The benefits of forgiveness in relationships are for you and not for the other person. You probably already know this, but it’s worth repeating. I don’t know of anyone who hasn’t been hurt a time or two, but forgiveness is essential to our well-being.
Each person has flaws, a different way of thinking and we’re going to make mistakes. With that said, it doesn’t mean we should take anything that comes our way. However, we should forgive so we may go on with our lives.
We can’t spend our precious time harboring ill-feelings against another human. Well, not if we want forgiveness and second chances in relationships. When we let go, we grow emotionally.
In relationships, you’ll find the need to forgive your partner numerous times. Yes, even your soul mate will hurt you. But if you are to have a healthy relationship, you need to understand this and learn the art of forgiveness. Essentially, it’s the key to a lasting union.
Forgiveness and healthy relationships
The words we say do have power and sometimes, they hurt worse than sticks and stones. Words can have a negative and lasting impact that leaves you feeling bitter and angry.
There have been times when I wanted to take revenge against someone and if I’m really honest, I’d tell you that a few times, I did. Sure, I felt falsely and momentarily empowered after trashing his house, but things only worsened.
Forgiving someone is a choice, hopefully, you will consider especially after reading this blog. But not because I said it, rather because God commands us to. It will bring peace to your life and isn’t that what you really want?
Holding on to ill feelings only increases the negative aspects of our lives. All of those destructive thoughts tend to eat at us, taking away the positive characteristics and can lead to depression.
After we forgive someone, we take control back from them. We regain control and with us, is where it rightfully belongs.
Forgiveness and reconciliation in relationships
If you’re not able to forgive, then you’re setting yourself up for failure. To illustrate, the Journal of Family Psychology completed and published a study on relationships. It revealed a “lack of forgiveness makes resolving conflict much less likely.”
In addition, a “lack of forgiveness stirs up negative emotions and creates more conflict.” Would you agree this is true? A person who doesn’t forgive his or her partner for his mistakes will bring it up every time they do something out of the ordinary.
They can’t be trusted, or so the other feels and will bring up that one incident, no matter how long ago it was. The outcome is an inability to settle resolved issues.
Practicing forgiveness shows a more positive attitude. It’s a lot better than holding a grudge and resentment, don’t you think? It sure does feel better. When we hold contempt for someone, it weighs us down. That’s why we feel “lighter” when we forgive.
Forgiveness and trust in relationships
Break the cycle that gets in the way of couple’s success. If you don’t, you may end up losing the one you love. It’s destructive behavior, and you don’t want that. Do you know what happens when you hold anger and bitterness in your heart?
Today is the day you should start the process of forgiving those who have hurt you. Don’t put it off another day. It’s true and I know you know it; it harms you more to hold a grudge than the other person. The other person is probably not even thinking about you, so let it go.
When we don’t forgive, we give the other person the power to hurt us again. Not only stress, but the bigger picture is this:
- You’ll bring hostility into future relationships
- Depression, emotional crisis and anxiety
- An inability to connect with others
- Feel as if you lack purpose
It wasn’t until then I truly started trying to find a way to let go of those of old issues and heal the wounds that actually held me in prison. I can tell you even knowing this, it still was not easy as some of those memories and scars were very painful.
I don’t know of anyone who hasn’t been hurt in their lives. I know my parents have certainly hurt my feelings before. I’ve been hurt by my significant others, friends, co-workers, bosses, and even strangers.
The benefits of forgiveness
As I mentioned before, I know forgiveness can be difficult, however, look at the benefits of letting go of the pain:
- Improved self-esteem – Feeling good about yourself is essential to a happy life.
- Lower blood pressure – the heart rate is not as rapid therefore, it lowers our blood pressure
- Less anxiety – guilt sometimes leaves us with feelings of anxiety, forgiveness lessens anxiety
- Decreases signs of depression – depression is still one of the number one causes of suicide
- Healthier relationships – making forgiveness a routine allows our relationships to flourish
- Increased spiritual relationships – forgiveness allows us to grow closer to God
Forgiveness demands that you be committed to changing how you feel about someone. To forgive someone, you may need to reflect on the situation and how you reacted to it.
Ask yourself, how has it affected your life and your mental or physical well-being. The answers to those questions are important to healing.
Can’t find forgiveness?
Well, what helped me as a child and one of the reasons I’m here today is that my father encouraged me to write down my feelings. It’s a great way of expressing yourself without having to confide in anyone.
You can write as much as you want and say what you are feeling deep down and you don’t have the fear of being judged when you use your journal. If you’ve attempted writing and it’s not working, try talking to your best friend, family member, pastor or spiritual counselor.
When you’re hurting at the hands of others, you can either choose to hold on to the anger and hostility or you can move on. The answer to forgiveness is in your Bible.
However, for further reading, I can suggest a couple of books.
“Forgiveness: 21 Days to Forgive Everyone for Everything by Iyanla Vanzant. If you rather, you may read “Total Forgiveness,” by R. T. Kendall.
Essentially, we forgive by faith and out of obedience. We must forgive even if we don’t want to. Ask God to help you and He will. You’ll know when you’ve reached the point of forgiveness because you will feel a weight lifted off your shoulders. You will feel free!
The one song which helped me to let go of an old wound was not “Rolling in the Deep,” but “Hello,” by Adele. The song received many awards and over two billion views. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one to find it helpful. Do you have a relationship song that’s helped you?
Let me know what it was and why it helped you in the comments below. It could help someone else. Life’s too short to shortchange yourself of all of the goodness in this world. Who wants to experience the free world in prison? Let it go… choose to forgive to live!