One of the great barriers to becoming the best you can be is feeling anger and resentment toward someone you believe has done you wrong.
It’s particularly hard to forgive someone when the person who caused you pain does not appear to have any regret or remorse for hurting you. You think, “Why should I forgive someone who isn’t sorry?” You might imagine the hurtful event over and over. With each recall, do you find yourself building more bitterness and rage?
Like most people who feel victimized, you probably wonder how they could do this to you and may even imagine taking revenge on them. Some part of you thinks that by feeling bad and imagining terrible things for the person who injured you, somehow you are hurting them in return. You use your anger to stab back at them.
“In taking revenge, a man is but even with his enemy; but in passing it over, he is superior.”
Sir Francis Bacon
Take a different stand on anger and resentment toward those that try to harm you. Do not give them power over you. Forgive them and feel a strength from offering your forgiveness. Know that you are a better and stronger person because you have within you the capacity to believe that no one can truly harm you, unless you allow it.
“How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.”
- Marcus Aurelius -
By harboring anger, hostility, and resentment you are causing more damage to yourself than the actual incident that you allowed yourself to feel bad about in the first place. By staying angry and bitter, you are giving up your power.
“To be wronged is nothing, unless you continue to remember it.”
- Confucius -
Being wronged is only as bad as you allow it to be. It only harms you as long as you hold the pain of it in your memory. Don’t give others the power to continually do you wrong by allowing yourself to play it over and over in your mind.
You may think that forgiving them will benefit them, and because you feel such anger and hostility, the last thing you want to do is let them off the hook with forgiveness. This is flawed thinking. You must remember that you’re not necessarily forgiving them for their benefit, you’re forgiving them for your benefit.
The sooner you replace your thoughts of any hurtful event with thoughts of forgiveness, the better and stronger you will feel. As you better and stronger, the more quickly you will be able to move toward what you really want to experience.
Before taking the next step toward your prosperous future, identify any anger, hostility, or resentment you feel toward others. Whether or not you think they deserve it, forgive them. Do it for your sake.
The pain may be either too fresh in your mind or have been harbored for so long that it is difficult to feel true forgiveness. But like you use repetition to learn a new skill, or repeated affirmations to formulate a new belief, you may need to practice forgiving by restating your forgiveness over and over for a period of time.
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
- Mohandas Gandhi -
As you forgive and remind yourself of the forgiveness you are offering, you will feel a sense of relief and power. Then, you will be in the right state of mind to move forward. You will stop living in the past. You will have shed all of those negative feelings, and in doing so, you will be in a far greater position to pursue and achieve what you want to experience in your life.
Remember that anger and resentment prevent you from doing and being your best. Today is the day to let it all go and begin feeling the strength that comes from a forgiving heart. You have the power to forgive. Do it for you.