“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attitude of the strong.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
Throughout my late teens, I had a lot of anger and resentment that I carried around with me. Most of it was directed to one person who had betrayed me, and who I could no longer trust, nor forgive. Right up until I was twenty, the thought that I could or should forgive them never even crossed my mind. I just wanted to hurt them.
For a few years, I lived in the past. I thought constantly how life would have been – had they not wronged me. I was blaming them for my current situation, for what I didn’t have. And it was preventing me from moving on and actually living life to the fullest.
This story is mine, but it’s a universal one. Many of us have been hurt by someone in the past, and if you’re reading this right now its highly likely that you are one of us. Although our stories will differ, what ties them together is that we all find it hard to forgive, forget and move on.
I eventually learned how to forgive, and forgiveness is now just a part of my life. I know now the power of letting sleeping dogs lie and moving on. So let’s take a look at 10 helpful tips for girls who want to forgive and forget.
Remember That Everyone Makes Mistakes
At the end of the day, we are all human beings who are just trying to make some sense of this thing called life. And we all make mistakes. Some make bigger errors of judgement than others, but rather than brutally call them out for it and say that they’ve ruined your life, try employing some empathy and understanding.
Mistakes happen, but what’s important is that a person learns from their mistakes and moves on. For them to do that, it’s key that you accept that mistakes will happen and forgive them. In this way, you can both move forward together.
Don’t Expect Too Much From Others
Ever had huge expectations from a person, only to feel angry when they didn’t live up to them? Perhaps you then got so offended that you grew sad, sorry and disenchanted. You blamed them entirely and couldn’t forgive them for what they did to you.
It’s important to temper your expectations and be fairer. Once you start expecting things from people, perpetual resentment sets in when they don’t meet this high standards. But is it really their fault?
You’re Not Perfect
You’re not perfect. No one is. At some point in your own life you will need to ask forgiveness from someone. And you might not realise it, but there are people in your life right now who you have hurt or offended without even realising it.
Often, we are not aware of our own flaws and faults. It takes someone else to point out to us that we are capable of hurting others with our ways.
Live In The Moment
If you don’t forgive someone, you are holding onto a link to the past. And when you do this, you aren’t living in the present moment. This creates problems because it stops you from actually enjoying your life right now. Instead of making the right decisions, you are instead so effected by what has happened previously that you cannot think straight. As a consequence, you veer off course and make the wrong decisions.
Living in the moment means forgetting the past and ignoring thoughts about the future. It means focusing on the here and now and appreciating very little detail, from the way the flowers gently sway in the summer breeze to the smell of freshly cut lawn.
Play Role Reversal
Imagine if you were the one who had made a calamitous mistake and wanted someone to forgive you? If they were being super stubborn about it, you’d feel pretty bad. You’d be upset.
This is exactly how people feel when you don’t forgive them for their errors. They’ve made a mistake, they know they have. And now they feel absolutely terrible because you won’t forgive them. Prolonging their agony just makes the both of you feel worse.
Don’t Take It So Personally
Sometimes, a person might do us wrong without intending to. Yet we have this funny way of taking things so personally that we assume they did it deliberately. For this reason, we simply can’t forgive them.
Just remember that not everyone is out to get you. It might have appeared that someone was purposely ignoring you, but maybe they were busy. Or maybe they were waiting on you. Often, a person’s behaviour doesn’t have anything to do with you.
You’ll Have More Energy
Holding onto anger and seething resentment means that you’re holding onto a whole load of negative energy. And it takes a LOT more energy to stay angry and mad than it does to release it all by forgiving someone and showing them a bit of love.
Why waste your energy in such a negative way? Release it and use what energy you have much more productively. Be kind to people, show them compassion. Change the world for the better, rather than dwelling on the bad stuff.
Let Forgiveness Become Your Thing
Imagine if forgiveness was everyone’s thing? What a wonderful world it would be! Instead of anger and resentment, try practising forgiveness each day and see what happens.
Stop Hoping For A Better Past
A lot of people who find it hard to forgive and forget also find it hard to stop picturing what things could have been like. I was guilty of the same thing. I couldn’t forgive them because I knew they’d ruined everything. What would have been a fantastic future was now in tatters.
But it’s so important that you stop hoping for a better past. What’s done is done. By dwelling on the past, you’re not allowing yourself the chance to shape a better present and future.
You Are Not Condoning
Some people might say they can’t forgive someone because it means they are condoning their actions. But you aren’t. You are forgiving them, not condoning what they did.