The Consequences of Not Forgiving Someone Who Has Hurt You…

This is the second article I’ve written on forgiveness recently It’s such an important topic, I thought it worthy of revisiting!  There are many BENEFITS of forgiving (click here to see my previous article).  There are so many DISADVANTAGES when you don’t forgive.  Here are just a few:

Unforgiveness limits your options – No one can make the wisest of choices when their decision making process is clouded by anger, hurt, resentment and a desire for revenge.  Not only will you make decisions that are high on emotion and low on logic, you will also be dragging the wrong kind of energy with you into your new actions.  Give yourself the chance to experience your best life by approaching everything with a spirit of love and acceptance.  When you are open to receiving love, you will find it in unexpected places AND people and acceptance, and help, support and exciting new opportunities will begin to show up for you. The best way to embrace your future is to forgive whatever is keeping you stuck the past.

Unforgiveness prevents you from addressing the real emotion – When you don’t want to forgive, it’s usually because you are deeply angry.  Anger though, is usually the surface emotion for feeling hurt or scared underneath.  The tricky thing about anger is that it allows you to stay focused on the other person and justify your emotions based on your perception of what they did  If you want to forgive someone, try suspending judgment about who they are as a person and why you have the right to be angry.  Instead, take a deep breath and get real with yourself about what you are truly feeling.  This can be quite challenging but if you can uncover what your emotional part in the situation is, you may find that forgiveness won’t be quite as difficult as you thought.

Unforgiveness renders you powerless and stuck – Harboring unforgiveness ironically, is something that may make you feel like you have the power and are in control ( my unforgiveness makes you suffer, right?) but it is ultimately, controlling you.  The more you spend time reliving the “story” of why so and so doesn’t deserve to be forgiven, the more you erode your own daily power.  Do this often enough and you will eventually live in a cycle of loss of control and not even realize it. Anger, bitterness and resentment will be the order of the day, every day.  By choosing to forgive, however, you reclaim your power and your ability to create a positive result from a not so positive experience.  It’s going to be difficult to experience any kind of freedom as long as you continue to throw your power away to the controlling monster of deep seated rage.  Set yourself free from the chains and choose empowerment.

Forgive Yourself – Lastly, you may want to consider forgiving yourself.  For the true healing to begin, examine things from all sides and see where maybe, just maybe, you had some part in what transpired.  If you truly did nothing to contribute to the situation (and this does happen!) you may still need to forgive yourself for being helpless in the situation and/or for choosing your course of action in the moment.  Accept the fact that you did the best you could, at that moment, with the knowledge and beliefs that you had and then let it go.   As the quote says, “To err is human; to forgive divine”.  Choose the divine and let forgiveness bring you freedom.

 © MarBeth Dunn, June 2012

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