#4 CHOOSE TO FORGIVE

Happiness Choice #4 - Choose to Forgive - Forgiving doesn't imply that what someone did to you is okay

CHANGE YOUR VIEW ON FORGIVING

Forgiveness is a huge factor in happiness. Holding on to unforgiveness in our hearts will sap our joy in every aspect of our lives. When we hold a grudge against someone for a perceived hurt we carry that anger and pain around inside us every day. When we feel hurt in our heart and soul from something someone did or said to us then that becomes a driving force in our lives. It can lead to resentment, revenge or just an ongoing sense of misery and unsettledness.

We base a lot of our ideas about forgiveness on the other person seeking restitution and re-connection. We long to hear them apologize and to have acknowledgement of the pain they caused us and the offence we've taken often can't be let go of until this occurs. But what happens if the other person doesn't feel they were in the wrong? What happens when you don't get the apology you believe you deserve? How do you move forward?

FORGIVE EVEN WHEN THERE IS NO RESOLUTION

Sometimes we just have to accept that there won't be a resolution to a disagreement. Both parties can think they are in the right and neither is going to apologize. How do we forgive when we don't receive that magic "I'm sorry" from the other person? How do we move forward when the issue is still there and not resolved?

I'm sure these are questions that have been asked for generations - hurt and offence have been around since Shakespeare wrote about them, they're not new concepts. The trouble is that they suck the joy out of us. We get caught up in wanting to be right and wanting the other person to recognize our rightness. We want that apology we feel we rightly deserve and for there to be a resolution (and it needs to be in our favour!)


Happiness Choice #4 - Choose to Forgive - Forgiving doesn't imply that what someone did to you is okay

FORGIVE EVEN WHEN THERE IS NO APOLOGY

The trouble is that we won't always receive that longed for apology. Even when we are certain we are in the right and we have the higher ground, there may still be nothing forthcoming from the person who wronged us. Even if we are completely innocent and they have chosen to take offence or to take things in the wrong way, there may never be an apology from the other person.

Do we hold to our battle lines? Do we cut them off? Do we seek ways to prove we were right and they are wrong? Do we walk around forever with hurt in our heart and pain in our soul? There are times when we'd like to say "Yes!" to some of those questions. We like to be right - but at what cost? Being right might seem to be the right answer but is it the best way to move on with happiness and with the relationship with that person sustained?

BE THE BIGGER PERSON

Dr Phil is a great one for asking "How's that working for you?" and also his famous "Someone has to step up and be the hero." It's tough sometimes to be the person who forgives when we feel we were the one who was wronged. It's hard when when we don't get that apology we deserve. But is it worth holding on to unforgiveness in our hearts if it makes us unhappy and if it means the breakdown of a relationship?

So often it can be someone close to us who causes us the biggest amount of hurt. We have more invested in our loved ones and more to lose when they say or do something that upsets us or lets us down. Families are torn apart when one person refuses to forgive another. Friendships are lost over misunderstandings. Marriages break down because one person can't let go of the pain their partner caused them.

It's time to choose forgiveness and to move forward - it's the only way to be happy. Waiting for an apology can be a waste of time and emotion - let it go and choose happiness instead.        

Happiness Choice #4 - Choose to Forgive - Forgiving doesn't imply that what someone did to you is okay

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26 comments

  1. such great advice, and so hard to actually do..

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    1. You're right Jeremy - but it's something we all need to work on because the other alternative is unthinkable isn't it?

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  2. Excellent advice to all of us. All we have to do is to implement it into our own lives. xx

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    1. And I'm working on it all the time - it would just be nice to get some of those "sorries" now and then, but in the meantime life goes on and I don't want it to hold me back.

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  3. Oh yes Leanne, forgiveness. I must admit I'm prone to carry a grudge and have a long memory but really it does affect my happiness that is for sure. Some sound advice as usual! Have a great weekend x

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    1. Thanks Sue - I think we all have a sense of wanting justice and having our side of the story respected. We just have to acknowledge that sometimes that won't happen and to be able to let go and move on - tough at times isn't it? x

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  4. I like that first quote. This is so true! Letting go of the sadness that there was no resolution is the step that's difficult. That it can't be fixed. That seems to last forever. I'm sharing this on Facebook, Leanne!
    www.meinthemiddlewrites.com

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    1. Thanks Mary Lou - the forgiving when there is no resolution weighs heavily on me at times too but you have to let go of the need to be right and move on sometimes.

