For many of us, this time of year is not just about presents, cookies, or parties. It’s also about ending the year and preparing for the new year. Depending on your faith or religion, this can also be a time of preparation and seeking a closer relationship with God. No matter what your reason, it helps to learn how to forgive someone when you don’t feel like it.
How to Forgive Someone When You Don’t Feel Like It?
It’s no secret that the holidays can bring up a lot of stuff for people. It seems, at this time of year, we can’t just push aside all the resentments, hurt, and anger that have accumulated during the year. So, I want to share with you why it’s important to forgive and how to it.
Maybe you were able to stay busy with work and family through out the year to push aside having to deal with your feelings about someone or a situation.
No matter what your background or faith, entering the new year tends to have some kind of meaning to most people. We want to start clean. Learning how to forgive someone is a great place to start.
Forgiveness is a topic that keeps coming up for me. It’s just not as easy as I sometimes make it sound! In fact, I’m starting to believe, that the more difficult the forgiving—the more important it is to engage in the process.
However, there are real physical and mental benefits to forgiving. It plays an essential part of your overall health and wellbeing.
Eating right and exercising is not enough! You have to forgive as well.
Forgiving has so many benefits! It has been shown to:
- Improve your health, including lowering blood pressure and other heart issues.
- Boost your immune system.
- Improve your mental health, including reducing the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- Increase your self-esteem.
- Lower stress and reduce pain.
- Make you more attractive—anger, hurt, and resentment affect your looks in a profound and pronounced way.
I believe in the power of forgiveness so whole-heartedly, that I keep renewing my commitment to it. I am sure that this process is important to our growth and wellbeing.
We don’t forgive to help the other person—we forgive to help ourselves evolve and to promote health. Since it’s a process of growth, it doesn’t have to be instant, perfect, or even totally complete.
You start getting the benefit of forgiving in the moment you choose to forgive someone.
I want you to get the benefits, so I’m going to share how to forgive someone when you don’t feel like it. At the end of this post, I’m going to share one of my most effective tools for achieving forgiveness.
How to Forgive Someone When You Don’t Feel Like It
We tend to hold onto anger and resentment towards other people for a variety of reasons. It can feel impossible to imagine letting go of our hurt or anger over something someone did. This seems to be a human condition.
Even when we are open to it, it can seem impossible. That’s why I keep pushing that it is a process and that being open to being in the process is beneficial. And if you are open, there will come a day, that you will realize that the charge you held about a person or situation will be gone or at least, greatly reduced.
Time + Commitment-to-Forgiving = Peace
Being at peace is good for your mental and physical health. Holding onto anger, resentment, and hurt is proven to be detrimental to your mental and physical health.
This is something you do for YOU. I want you to feel better and look better. Release that yucky energy and allow yourself to reap the benefits.
Is There a Quick Way to Forgive?
I do wish sometimes, that there was a magic button you could press, that would allow you to instantly forgive someone. However, like dieting and exercise, it takes time, commitment, and patience to get the results you want.
Instead, we tend to do other things to relieve the pain of needing to forgive. In place of working productively with our strong feelings; we look for ways to make them go away fast. That’s when we start acting out or doing things to alleviate our pain.
These behaviors can include:
- Saying or writing hurtful things to the person that hurt us
- Using numbing behaviors such as alcohol, drugs, shopping, watching TV
- Engaging in self-destructive or dangerous actions
- Complaining to others about the person or situation
- Pretending nothing happened
I’d love to say I never do ANY of those things. But that would make me a liar. I’ve done them all. That’s how I KNOW that they don’t work long-term to help.
How Needing to Forgive Helps Us Grow
I have quite a few techniques in my bag to help me feel better. However, when I’ve been hurt, I feel just as bad as anyone. There are some hurts that just don’t go away quickly.
However, I have learned that we grow quite a bit ourselves through the process of forgiving. If we could just wipe out a hurt, then we would also wipe out the important lessons we learn about life and ourselves by forgiving.
That’s right. Being in the position of needing to forgive, while feeling like crap, is actually an important part of our growth as a person.
When we look at what happened with an open heart to the truth, we can also acknowledge our part in the situation. Taking responsibility for our part is powerful. It allows us to grow and become stronger.
It doesn’t mean we absolve the other person. It does mean that we can see different places where we could have chosen to act differently.
When I look at ANY situation where I have been hurt; I can clearly see places where I could have behaved differently. There are no exceptions in my life.
Since there is no rewind in life, I can’t go back in time and change anything. However, I have been given the gift of learning and adjusting my behavior in the future.
How to Forgive Someone When You Don’t Feel Like It
Forgiveness begins with the decision to forgive—even, and especially when you don’t feel like it. It’s okay and healthy to experience your feelings of anger and hurt. When you’re ready, you can take the next step and decide to forgive.
To make it just a little easier, I worked with an amazing counselor, Tina Hart to create a guided forgiveness meditation. I love this meditation so much that I have used it many times. It only takes about five minutes to do.
This meditation is not magic. Still, it is effective. It relaxes your body and mind and puts you in a receptive state of being able to forgive. Tina takes you gently through this process and then guides you in handing over the whole thing to your higher power.
That’s my favorite part of the whole meditation!
That’s all. Decide to forgive, get into a state where you can forgive, and then hand the whole thing over to the place where it can happen.
Then be open to forgiveness.
Click below to listen to my favorite guided forgiveness meditation.
I wish each of you, all the peace, health, and well-being that comes from forgiveness. Remember, to not just forgive others but forgive yourself as well.
Keep showing up my friends.
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I'm a former counselor, career services leader, and college advisor. Now I coach and write at My Think Big Life promoting health and personal growth.