Forgiving and forgetting
"I decided I can't pay a person to rewind time, so I may as well get over it."
- Serena Williams
Life can seem cruel or unfair at times when things do not turn out the way we planned. Our personal and professional lives take their shape by learning and growing from letdowns and setbacks. Whether we want to place the blame on other people, ourselves or life in general, it can become more difficult to move on with our lives if we are unable to forgive others, ourselves and life itself, so we can get back to living a more satisfying life. Who wants to walk around all pissed off at others, themselves and life all the time? Not me.
There are always going to be large things which may be unforgivable, so let's focus on the pettier stuff like people who mistreat us by being disrespectful or dismissive. It's human to be offended and even feel the need to respond in kind by being unkind. Or just as bad, we allow that person and their negative energy to live rent-free in our head for the next several hours or more. We end up allowing people we are unhappy with to dictate our mood by becoming angry or upset because of them. That's not fair to us. That's where forgiveness comes in.
Photo by Alex Siale on Unsplash
We do not have to forgive people by communicating it to them, especially if they do not apologize for anything. It can be as simple as telling them in our minds we choose forgiveness over pettiness or vengefulness. By choosing to take the high road, we eliminate the need to hold grudges or take things personally. A lot of the times, it's the person being hurtful who is hurting the most inside. They want us to feel like them, so they mistreat us. It's on us to not take the bait. We do not need to subject ourselves to more negative energy by creating it within ourselves.
The same goes for forgiving ourselves. We make choices we are not always proud of. We may want to take back some of the things we have said or did. We cannot always make things right. We can't control others. We can always make things right with ourselves, though. We have to remember, we are human. We make mistakes, just like everyone else. When we are able to forgive ourselves and move on, we allow ourselves the opportunity to live a more satisfying life. The same goes for forgiving others. It's always up to us.
Positive Psychology: Psychology of Forgiveness: 10+ Fascinating Research Findings Healthline: How to Forgive Yourself - 12 Tips
Harvard Health: The power of forgiveness