I've been betrayed, cheated, lied to, stolen from, and even manipulated.
From bad business deals where I lost hundreds of thousands of dollars to a girlfriend who cheated on me with my best friend.
Forgiveness is defined as:
“to give up resentment or anger toward someone.”
As long as I could remember, I've always been able to extend forgiveness easier than most. I'm not really sure why. I recently had a close friend tell me my ability to forgive is a gift. I never thought about it as being so special until I read a study on the statistics of forgiveness. The level of pain, resentment, and unresolved conflict many of us carry is not only depressing, it's actually bad for our health. In a recent study published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine, they linked the inability to forgive, to a decrease in cardiovascular health, an increase in blood pressure, and a 9% increase in the chance of a heart attack. Crazy. It leads me to this positive thought:
“Forgive them even if they're not sorry”
My big question is, what is stopping us from forgiving? After scouring the internet and reviewing a few research studies, I collected what I believe are 3 of the top excuses we use to avoid forgiveness.
3 Excuses We Must Stop Using When Needing to Forgive Someone:
- When you forgive, you're saying what the person did is okay – This is 100% not true. You must express the hurt. You must feel heard. But then, you must let it go.
- You have to get over the feeling of being hurt before you can forgive – Forgiveness is a choice. The pain will never “feel” better.
- You can't forgive unless the other person is sorry – The best part of forgiveness is that you're in control. They don't have to be sorry for you to give up the anger.
I leave you with this… Forgive them even if they're not sorry. You'll be healthier, happier, and likely a better person for it.
Have you struggled with forgiveness? Let me know what has helped you in the comments below.