The answer is C: Give In – Forgiveness is something we do not do to give in…the act of forgiving is not defeat or giving up on justice. We forgive for many positive reasons – some being: to feel better, to begin again, and to forget so we can move on. When we forgive, we are not excusing behavior or ignoring anything – it’s simply a measure to protect our heart from further destruction.
After all, it’s no secret that holding onto anger and grievances can have an incredibly negative effect on both your physical and mental wellbeing. There are a myriad of studies that point to the direct relationship between anger and mental health concerns.
The trick to forgiveness is to get yourself to a new mindset — a place where you can put away those feelings of bitterness and simply move on with your life. Here are some tips to help you along the way:
When others hurt you its because, like you, they are still learning.
- Remind yourself that mistakes are not intentional and very much a part of the human experience. See them for what they are: lessons learned. They’re simply no longer relevant issues — let it go.
- Remember that the past is not part of your present life. Move on to the next chapter in the your story and leave the individuals who are no longer a part of your life behind.
- Acknowledge any apology extended in your direction, if there is one. Accepting an apology does not mean you have to go back to the status quo with the person involved, but it does give you both an opportunity to air your concerns and move on.
- Try not to act on your anger. It’s okay to be angry for a while as long as you don’t use that as a catalyst for more wrongdoings. Allow yourself to experience the emotion without taking action to make things worse.
- While it’s easier said than done, meditate on it and then just let the situation go.
Remember, forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting. Forgiveness doesn’t even mean you have to continue to have the same type of relationship you had with a person as you had before; or any relationship at all. It simply means you’re ready to let go of the anger, focus on your life, and move on.