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Health and Wellness

If You Live By 'Forgive And Forget,' Don't Forget To Forgive Yourself, Too

To heal a wound it helps to stop touching it

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Forgive and forget... easier said than done, right?

Some days it's better to act like nothing happen when those that you love hurt you.

Other times you tell yourself to stop being so submissive and toughen up.

If you have a compliant personality naturally and don't like to stir the pot, this predicament leads to you feeling resentful when you are hurt by others.

If you feel like you have been placed into the endless cycle of wondering if it's worth the time to forgive and forget, perhaps take a look at the steps along the way that I try to walk through that makes forgiveness the best form of love. This is not only for them but for yourself, too. Ultimately, the decision to forgive is the one healthiest for the soul.

Yes, not only for that person but for yourself, too.

Feeling resentful, holding grudges or pondering over what you did to make them treat you like this isn't a feeling worth holding on to.

Forgive yourself first.

There are a few thoughts I have when I feel betrayed, hurt or used. First off, try to forgive yourself in all aspects. What have you done wrong in the past? What have other people forgiven you for?

Maybe you let something slip about a friend in a story because you thought it was funny. Or perhaps you forgot to call a person you love during a rough time that individual was going through. Did you accept forgiveness?

It could be that the alternate situation isn't equivalent to the hurt you feel, but admit it, no one is flawless. Everyone has hurt someone in some way or another. For myself, seeing how I have been forgiven for my mistakes and feeling gratitude to those that have given me another chance for saying something I didn't mean, or accidentally hurting them helps me realize that we are all only human.

Remember, when someone does something wrong, don't forget all that they did right.

Most importantly, don't blame yourself.

Forgive yourself for failing to read the signs. Forgive yourself for your kindness and occasional lack of judgment. Forgive yourself for being who you are and not being perfect.

Learn from your mistakes and ultimately, understand that it's okay to mistrust, misjudge, and misread situations, and see the best in people. A friend I have known since high school told me, "Liv, your biggest flaw is that you give people the benefit of the doubt." This is true, but ultimately, if people prove you wrong, that is a reflection on them – not yourself.

Don't allow yourself to feel like a victim for your forgiveness and resent yourself in the process.

After you forgive yourself, forgive them too.

Forgiving yourself is the hardest part. So congratulations, you are halfway there.

Now accept that those that hurt you may not have meant to. Sometimes, it is understandable. Maybe the person didn't know how you felt in that situation or perhaps he or she is going through a rough time. (Benefit of the doubt coming in handy again, see?) The best option, contrary to some people's opinion, is to give people the benefit of the doubt.

In quite a few cases, there is no apology available. In this scenario, it may seem impossible - and you might attempt to “fake it, until you make it" or “forgive, but never forget." Here is the fatal flaw with “forgiving, but not forgetting." This is obtainable if you are to be wary of the person, but conclusively decide to hold onto "no resentment." However, if you choose to have that person in your life that you are consistently wary of is "forgiving, but not forgetting," is it really worth it?

Forgiving doesn't mean holding onto resentment and "not forgetting" is synonymous with that situation. This is a hard concept to grasp – especially for myself. Yet, I am trying to take my own advice, because it takes a lot to give up on a friendship or a person. However, the best approach is to understand and accept people for their actions.

Forgive what happened, mistakes that were made and move on.

Accept apologies, and people for who they are.

Holding onto resentment, grudges and things of the past won't do yourself any favors. Instead, focus on what you learned. Don't get trapped into negative energy because you get out of life what you put in. This can mean wishing the best for a person, holding your memories in a special place in your heart, but moving apart in different walks of your life.

Instead of holding onto resentment, hold onto love.

Don't think of these as “cutting people out" like stems from a flower - help people grow and let them help you grow – whether it is in the same garden or not.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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