Love and Relationships

Why You Must Forgive, Forget and Just Keep Swimming

Forgive and forget is an oft-repeated piece of advice with biblical origins. Although it might seem trite, there is a reason this little phrase still gets uttered frequently. There is true wisdom in forgiving and forgetting. When someone really hurts you, you may question whether you want to forgive someone; it may, in fact, seem utterly unnatural. However, there are many reasons why it is better to forgive and forget, even if part of you does not want to.

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”

Mahatma Gandhi

For many of us, 2020 was a year to remember. Some memories will stay with me for the rest of my life, and others that I regret making. However, time continues to move forward because many opportunities lie ahead of us. That said, now may be the right time to forget and forgive and let go of any resentments we have against those who have hurt us.

Here are a few ways to forgive, forget and keep going:

1. Approach things from different viewpoints.

People occasionally hurt us, intentionally or unintentionally. However, when those people are the ones we cherish, it can feel like an impossible task to accept their apologies. To make this process of forgiving less burdensome, look at the matter from a new, different perspective.

Put yourself in their shoes and understand why they did what they did to you. Are you confident that they were hell-bent on hurting you? If so, instead of keeping your eyes on the negatives, you could observe the outcome and evaluate how it positively affected you. Perhaps the experience offered you a valuable lesson that has enabled you to become a wiser person. By focusing on reaping the beneficial elements of the situation, you will find it easier to forget about the negatives and continue with your life as if nothing happened.

2. Life is not perfect, which means we are not too.

Your friend hurt you by saying bad things behind your back or doing something you despise. Naturally, when your friend performs such actions, it is not difficult to immediately harbour a negative opinion about him or her. However, at times, that judgement is made by our impulsive thinking system.

Pause for a while, step back and consider your relationship with this person. Look back at all of the things your friend has done for you and the positive aspects in your relationship. Most of the time, the positives will outweigh the negatives, and you may come to a revelation that the grudge you have against your friend is not worth your time. Additionally, when you are performing a rewind, think about whether you have ever done something to hurt or wrong this friend of yours. If you did, you may want to call it even and just forget about it.

3. Do yourself a favour by doing something constructive.

When you are disgruntled, it is easy to fuel that feeling further. Unfortunately, doing this does not solve the situation and can even compromise your state of mind through heightened stress levels. If you are sure that the first two options listed are ineffective and you find it impossible to forgive, forget and come to a compromise with someone, there is another way out.

Channel your anger or negative emotions into something constructive like writing or exercising. Convert your hate energy into another form of energy that will make you a better person. By keeping yourself occupied, releasing some of that anger and focusing on matters that fuels your personal growth, you will be satisfied with the outcome, and ultimately, the resentment you have against someone will seem insignificant, causing it to shrink and, at times, even vanish.

Final 2¢: Harder than it sounds

You may have heard from your loved ones encouraging you to forgive and forget, but everyone who has attempted to heed their advice knows that it is easier said than done. My only hope is that the ways mentioned here can help you make peace with everything terrible that has happened so far in your life. Life is too short to simply sit and dwell on negative thoughts. When you have a positive attitude on everything, only then the best life happens.

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