This article has everything you need to know about how to overcome unforgiveness.
One of the secrets to living a good and peaceful life is knowing how to forgive those who wrong or offend us.
However, forgiving is not a straightforward act because forgiving is like responding to evil with good. When we are offended, we are hurt.
We have thoughts and feelings of anger, resentment, revenge, and the like. These are all negative and have their own consequences in life.
Forgiveness frees you from all of this.
However difficult it may be, overcoming our inability to forgive is important to living a good and peaceful life.
In this article I explore how to overcome this weakness and instill the value of forgiveness. Thus, the text contains valuable and factual information that will be of use to every reader.
Not having the ability to forgive those who offend us breeds unforgiveness. When you are abused or offended, you are hurt.
You have thoughts and feelings towards the offender such as hatred, anger and revenge.
And, you find it hard to forgive the abuser. However, the thoughts and feelings related to this unforgiveness are all harmful to the health of your mind and body.
Unforgiveness is a weakness that almost all of us suffer from. It makes you think negative thoughts and feelings.
These negative things interfere with your life and paralyze you from living a good and peaceful life. Many people don’t realize the harm unforgiveness can do to them.
For those who cannot forgive, they need to find out how to cope and have the ability to forgive.
Unforgiveness can easily be defined as holding a grudge against the person who has wronged or offended you.
By holding a grudge against him, you resent, feel angry, become vindictive, and also harbor other related negative feelings and thoughts.
All this has no positive consequences and only leads to negative results, which affect your life more than anyone else’s.
Negative thoughts and feelings blind your sight and paralyze all the nice that you have. In addition, negativity breeds negativity and you can get into the labyrinth of negativity.
As a result, you’ll fail to see things properly and begin making wrong decisions, making life worse.
One way to understand unforgiveness is to relate it to an absence of compassion for oneself and others. We cannot forgive because we don’t have any compassion for the person to be forgiven.
Oftentimes, people forgive near and dear ones, while they do not with other people. The only reason behind such actions is the special love they’ve for their own people.
When you are offended or harmed, you can at all times react in one of two ways – forgive the wrongdoer or not forgive him.
The choice is yours.
You choose not to forgive when you don’t have any compassion for the person to be forgiven. Each of us has experienced this freedom of choice.
Because the thoughts and feelings related to unforgiveness are all harmful, they only serve a bad purpose. These negative thoughts and feelings can certainly be held responsible for a person’s inability to forgive others.
This is to say that these thoughts are the root explanation for unforgiveness. Therefore, it is important to sanctify oneself and free oneself from negative things.
Not forgiving is just a collection of bitter thoughts and feelings that you have allowed to remain within you. Keeping such negative elements is solely a crime against oneself and others.
An analogy can be made for terrorism harboring in any country, which is a crime against state law and also against international law as well.
In both cases, the results were destructive and not constructive. It is not difficult to see that terrorism is dangerous for the terrorists themselves and for people in general.
The same picture for unforgiveness as well. Thus, unforgiveness can be viewed as a sin against divinity or as a crime against humanity.
Consequences of unforgiveness
We have seen that unforgiveness is related to negative thoughts and feelings and it leads to
only negative results. What is the origin of unforgiveness is also negativity.
So, we can say that unforgiveness starts with negativity and ends with negativity.
Frustration, anger, violence, hatred, depression, revenge – these are just a few of the thoughts and feelings that unforgiveness creates.
All these thoughts and feelings are bitter and harmful. When this is within you, you too are bound to be harmed mentally, physically, and spiritually.
Not forgiving is tantamount to confining oneself in a stressful situation, which hinders the functioning of the mind and body.
As research shows, stress is related to diseases such as cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure.
Depression in forgiveness can even be a serious form of mental disorders such as major depression and hallucinations.
Thus, anxiety and depression weaken mental faculties and therefore hinder the normal functioning of the mind.
Negative feelings in unforgiveness can even cause cognitive and social behavioral disturbances of the person, interfering with normal life.
How to overcome unforgiveness
Not forgiving the abuser is a common tendency that almost all people have.
Their idea is that wrongdoers deserve punishment. They are right in their own place.
