The value of mercy and forgiveness is significant but many people fail to recognize this. Have you ever held onto a grudge or refused to forgive someone that hurt you terribly? How did that make you feel? Angry? Bitter? Resentful? Sad? Chances are you are the only one who suffered negative feelings regarding the situation because the inability to forgive another usually only hurts the one holding the unforgiveness in his or her heart.
This quote by Catherine Ponder sums it up pretty well:
Forgiveness is essentially about allowing mercy to rise and free yourself and others of emotional pain. Forgiving someone does not mean what they did to you was right, but the act of mercy allows you to be free from a self-imposed prison of anger and hurt. Unforgiveness can certainly hold people back emotionally and spiritually.
One thing is for sure in this life: Pain in inevitable. People will hurt you intentionally and unintentionally, so accepting this reality will help you to adopt more of a merciful heart. Forgiveness is your choice. You can forgive those who wrong you or you can let unforgiveness have a hold on your heart. To forgive does not mean to forget what happened and it does not mean you have to hang around that person anymore; it simply frees up your heart to love yourself and others.
Here are some tips when it comes to honoring forgiveness and mercy in your everyday life:
- Consider things from others’ perspectives. If you find it difficult to forgive someone, do your best to see the situation from the other person’s perspective. If you were the other person, would you want forgiveness? Seeing yourself in someone else’s shoes sometimes makes it easier to make a decision to forgive.
- Journal. Each evening write in a journal and mention if you came into contact with someone who hurt or angered you that day. Write about the incident and why they hurt you so badly. Take some time to look at the situation from the other person’s point of view. Once you’ve done all this, make a decision to forgive the person and let it go so that you can walk in freedom.
- Forgive past hurts. Chances are you are holding onto a grudge from the past. If you can think of particular people that hurt you and you have not forgiven them, go to them and let them know that you they hurt you and you forgive them. They might not even be aware that they hurt you. If you cannot get in touch with the person, simply state that you forgive the person out loud as you visualize what they look like. This frees you up as you let long-held grudges go.
- Choose a life of forgiveness. Knowing that people are going to hurt you here and there, it is important to make a decision to walk in mercy in forgiveness as a lifestyle. Just as you will hurt people sometimes unintentionally or intentionally, people will do the same to you and you have a choice to hold grudges or not.
At the same time, commit to forgiving yourself because you are not perfect, nor will you ever be. Everyone makes mistakes and the past is the past. The ability to live from a forgiving heart will help you to live life much happier and more at peace, so take these tips into consideration and forgive who you need to forgive today.
WRITE DOWN THE NAME OF THOSE YOU HOLD GRUDGES AGAINST.
NOW MAKE A CONSCIOUS DECISION TO FORGIVE THEM SO THAT YOU CAN FREE YOUR HEART OF GRIEF, HURT, AND ANGER.
Internationally recognized Positive Psychology Coach Lisa Cypers Kamen is the Founder of HarvestingHappiness.com, Director of 501 (C)(3) nonprofit Harvesting Happiness for Heroes (HH4Heroes.org), and Host of weekly Harvesting Happiness Talk Radio.
Currently living in Los Angeles, California, Lisa Cypers Kamen is the mother of two active children. She is philanthropically dedicated to the success of various charities related to children and military issues.