Once someone has wronged you, forgiving them may be difficult. But true forgiveness has nothing to do with the other person; it is about your well-being, peace, and joy. Forgiving is not dismissing what someone did as okay or forgetting about an unfair situation. It does not even mean that you have to be around the person or situation that caused the hurt. It is about releasing your mind, body, and spirit of the burden of resentment or anger.
What Is Forgiveness?
Not letting go of hurt can have health effects that may go unnoticed, such as stress, anxiety, and high blood pressure. Forgiveness isn’t easy, but it is vital for your health as well as your spiritual and emotional well-being.
According to the Mayo Clinic, letting go of grudges and disappointment can make way for improved health and peace of mind. Forgiveness can lead to:
- Healthier relationships
- Improved mental health
- Less anxiety, stress & hostility
- Lower blood pressure
- Fewer symptoms of depression
- A stronger immune system
- Improved heart health
- Improved self-esteem 
Forgiveness is not a sign of weakness or giving in to who hurt you. It’s empowering because it’s a conscious choice you make. It releases you from the hurt that someone caused you, allowing you to be at peace with what happened. This challenging yet straightforward act is a healing process in itself.
Holding a Grudge Has a Negative Affect
If you find yourself unable to forgive, you may negatively affect other aspects of your life without realizing it. Unforgiveness gets stuck in your body and shows up as pains, aches, weaknesses, and illness. It gets lodged in your energy field, converting into self-sabotaging behaviors, negative patterns, and dissatisfaction in life. Some people get so stuck in what happened in the past that they cannot enjoy the present. You may unknowingly bring your anger and hostility into new relationships or situations.
What If You are the One Seeking Forgiveness?
Have compassion for yourself if you are the person in need of forgiveness. Everyone makes mistakes. Start by accepting responsibility for whatever you did or said. Tell the person how much you regret your words or actions without making excuses. Apologize without the expectation of being forgiven.
A time may also come when you need to forgive yourself for past indiscretions, such as abusing your body or staying in a toxic situation too long. Granting yourself forgiveness can help your physical and mental health. If you feel physical pain or depressed emotions that no doctor can find a root cause to, ask yourself if self-forgiveness is the medicine. The faster you give yourself grace and let go of the people and situations that hurt you, you’ll enjoy moving forward without the baggage or drama that unforgiveness brings about.
Letting Go of Grudges
Holding onto resentment is unhealthy and can prevent you from tapping into your inner peace. But letting go of hurts is possible and beneficial. Again, this process is not about the other person or situation, but rather it is about your well-being and peace. If you are serious about releasing hurt and anger, start by recognizing the painful act and name the emotions it evokes. Then – here comes the hard part and the reason why so many people find forgiveness difficult – sit with these emotions as uncomfortable as they may be. Speak life into the feelings with high vibration words. Talk to them with love and comfort them, tell them that you are here, tell your ego that it is still safe, tell yourself that you are worthy and deserve better. This state of mind is where true healing occurs, by bringing the attention back to yourself, your feelings, and what is happening in your body.
- Mayo Clinic Staff. Forgiveness: Letting go of grudges and bitterness. Mayo Clinic Health Information [Internet]. 2020 Nov 13 [cited 2021 Dec 15]. Available from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/forgiveness/art-20047692