A woman’s best friend cheated on her by stealing away her husband from her. She felt outraged, angry, sad, and humiliated. Not only had her best friend cheated on her, her beloved husband had also done the same. Whenever she thought about them, her blood pressure would shoot up and she would feel broken. But whenever she thought of revenge, she would smile to herself, an evil smile that would liberate her of her own sorrow. But she could not go to such extremes to purge herself of her misery. So she started seeing a shrink, a psychologist. Instead of consoling her with mind-blowing techniques, he told her to forgive and forget. She resented the idea, but eventually, she did and guess what, she was back to normal!
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Let’s first understand what forgiveness means.
Forgive: stop feeling angry or resentful towards (someone) for an offence, flaw, or mistake.
When someone has wronged you, cheated on you, hurt you, and done worst things to you, forgiveness is the last thing that comes to your mind. But letting go of bitterness, anger, hostility, vengeance, and grudges is the most effective way to heal your pain. We know that phrases like ‘what happened, happened,’ ‘kiss and forget,’ etc., seem unrealistic here, but you have to forgive the one who hurt you to find solace. As Mark Twain has rightly said, “Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”
Animals forgive. They touch horns, noses, hug and kiss to make up with their mate or pals. Not forgiving will do but little to the person who hurt you deeply and more harm to you. It is going to eat away at your joy, ruin your life, and make you feel hopeless and broken. It is going to live inside you, like a worm eating away a part of you every day. It will impair your immune system and make you more prone to a heart attack or even a stroke.
So how to forgive and forget the one who has hurt you? There are a number of articles on what forgiveness can do. But there are only a chosen few on how you should actually go about it.
Let’s explore the 12 magical ways and reasons to forgive and forget.
1. Prayer is peace
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God knows what you want. He knows what you have been through and he knows how lifeless you feel. But hey, haven’t you heard the adage that suffering comes to the one who is strong enough to endure it? So my friend, this is a great reason to forgive and forget.
Say a prayer because it will give you peace, because you know there is a God somewhere listening to your musings. This faith will give you happiness. Always remember that nobody is bad. We are all good souls that sometimes get lost and stray.
2. Do they feel sorry?
The person who has wronged you feels sorry for what they have done and you know that they are really sorry. Acknowledgement of their mistake is the first indicator of honesty. Saying the words, “I’m sorry,” does not really mean the person is sorry. Instead, they must realize what they have done and feel sorry genuinely.
It is very easy to identify if one really feels sorry. Just probe your heart for the answers. It’s as simple as that! And once you know they’re truly sorry, let your anger go. Forgive and forget whatever happened.
3. Was it a big mistake?
Minor mistakes take little time to turn up into big, heated issues. Like a spark turning into a flame. So before your anger catches you like fire, move on. Smile and make up. Although it hurt, although it was bad and unforgivable, you have to forgive them because it was not a big thing. And if you think it was, remember; “To err is human, to forgive divine.”
4. You can get over it
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Certain issues are temporary. You frown on them for a couple of weeks and then you are good to go. Life is a long walk where such minor offending instances will often occur. You have to focus on the destination. Fighting off vengeance will make you stronger.
If the mistake was minor and the issue temporary, chuck it! There’s more to come, you cannot waste your time on petty, uneventful things. Be happy, for this too shall pass.
5. Every suffering is a lesson in disguise
Do you know the Buddhist’s interpretation of struggle and suffering? They say, the bigger your problem, the more closer you are to enlightenment. And a path to enlightenment it is, if you are being tested for patience, compassion or forgiveness.
Have a positive approach towards life. For every person that hurt you may not necessarily have done it intentionally. Some things happen accidentally. You have to be the bigger person and forgive them.
6. Be grateful
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Happiness comes from the inside. Someone who has caused you misery of the worst form can do nothing to make or break your happiness. It’s you who is in charge of your happiness, nobody else is. Relying on other people and things for your happiness will never let you experience true joy. You will forever be a lonely soul.
Be grateful for what you have and who you are. Don’t let your happiness be at the mercy of unpredictable people. Live your life. I can guarantee you innate happiness.
7. You know they won’t repeat
Paulo Coelho said, “Everything that happens once can never happen again but everything that happens twice will surely happen a third time.” How beautiful is this quote! If your buddy has done something so wrong for the first time, it is likely that they won’t do it again. Just forgive them and forget it. Put it behind you.
8. Give them a second chance
Life is all about taking chances. You never know when a stone will turn up and your life will change. Give your wrongdoers a second chance. I know it “isn’t fair” and I know it hurts, but what if you were them? Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and think how it feels. Bring an end to your war of words, to your silence, to your hatred, whatever you call it. Give them another chance.
9. They want to make it up to you
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People who feel genuinely sorry will find ways to mend the bridge they burnt. They will do anything to make it up to you. And when they do, don’t be haughty and arrogant. Appreciate their gesture, however small it might be. Forgive them and forget it.
10. You still trust them
In spite of what they have done, if you still feel that you can trust them, forgive them. Because your gut feeling is always right, trust it. Trust your instincts and your heart. After all, what damage will do it to you? The same mistake? The same hurt? What more? This is the way you learn.
11. Go for a positive revenge
The best revenge method is to live a happy life. Focus on three things, love, forgiveness, and letting go. When you respond to hate with hate, you are causing yourself more harm than good. Distance yourself from the problem and let your life take a positive turn.
If the person who has hurt you deliberately sees how happy you are, your revenge is complete!
12. Let go of resentment
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“Resentment is the poison you swallow hoping the other person will die.” Know what I mean?
Forgiving someone will not make you inferior. In fact, it will take you to a higher horizon or as Buddhists believe, it will bring you closer to enlightenment. After all, the mighty God above forgives. Do it not for them but for your healthy happiness.
Now that you know how to forgive and forget, you should start practicing it in your daily life. It sure will do you some good to let go of your anger, resentment, and hatred.
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