Forgiveness is not easy but it is achievable and when achieved, it is worth it.
After reading the Chapter on Forgiveness in Anger Management for Dummies by W. Boyd Den, I summarize what it takes to forgive:
You have to turn victim into victor
You have to give up the use of anger to protect you from emotional pain
Surrender your right to wanting revenge
You have to give up the idea that holding on to anger will undo the injustice that was done to you
You have to give up living the initial grievances day after day
Forgiveness makes you strong and give up any idea that it makes you weak
You have to give up this hold that the person has on you by keeping them foremost in your thoughts
I am reminded that most people do the best that they can do under the circumstances that they have been given.But a lot of times that is not good enough and then what happens we start blaming people, blaming each other for being human. Are we expecting too much when we get angry? And if you can’t forgive yourself is that because you hold yourself to an all-or-nothing standard of how you should behave.
The author/s summarize the benefits of letting go of anger and I have summarized it in my own words:
You can use your energy for constructive uses, like writing songs, writing poetry
You can focus on the present rather than on that pas, focus on doing what is best for the future and your life
You don’t have to feel vulnerable
Your outlook is much more positive
When you forgive others tend to forgive you too
Your health improves, your emotional health and physical health
You’re only human and you will make mistakes, living in a world so imperfect
You will have found peace within yourself, no one can hurt you long-term, or have a hold over you if you have found peace within yourself
You are becoming more mature
You rise above the pain of the past and head towards transgression
If you deserve to be happy you have to let go of all the recurrent memories of the past wrongs that have been done to you, whatever blame you are attaching to another person, your desire to have revenge on the person and all that baggage that comes with it. Accept that you have been wronged and that you deserve to be happy. The author also states that when he says accept what happened to you was wrong he is not saying to overlook what happened, or approve of the behavior or pardon the person’s sin. But you do have to accept what was done and move on. You don’t have to forget the past but what you can do is get to a point when you can remember without being hurt. Maybe to forgive is the real gift of age, he states. We all deserve to be happy.