As a species, we make mistakes and sometimes wrong others. We are, after all, only human. And when you’ve been wronged or feel betrayed, it might be easy to hold a grudge. But that resentment carries with it some heavy baggage that affects mental wellness. With Random Acts of Kindness Day just around the corner, The Calli Institute wanted to offer some advice. Perform random acts of forgiveness – for yourself. Ease the weight of animosity and discover peace by letting go.

The Reality of Resentment

Being tricked, mislead, lied to, or otherwise hurt by anyone seems unfair, especially if it’s someone you trust. This can lead to a barrage of adverse emotions, from anger to sorrow and everything in between. You may even build barriers to protect yourself from being wronged again, but you’re also left to deal with those negative feelings.

And by not addressing or resolving them, those emotions can fester, escalate, and chip away at your happiness. Holding a grudge is exhausting. It can negatively affect your overall well-being and your ability to retain trusting relationships with others. You may find yourself becoming easily irritated, anxious, or depressed because of the hold these unfavorable feelings have over you.

What’s more, this resentment can weigh you down and prevent you from fully enjoying the positive things in your life. The best thing you can do for yourself – easier said than done, we know – is to let it go. We’ll tell you why and help you figure out how.

Surrendering Animosity

To forgive someone doesn’t mean that you’ll forget what was done. It simply means you’re no longer willing to let the bitterness and confusion from that experience guide you. Replaying the events over and over may initially help you to better understand and work through them. But dwelling on them will only trap you in a circle of negativity.

When you practice random acts of forgiveness, you break that vicious cycle. You free yourself from the burden of heavy emotions and help uncover peace of mind – and peace of soul. Physically, you can once again relax. And exhale. You may also notice – and feel – changes such as:

  • Embracing a more positive daily outlook
  • Fewer signs of depression and animosity
  • A boost in self-esteem and overall mental health
  • Developing stronger and healthier relationships

Learning to Forgive

The act of forgiveness is a process. There is no timetable for working through it or any right or wrong way to do so. Only you can determine how quickly and how fully to forgive because only you know the depth of your pain.

And the speed at which you move toward forgiveness will be different for everyone. But first it’s important to acknowledge how this act will benefit you.

Consider your self-esteem and how forgiving this person will help you regain any lost confidence. This realization will help you stay the course toward learning to forgive. Then:

  • Recognize the hurt and how it affects you. Be angry. Be overwhelmed. Be sad.
  • Accept the validity of those feelings and that you can’t change what happened.
  • Examine forgiveness and the emotional freedom it affords you.
  • Exhale – and let go. Use the power of understanding to grow from your experience.

Forgiveness doesn’t have to come with an apology. And in many cases, it won’t. The person you forgive may never even know as this forgiveness can be silent and void of any confrontation. Whether you attempt to rebuild your relationship with this person depends on its worth to you.

To forgive is a process and an exercise in growth. When we forgive, we are telling ourselves that our happiness is important. That our well-being is worth more than carrying resentment. That we are big enough to accept what happened and move on to relinquish the hold that any grudge has over us. And this is where we develop courage and self-respect.

Discover Mental Wellness

Performing random acts of forgiveness will help free your mind and your heart of the burden of harboring negative emotions. If you want to learn more about this process, The Calli Institute is here. Our mental health professionals can offer guidance to help you rediscover peace and happiness through healing and forgiveness. Reach out to us today to get started on letting go to better yourself.

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