4 Unusual Perspectives That Will Help You Forgive And Move On
#1: Resentment only hurts yourself.
Most of the time, your life is full of joyful experiences — at least until someone stabs you in the back with a rusty machete.
The partner who cheats on you. The friend who bitches behind your back. The boss you’ve sacrificed thousands of hours for but who drops you like a hot potato to make a profit.
Ask anyone and they’ll tell you to “forgive and move on.”
This is obvious, but it’s hard to do when you hate someone’s guts and they’ve been an inconsiderate asshat who backstabbed you like Brutus his father Caesar. If you don’t let go, your past pain will influence your present life causing trust issues, resentment, and disturbing your inner peace. It’s like an iron ball chained to your feet.
In that case, you need a different perspective so you can forgive and move on.
This Is Why Resentment Only Hurts Yourself
Letting go can be harder than holding on, but unless you’re a free climber, it will save you lots of pain.
With every thought you have about a person, you hold space for them. If you fill it with resentment, you hurt yourself and drown in the darkness. Your heart is like a mushroom — bitterness will kill you.
I had a friend whose behavior was off sometimes, but I didn’t think any of it. One day, he did something that removed the blinders from my eyes. For all these years, the guy I trusted had been deeply disrespectful in very subtle ways, like a small pebble in your shoe you can’t quite ignore.
However, there was no point in holding a grudge. Sure, he treated me in unfair ways. Yes, I was angry at myself for not seeing the signs earlier. But what good was it? Resentment only made it worse.
You can’t undo the past — you can only let go and create a better present for yourself.
“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”
― Nelson Mandela
If You Choose to Forgive, You Will
You can’t control your emotions, but you can choose how you deal with them.
When someone betrays you, you’ll feel anger towards them and yourself. You hate them for betraying you and yourself for being so blind and trusting. But don’t give in blindly to your emotions.
If you can’t make a conscious decision about how you deal with your feelings, you’re a slave to them.
That doesn’t mean you should suppress what you feel. You can be hurt, angry, or disappointed. But you can also choose how you respond to these feelings.
My former best friend followed a simple pattern. When he was single, we spent lots of time together, but whenever he had a girlfriend, he went David Copperfield and disappeared. Yet, I was always there when the breakup came and everyone else forgot about him.
When the tables turned and I was the one in need of a shoulder to lean on, he offered two hours of his time before going home to his missus. Twelve years of friendship ended in two hours of shitty talk.
When something like this happens, your emotions will tell you to send angry texts, get closure, and tell everyone what a knobhead the guy is. But kneejerk reactions won’t do you any good. Feel the pain and anger, but act with rationale.
“Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.”
― Corrie Ten Boom
To Forgive Others, You Have to Master Yourself First
You are your own biggest enemy — especially when it comes to forgiving.
Your ego wants closure, apologies, and compensation for all the wrong you’ve suffered. But life isn’t fair.
You can only give yourself peace of mind if you drop your ego and with it the constant craving for something you can’t have.
Over the last few years, I’ve lived in various apartments but made very homogenous experiences with my landlords — except for one, all of them were greedy sons of bitches.
The last one simply ceased to communicate when I asked for my deposit. He owns multiple houses and is a doctor with his own practice, yet still rips off students. After respectful pleading, email avalanches, and numerous phone calls had about as much effect as trying to lick away an iceberg, I decided to let go.
Being the bigger person is hard. Your ego will urge you to get closure with an ex, take your landlord to court, or get back at your boss for the unfair treatment. It wants you to be stronger and “teach them a lesson.” But is that worth your peace of mind?
Sometimes, conquering your ego and letting go is the strongest thing you can do.
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
Don’t Cry Because It’s Over, Smile Because It Happened
The bigger the pain, the larger the learning.
When something bad happens to you, you’re often lost in the pain. It’s overwhelming and obstructs the bigger picture. You ask yourself “Why did this happen to me?”
Because life happens, that’s why — sometimes, there’s no better explanation. You can either sulk or be grateful you’ll grow through this situation and become a better and wiser person. Your choice.
Mark Manson, author of the New York Times bestseller The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck, puts it this way:
“You’re never right, you just become a little less wrong.”
When I met my ex over a year ago, I foolishly thought we were right. Love hit me harder than Lady Diana her car’s dashboard. Fast forward to a few weeks ago and she shattered the relationship with a surreal mix of “I need time for myself,” “I wasn’t as happy as I thought,” and “I never liked XYZ about you anyway.”
I once ripped out five toenails by dragging a heavy door over my foot, but I’d gladly trade that pain for what I experienced in this moment.
You will have your heart crushed numerous times. You’ll have people lie, cheat, and hurt you. But if you learn from these experiences, you’ll become a better version of yourself — and that’s something to be grateful for.
“True forgiveness is when you can say, ‘Thank you for that experience.’”
― Oprah Winfrey
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