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  5. I learned a long time ago to let go of a grudge after I lost a friend over one. But the one that always gets me is hearing people complain that they apologized and the other person said "Thank you," but never apologized back. If you're only apologizing to hear the other person say I'm sorry, then....are you really sorry?

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    1. It's hard when we apologize and want the other person to accept some of the blame but it isn't forthcoming isn't it? But when both parties feel they're in the right then someone has to step up and "be the hero" and call bygones or there can never be resolution or healing.

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  6. I appreciate this post very much. Holding anger or a grudge only hurts you in the long run. Forgiving is more about you than it is about them. I had to forgive a person who is very close to my in my life in order to move on and not be sucked into hate and becoming a really angry person. It was hard, but the right thing to do.

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    1. I know exactly what you mean Michelle - I've had to do the same. The people we love the most often cause us the most pain don't they? I've come to the conclusion that sometimes we just have to "take one for the team" and suck up the hurt and move on or we lose the relationship and that's the worst of the two evils.

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  7. This is definitely something that I have to learn over and over - I know in my head it's the path to take; I know I'm only hurting myself by not taking the path - for some reason, I just want to hold on to the anger. I'm getting better at it, but I know I have a long way to go, so thank you for reminding me of the value of forgiving others.

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    1. I'm a great one for having a very strong sense of justice Melody and when I think I'm right I want that acknowledged. But there are times when we just have to suck it up and move on because the anger makes us bitter and nothing is worse than a bitter old woman!

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  8. You make some really good points in this post. I think it's important to keep in mind that forgiving someone does not mean that you approve of their behavior. So often, we don't want to forgive because we see forgiveness as an endorsement of negative behavior. But -- forgiveness is really for the person doing the forgiving. It allows us to move forward without harboring negative feelings. Thank you for linking up at The Blogger’s Pit Stop Link Party. I’m sharing your link on social media.
    Carol (“Mimi”) from Home with Mimi

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    1. Hi Carol - I'm so glad you got where I was coming from - it definitely is all about freeing ourselves from the pain caused by others hurting us. They may never realize what they've said or done - and sometimes it does more damage to thrash it over with them, so forgiving and moving on is often the best solution.

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  9. I get this one Leanne. We forgive for our peace of mind more then for the other person.

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    1. Exactly Mary! It's about keeping our own hearts from breaking and keeping our minds from churning over the same hurts again and again. Letting go and moving forward - and forgiveness is the only way to do that.

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  10. Such an important post Leanne. Your points are all so true. It is like, if I keep this hurt and anger in my heart, the offender has power over me by making me miserable. As soon as you forgive that power is broken. I am not their victim, I am free from miserable. Like Carol says, to forgive does not mean they were right or that I now trust them.
    The Blogger's Pit Stop will feature this blog. Congratulations on another quality post.
    Kathleen

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    1. Hi Kathleen - and thanks so much for featuring one of my posts on the Pit Stop! You are right on point when you say it stops us from becoming their victim and it also stops us from having a "poor me" mentality where we can't move past the hurt that was done to us. I am a believer in forgiving but not necessarily forgetting - that way you don't put yourself in the same position to be hurt over and over again!

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  11. Thank you for this post Leanne. Anger and resentment are heavy burdens to bear. Life is so much more enjoyable when we let them go. When we get caught up in wanting to be "right," it's good to ask, "Would I rather be right or happy?" Here's to being happy!

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    1. That's another great Dr Phil-ism about being right or happy Christie. I completely agree with it too - it's nice to be right, but not at the expense of being miserable or in breaking relationship. Forgiveness is definitely the way forward.

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  12. Hi Leanne,
    It is indeed a great joy to meet you at Kathleen's space where we have been highlighted in the latest issue of blog pitshop.
    You have a wonderful space here with lot of informative pieces.
    Nice that we could interact each other via our common friend's platform.
    The tips you shared in this post are really worth notable.
    Keep sharing your informative pieces.
    Keep informed.
    Best Regards
    ~ Philip Ariel

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    1. Hi Philip - lovely to meet you (I don't often have men stopping by to comment on my blog) thank you for your kind words and I hope you stop by again from the Pit Stop.

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  13. Forgiveness is a wonderful gift to give so long as you are not giving yourself away in the process.

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  14. Forgiveness is self healing, just like doing away with a heavy burden!

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