This is maybe one of the simplest explanations for why the average person is unforgiving. In order to overcome unforgiveness, one has to go against the ideas stated above.
It will fight itself.
So overcoming unforgiveness is, if not impossible, a daunting task certainly. In the eyes of those who cannot forgive, forgiving is tantamount to justifying the wrongdoer’s wrong actions.
So, they will not accept it, they will just insist on not forgiving.
Forgiving wrongdoers will certainly seem to be a double fault they will be doing to themselves: to forgive someone while it is important to punish him is to do a double mistake.
When these ideas, forgiving or letting go of something hurts their ego and self-esteem. So, they won’t be ready to forgive and make “unforgiveness” their own.
This will result in inviting all negative thoughts and feelings related to that person unforgivable. And, they will become a home for these negative things, which will possess, blind, and destroy them.
Being able to forgive those who have wronged us is among the secrets to living a good life. Those who can mistreat us aren’t only others but also ourselves.
Sometimes, we make mistakes on ourselves. On the other hand, not having the ability to forgive or not forgiving makes life horrible and useless.
Negative thoughts and feelings such as resentment, revenge, and hatred in an unforgiving attitude are all detrimental to the mind and body and can have harsh consequences.
So, we need to overcome our inability to forgive others and/or ourselves. Once we overcome unforgiveness and make forgiveness our own, we can live peaceful and successful lives.
If we divide people into two categories – those who forgive and those who do not – we will find that almost all people fall into the second category.
Unforgiveness is a common reaction people have when they’re offended: compared to forgiving, it is easier. That’s why there are more people in the second category.
They may or may not realize the immediate and potential harm that unforgiveness can do to their lives.
Forgiveness is not a straightforward act.
Once you’re able to do so – for yourself and/or others –, you’ll have the ability to free yourself from all the potential risks related to being unforgiving.
When you forgive others, you also experience divine feelings. To live a good and peaceful life, we must overcome unforgiveness and inculcate the value of forgiveness.
Forgiveness is divine
Unforgiveness means harboring negative thoughts and feelings, which are harmful to your mental, physical and spiritual health.
Anger, frustration, hatred, depression, thoughts of revenge, and the like work in and against you when you remain unforgiving.
Certain mental diseases and disorders are also related to these negative thoughts and feelings of unforgiveness.
So, we must find out how to deal with it and have the ability to forgive. Here we explore forgiveness, which is the natural solution to unforgiveness.
If unforgiveness is all negative, then forgiveness is positive. Forgiveness not only brings positive results but also enlightens us.
Let’s first see what forgiveness is.
What is forgiveness
Forgiveness consists in letting go of all negative thoughts and feelings of unforgiveness and not allowing these to interfere with our lives.
Simply put, forgiveness consists of not allowing what happened to negatively affect you.
In another way, forgiveness is acknowledging that you can’t undo what happened and there’s no point in holding a grudge against the person who has wronged you.
Forgiveness also elevates you to a higher level spiritually. In other words, it’s a mark of your spiritual maturity and humility.
Having said all this, let’s also look at the following, which are the truths about forgiveness.
1. Forgiveness is not an excuse for wrongdoing. Forgiving someone in no way means that the wrong he did is justified or minimized. Nor does it mean that the wrongdoer is not held accountable for the violation.
2. Forgiveness is knowing well how to react positively. Forgiveness is understanding that anger, violence, resentment, and grudges are all negative and price us and others. It is an understanding that this isn’t the right way to react when we are offended or mistreated by someone else.
3. Forgiveness is understanding that unforgiveness locks you in negativity, which can have dire consequences at all three levels: mind, body, and spirituality.
4. Forgiveness is also accepting people as they’re (1) but do not let their misbehavior affect your life. you let go.
5. Forgiveness is not forgetting the wrong done to you. That’s not reconciliation either. However, reconciliation can be seen as underlining or presuming forgiveness to some extent.
We are all human and make mistakes.
Everyone in this world has been offended at one time or another. It is completely impossible for humans to be indifferent to one another – intentional or unintentional.
In such a situation, holding grudges against one another does not help at all. Holding grudges gives rise to thoughts and feelings of anger, revenge, resentment, etc., which are all negative.
