Think back on the last time you held a grudge. What did that feel like? Did you have a pit in your stomach? Did you have trouble sleeping? Were you distracted from other, more important things? What did you lose because you chose to stay angry at the other person? Holding a grudge isn’t good for you. Not only that, but the person you’re holding the grudge against probably doesn’t even remember what they did. They are not suffering because you’re upset. You are. You’re holding on to all that negativity and it’s solely poisoning you. And it doesn’t stop at destroying your mental health. All this anger and resentment can and will make you physically sick. Your blood pressure goes up; your immune response goes down. You’re not sleeping well which has other health implications. And let’s not even talk about all the junk food you’re eating while in this state of stress.
One hurdle to forgiveness is misunderstanding of what forgiveness is and what it is not. Forgiveness is NOT - saying it is okay; saying you don't mind being mistreated or inviting more hurt. Forgiveness IS - accepting reality, letting go of the fight, releasing the pain, taking back your energy and becoming free. It is first and foremost a gift to yourself.
Don’t let holding a grudge make you sick. Instead, focus on forgiveness and gratitude. Take a deep breath and find it in your heart to forgive the other person. It’s not easy, but it is within your power. Be the better person. Take the higher road. Do it for yourself because you know you will instantly feel better and it will do wonders for your mental and physical health and wellbeing.
I hinted at the fact that there’s something surprising about forgiveness earlier. I’m sure you’re eager to know what that’s about and why it’s something you need to know. It’s the idea that forgiveness isn’t really about the person you are forgiving. Sure, there are times when they appreciate or even demand your forgiveness. But even so, the person benefiting the most is you. That’s right. Forgiveness isn’t for the other person. It’s what sets you free and allows you to pursue happiness and be fulfilled in your own life.
To recap, forgiving the other person benefits you. It improves your mental wellbeing and your physical health. It makes you sleep better at night and have a good outlook on life. Don’t let that old grudge steal your happiness. Practice forgiveness and feel gratitude that you have it in your power to decide if you let any slight hold you back or not.