The phrase “forgive and forget” may come off as a cliché and might be easily dismissed by someone who has been violated and living with righteous indignation. If you’ve been hurt, it might feel ridiculous to think about forgiving someone who hurt you but hears me out, there are important reasons why offering forgiveness can help.
Personally, I’ve had tremendous relief forgiving people who have hurt me. When I realized that I didn’t have to re-engage the friendship or relationship to forgive them, I was able to step into the the process of forgiving.
You may not see the forest for the trees when it comes to forgiveness, but there are valuable reasons why you should consider forgiveness as one of the options related to your anger, sadness, or other emotions tied to your situation.
Take a look at these reasons why you may want to forgive someone who hurt you:
Your emotions are unresolved: As long as you carry the emotions tied to your situation, they will remain unresolved. Feeling angry, bitter, sad, or any other negative emotion comes from the space that wants justice and vindication. Mixed in with the muck and the mire are all sorts of distorted thoughts that perpetuate your unresolved emotions. This can make a mountain out of a molehill and rob you of the happiness that coexists with your pain. Letting go of the blame and need for vindication makes it possible to move through the situation and on with your life.
Pent up anger can cause physical illness: Your bitterness or pain can morph into real physical illness, robbing you further than you’ve already been. Keeping the offense unresolved can lead to high blood pressure, anxieties, and worse. I certainly don’t want to be taking medication because of a resentment towards someone else. Do you? Doing your body the favor by forgiving can help ensure your health stays intact.
Forgiving can restore what has been lost: Sometimes the rift between two people grows bigger than necessary. The pain lingers, the resentment grows, and the damage takes on a life of its own. Hashing things out and forgiving can allow for restoration and resolution more often than not. In times where the issues at hand are too grave and too big to resolve, forgiveness can still make it possible to stop the feedback loop playing in your head. If restoration may not be wise, letting go of what is eating you up is worth the effort.
The benefits of forgiving and forgetting are emotional, physical, and practical. Walking around with chronic anger and resentment can bleed over into all areas of life. By finding the courage and practical ways to forgive, you can move through your negative emotions and into a better space of acceptance, healthy boundaries, and grace.
Anne McGurty is a business strategist specializing in creating systems and structures for the creative entrepreneur. She is also a PMP, Project Management Professional, with over 30 years of experience working with corporations and small businesses to improve communication, identify risks, and manage outstanding issues and help keep projects on schedule, adding value, saving time, and money. Anne is passionate about the role of a consultant and coach to her clients and brings a healthy, life balance perspective to her approach as she is a thriving cancer survivor.