towards whom we hold feelings of resentment or hate; how does it benefit us to hold such feelings of bitterness towards others? Look around you; who are the youthful looking people you know above the age of 40? Are they resentful, bitter, and pessimistic? Or are they optimistic, cheerful, and good-natured people? Of these two categories which one would you rather be?

Sometimes we hold on to this distorted notion that the only way to peace, following a hurtful experience by others towards us, is by getting even or retaliating in some way. What if we never get the chance to revenge or retaliate? Wouldn’t that mean continually holding on to a grudge for the most part of our lives? Some of the experiences that we go through in life are only meant to impart lessons on us, once we get through the experience, we are only supposed to remember the lessons and not to get stuck on the experiences, rather we should ask ourselves what does the experience tell us about ourselves, the parts of us that haven’t healed and need to be worked on.

Forgiving people who have done you wrong is of benefit to you, not them. Forgiveness heals your mind, body, and spirit. It opens up a pathway to a new place of peace despite what has been done to you. Also keep in mind that forgiving is not forgetting, rather, it is remembering without anger. Forgiving other people helps you to let go of the past and brings you to the present which allows your creative self to take action and build future gains for you and others around you. It takes so much energy to hold on to grudges. A forgiving attitude towards others dissolves away this negative energy and gives you the power you need to forge ahead in the creation of what you want.

Studies now reveal that forgiveness lowers blood pressure, improves the quality of sleep and cholesterol levels, it reduces levels of anxiety,depression, and stress. There are people who have attested to the fact that by forgiving others they not only felt a huge sense of relief but were also healed of recurrent health problems like migraines. This underscores the importance of why we should forgive and let go.

Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist, and philosopher Viktor Frankl once stated that “when we are no longer able to change the situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” It is a fact that we cannot change the past, neither can we change others unless they are willing, we can only change ourselves.

Our mental wellbeing following a painful experience from others does not depend on revenge or retaliation towards them; it depends on how we handle the pain inflicted on us. So we have a choice; we can choose to remain attached to old hurts, or we can chose to let go of our suffering and spend the rest of our lives without the heavy luggage of resentment.

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