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Give Yourself the Gift of Forgiveness

When someone has wronged you, forgiveness may be the last thing on your mind. You’re convinced they deserve all the anger and hostility you can muster. However, forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself. Does your anger harm the other person? In most cases, the other person just stays away. 

Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.

Forgiveness is the healthy and logical choice for several reasons: 

  1.     Living in the past steals your present and taints your future. A great future requires an attentive present. That’s not possible if you’re living in the past. Life is happening right now in this moment. Every moment spent in the past is lost forever. Reclaim your life by forgiving and moving on.
  2.     Failing to forgive creates misery. Creating and maintaining negative thoughts doesn’t feel good. Pleasant thoughts support a pleasant mood. By refusing to forgive the person that wronged you, you’re harming yourself.
  3.     You’ll be stronger. Forgiveness can be challenging! Staying angry is easy in a certain way. Show yourself just how strong you are. Take a deep breath and forgive. It becomes easier with time.
  •         As an added bonus, the more forgiving you are, the more others are willing to forgive you!
  1.     The past cannot be changed, but your attitude can. What is the purpose of your anger? If you stay angry for the next ten years, what have you accomplished? Nothing you do today can change what happened yesterday. Change your attitude as quickly as possible and smile again.
  2.     They may be back sooner or later. Whether you forgive them or not, they may pop back into your life in the future. In most cases, they’ll act as if nothing ever happened. However, your resentment will make you feel bad all over again if you’re still holding a grudge. 
  •         The sooner you forgive, the sooner you can put the matter to bed.
  1.     All humans make mistakes. We’ve all done or said things we later regret. You can’t expect to be forgiven if you’re unwilling to forgive. Living a perfect life and making perfect choices isn’t possible. 
  2.     Forgiveness may be the best form of revenge. If someone upset you, it’s possible it was intentional. While you might feel the need to strike back, forgiveness is the best policy. Show them you’re enjoying bigger and better things. Living a happy life is the best revenge!
  3.     Your health will improve. Happiness and peacefulness undoubtedly support good health and longevity. Live a long and wonderful life. Be forgiving. The Mayo Clinic states that forgiveness can lead to:
  •         Healthier relationships
  •         Lower blood pressure
  •         Stronger immune system
  •         Improved heart health
  •         Higher self-esteem
  1.     Forgiveness is fast. Time may heal all wounds, but it can take a long time. Forgiveness is instantaneous. There’s no faster way to enhance your mood than the simple act of forgiveness. Forgiveness is fast, effective, and free. Take advantage of it.

Forgiveness is self-serving. It’s something you do for yourself, because the alternative is harmful to your health, happiness, and future. Be good to yourself. The fact that you’re letting the other person off the hook is secondary. Forgiveness is necessary. Forgetting is optional, depending on the situation. 

Mahatma Gandhi said, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.” Forgiveness requires real strength. The fastest way to heal any transgression against you is forgiveness. Remember that forgiveness doesn’t always mean that you give the other person a second chance. It means that you’re not willing to suffer any longer.

 

This week’s Creative Exercise

Forgiveness Box

Supplies: Small paper, cardboard, paper mache box (no larger than 4” x 4”) with a lid, paint, bits of paper, anything you would like to use to decorate, glue, scissors, Paper and Pen.

  1. Write a letter to someone you would like to forgive. This is not going to be mailed, be honest about your feelings, and why you are choosing to forgive them.
  2. Decorate your small box on the inside and outside while thinking about the person you are wanting to forgive.
  3. Add a forgiveness quote such as “ Today I decided to forgive you. Not because you apologized, or because you acknowledged the pain that you caused me, but because my soul deserves peace. -Najwa Zebian into your box. You can pick whatever quote works best for you.

Remember that forgiveness is a process and feelings about that person may ebb and flow and even resurface after you think you are done. Just keep forgiving for your own sake.

The fact that your box can open and close allows you to revisit that forgiveness if you need to.

     4. Fold up your letter and place it inside the box.

What you do with the box is up to you. Place it in a place of prominence to remind yourself of forgiveness, maybe you replace the letter with someone new when you are ready. YOu might create other boxes, you might even include a daily or weekly ritual of opening the box, removing the letter and replacing it. To check in with yourself if you are done. Once you are they  can be removed.

You may want to burn your letter as a way of releasing all the negative emotions and allowing yourself to forgive. Burning letters is a great healing tool.

If you burn your letter you can write the person's name on a piece of paper and place that in the box instead of your letter. Or maybe you burn the letter after it has served its purpose in the box. That is up to you.

Watch on Thursday for a new video of this exercise to be uploaded to our YouTube Channel. Subscribe to catch all new content.

Have an Amazingly Creative Day,

Larissa 

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