No Room for Resentment

In the course of living, we are often hurt by others. Holding in hurt feelings over months, or even years, is very stressful and can cause minor and major diseases. Learning to forgive significant hurts and then move on is an important part of being healthy, in both mind and body.

THE FORGIVING CRISIS

We can laugh or explain away small hurts. But some hurts are so unfair, and so deeply felt, that they cause “a forgiving crisis” – we can’t bring ourselves to forgive the person who caused the hurt (even in eases where we know they didn’t mean to hurt us). If you’ve been hurt, you probably feel anger, or even hatred. Holding in such feelings is stressful, and can also increase other stresses. When you face your pain (and the person who hurt you), you can end the “forgiving crisis” and lead a healthier, happier life.

LEARN A WAY TO FORGIVE

Being hurt by someone you trust can be particularly painful. While it may be difficult, try to be open and accepting as you explain to that person what he or she did to hurt you so deeply, then try to imagine that the event has not happened. You may find that you are able to stand back and be objective about the person who hurt you You may find that the person is weak, needy or simply human, and needs your help.

With new insights, your pain and anger may give way to forgiving and compassion. If you reach out, that person may be willing to try to renew your friendship.

NATURE OF FORGIVING

Forgiving is part of healing, but it is not excusing, denying, hiding or ignoring the event that caused the pain. Forgiving includes remembering, letting go of anger, recognizing what happened, and moving on. Forgiving is often a slow, confusing process. You can forgive and still feel some anger.

BENEFITS OF FORGIVING

Forgiving makes your life easier. It gives you greater peace of mind. You can get on with your life when part of you is freed from having to resent those who have harmed you.

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