This can lead to harsh consequences such as mental disorders and other diseases. These negative thoughts and feelings are costing you more than anyone else.
Forgiveness is letting go of all these potentially harmful thoughts and feelings and not letting them impact you.
On the other hand, allowing these items to surface through unforgiveness is setting yourself up for pampering.
So, the right choice is to forgive.
Forgive those who offended you, irrespective of who they were and how they offended you. Forgiveness instantly removes all negative thoughts and feelings within you.
You are not any longer bound by these negativity. The result is that you live a good and peaceful life. The following describes some of the benefits of forgiveness.
Benefits of forgiveness
Forgiveness is a positive action.
Hence, it only leads to positive results. Forgiveness can be seen in terms of the person who forgives, who is forgiven and the relationship between the two.
However, the most noteworthy is forgiving. When the forgiver forgives the forgiven, it is nice for all three – the forgiver, the forgiven, and the relationship between them.
Those who benefit the most are forgiving.
Forgiveness removes all negative thoughts and feelings and frees the forgiver, saving his life from destruction.
On the other hand, the person being forgiven gets a good opportunity to realize his own mistakes. He learned and ready not to wrong his neighbor again.
When forgiveness works between the forgiver and the forgiven, their relationship is stronger and healthier than before.
Apart from that, forgiving also generates understanding, empathy, compassion, and other positive qualities in both the person who forgives and the person being forgiven.
As we saw earlier, unforgiveness gives rise to a number of negative thoughts and feelings, all of which are detrimental to health.
Negative thoughts and feelings have their own consequences, which can be harsh too. Forgiveness lets all of this go: it frees you from these potentially harmful negatives.
Thus, you no longer have all the health risks related to this. Therefore, forgiving produces peace, love, and harmony. It strengthens you mentally, physically and spiritually.
Visualize forgiveness as purifying yourself.
Studies have found that those who forgive are happier and healthier than those who hate and do not forgive.
Forgiveness is so effective that just thinking about it will brighten your heart, improve your cardiovascular system and nervous system.
Forgiveness is certainly divine.
We all must make forgiveness our own. The following summarizes the benefits of forgiving.
1. Forgiveness frees you from all the negativity that binds you.
Negativity begets negativity. In negativity, the general tendency is to see more and more negativity and then go into a spiral.
It may never be possible to get out of the spiral. Forgiveness brings positivity and makes it impossible for you to fall into such a spiral.
2. Forgiveness produces good thoughts, feelings, and emotions such as love, understanding, and empathy.
All of this only serves to strengthen bonds and lead to a better and peaceful life for everybody. One big benefit of forgiveness is health improvement.
When you forgive, you no longer suffer from depression, tension, anger, resentment, and the like, which are related to unforgiveness.
As a result, this leads to an improvement in your health. Mentally, physically and spiritually, you are now healthier than ever.
3. You are not any longer in danger for diseases related to the negatives of unforgiveness.
Holding anger, hatred, thoughts of revenge, revenge etc only increases the risk of varied diseases including heart disease and mental disorders.
4. Forgiveness results in a better relationship between the forgiver and the forgiven.
Relationships are generally stronger than before because they’re now based on more understanding, empathy and compassion.
5. Forgiveness also increases your self-esteem.
On the other hand, forgiving someone is like stepping towards perfection on the divine path.
How do you forgive someone?
When we are underprivileged, we have three choices. This is to say that we can react in three ways.
First, we can choose not to react. Considering “not reacting” as a way of reacting shouldn’t confuse us. Second, we can choose to forgive. Third, we can choose not to forgive.
As we have seen, it’s the second option that we must choose because it’s the right choice. We are all humans, who make mistakes.
Therefore, in this world, it’s unavoidable that we can wrong others and other people can even wrong us.
When injustice (wrong) is finished to us or others, the general tendency is to be angry, vengeful, vengeful, and not forgive the perpetrator.
When these unforgiving thoughts and feelings take over you, it leads to your systematic destruction. We saw this already when we discussed the implications of being unforgiving.
So, the right thing to do, when someone wrongs you, is to forgive them. Forgiving the perpetrator is doing good for yourself.
