When a person you care about hurts you, it’s all too easy to hold on to the hurt. As adults, we know there’s nothing positive to be gained by letting the anger and resentment linger, but we’re only human and sometimes, without knowing it, we hold grudges.
It’s so easy to hold a grudge.
Being hurt by someone you trust can be devastating. Whether it’s a betrayal over a small amount of money or an infidelity in an intimate relationship, dwelling on the hurtful events can lead to feelings of resentment and hostility. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by those feelings and before you know it, you’ve got a full-blown grudge weighing you down.
The negative side effects of holding grudges can include anxiety, depression, broken relationships and a general decline in overall health.
There’s a proverb, “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Holding a grudge and continuing to let anger live inside you is not affecting anyone other than you.
What are the benefits of forgiving someone?
The Mayo Clinic suggests that by letting go of bitterness and grudges, your overall health can be improved, not just your emotional state. These are just some of the benefits that can be achieved:
- Healthier relationships
- Greater spiritual and psychological well-being
- Less anxiety, stress and hostility
- Lower blood pressure
- Fewer symptoms of depression
- Stronger immune system
- Improved heart health
- Higher self-esteem
On the bright side, you always have the opportunity to forgive someone, even if it’s years after the event occurred. It’s not even necessary for you to let the person know that you are forgiving him or her. The forgiving is for YOU – not the other person. You can choose to let it go.
The act of forgiving doesn’t mean the other person or people were right. It doesn’t mean you didn’t deserve better. All it means is that you are making an active decision NOT to let anger and discontent disturb your life. Moving toward forgiveness just means you are not defining your life by how you’ve been hurt. That’s the life you deserve to live!