However, forgiving the offender is a difficult act.
Forgiving consists in responding to evil with good – at least in the eyes of those who cannot forgive. However difficult it may be to forgive, it’s a virtue we can learn and acquire.
The prerequisite for obtaining this score is a complete understanding of forgiveness in addition to non-forgiveness.
Through the discussion that we have done in the previous chapters, we already know what it’s thoroughly. When we know what this is, our tendency is to automatically apologize.
To manifest this tendency or turn it into action, we need a willingness to forgive. Apart from that, emotions like empathy, love, and compassion also help in achieving forgiveness.
However, how or the method depends on the personality of the forgiving person concerned. What works for one person may not work for one more.
Whatever the steps to follow, forgiveness consists of breaking down the walls of narrow-mindedness and freeing you from their shackles.
The following explains how to forgive, not how to forgive others and yourself.
Step 1. Understand the bad consequences of not forgiving.
As we have seen, not forgiving means harboring negative thoughts and feelings, all of which are destructive.
Having a good knowledge of what happens when you do not forgive helps you to make it possible to forgive.
Step 2. Understand that we are all human and humans make mistakes.
Accept that, knowingly or not, we offend and/or get offended in life. Therefore understand that getting angry, holding grudges, and hating when you’re offended is not justified.
The best policy lies in letting these thoughts and feelings go.
Step 3. Understand that forgiveness helps you get out of negative thoughts and feelings that can totally destroy your life.
Understand that offensive events have happened and gone, you cannot undo them.
So, there isn’t any point in hovering over these past events and filling yourself, at the same time, with negative thoughts, which have far-reaching consequences in your life.
Step 4. Realize that forgiveness is the right path.
To get out of your sad situation, you must turn to this path of forgiveness.
As such, it’s the only path available to you, leading to freeing yourself from the bitterness and hatred of unforgiveness.
Step 5. Realize that forgiving the offender and not allowing any negative thoughts and feelings such as revenge, resentment, hatred, in a way, is solely the best revenge you can take against the offender.
Living a good and successful life by not letting negative thoughts interfere with life is certainly the best way to get revenge on the perpetrator.
This is feasible when you use forgiveness.
Step 6. Similarly, the second best revenge is turning negativity into positivity.
To illustrate the idea, let’s take an example. We know that anger is destructive (2).
However, if we understand how to control and harness anger, we can channel its energy for good purposes. View the unfortunate event as a chance to forgive.
When you’re able to forgive, you master all the negativity that comes with being unforgiving.
Step 7. Be willing to forgive.
Going through the steps above will automatically make you feel like you want to forgive the offender.
These steps will make you realize that you have been on the wrong track if you have not forgiven. You may even feel that you’re torturing yourself by not forgiving the abuser.
This is to say that you’ll feel forgiving. So, be willing to forgive.
Step 8. Make a decision to forgive the person who wronged you.
Making decisions can be difficult. However, if you have followed all the steps sincerely, it won’t be difficult to make a decision.
Be cool and calm in your decision. Let yourself take your own time.
Never make hasty decisions. Once you have decided to forgive your offender, stick to your decision.
Step 9. Execute your decision.
Forgive the offender and free yourself from the grip of negative thoughts and feelings that have been weighing you down.
Feel it come back and feel the new energy flowing in.
Positive developments will soon begin in all areas of life including relationships with other people. You now get all the benefits of forgiveness.
Regardless of what has been described in these 9 steps, having self-esteem, concern for others, compassion, love and empathy helps us to forgive our offenders.
Forgiveness also makes us complacent. Being able to forgive others is divine.
As you have read, we can see that not forgiving others is to our detriment.
We only cause pain to ourselves when we do not forgive. It eats away at our soul, our core, even our humanity.
But on the other hand when we walk in forgiveness we have more peace, we let go of hatred and anger which seeds into hatred.
It’s not at all times a straightforward thing to do, but it is a habit we need to learn to put into practice. This way our life will be far better to deal with.
I hope this article on how to overcome unforgiveness has helped you on your journey to forgiveness.
It’s just another tool to add to your utility belt in forgiveness. I believe you’ll find the peace and guidance you are attempting to find.