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How to Forgive Someone Who Hurt You?

The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.

By Ha Le SaPublished 2 months ago 4 min read
How to Forgive Someone Who Hurt You?
Photo by Gus Moretta on Unsplash

Feelings of anger and revenge are like heavy stones that a person may carry around his back after someone hurts him. If the person is reluctant to throw those stones onto the ground and walk away from them, he will not only exhaust himself but also the load may increase because of new painful life experiences. Eventually, he will carry even more stones, and he will reach a stage where he becomes unable to bear the weight anymore and collapses mentally and emotionally. A feeling of anger can consume all the happiness and joy in someone's life. Several people believe that experiencing some form of revenge is the only way to get rid of resentment, although things do not work that way.

Both the past and other people are unchangeable.

As Viktor Frankl wisely stated,

When we are no longer able to change a situation we are challenged to change ourselves.

Our mental health remains unaffected by taking revenge or receiving an apology but is determined by how we respond to our sufferings. It provides us with two options: one is carrying our misery with us till death by sticking to bad past experiences, and the second one is accepting the apology by letting go of our pain and allowing us to live the rest of our lives free of the heavy weight of anger.

It is necessary to note that forgiveness does not correlate with or substitute for forgetfulness. We can forgive someone without forgetting what this person has done. Because if we forget about something, we will leave ourselves vulnerable to being hurt one more time by the same person or situation; it is likely refusing to see the truth about someone or something. For the sake of peace, it is best in some circumstances to forgive someone without ever getting close to them again.

There are four easy ways to forgive and let go of someone who has hurt you:

Realize that humans are imperfect

One of our biggest mistakes is thinking others will not make mistakes. Some people sometimes get such a respectful rank in our eyes, with various expectations placed on them. For example, we expect a friend to always be supportive and ready to listen. Allen Berger, the author of several books about addiction and recovery, wrote:

Expectations are premeditated resentments.

Berger observed that although we frequently blame our issues on others, our expectations of others are what lead us to distress. Expectations not being met and the subsequent disappointment often cause resentment.

We do not perceive other people as imperfect individuals but rather perceive them according to the illusions we have created in our minds about them. These fantasies are common in parents and children: many parents have high expectations of their children, and their children have high expectations of their parents, as a result. Accept that people are inherently imperfect or flawed. Even those we hold in high regard have the potential to disappoint us. They make mistakes, push our boundaries, lie, and betray. Accepting this may make it easier for us to let go of our rage.

Meditate anger and resentment

Suffering and anger have various rudimentary causes: greed, ignorance, anger, and hatred. Because of its destructive nature, anger leaves an unforgettable mark on a person's personality. Simply consider the atrocities that have occurred as a result of hatred and anger, such as losses in violent conflicts, wars, and genocide.

Hatred and anger are also destructive on the inside. Our thoughts of revenge and holding a grudge cause us the most pain. Humans may experience resentment because of the unfairness of life or the words and actions of those around us. But no matter how hard we try to change the past or want to have control over it, nothing we do can change the past. Being in anger is like a human continuing to consume poison while waiting for his enemies to die, but in the end, it will be he who dies in agony. We can remind ourselves that such feelings are undesirable by contemplating the destructive nature of anger and resentment. As a result, we can stop sowing the seeds of destructiveness by forgiving ourselves for these feelings. Forgiveness fueled by love melts away anger and replaces it with compassion.

Choose love over hatred

Many people tend to return hatred with more hatred. However, it is clear that this primarily exacerbates the situation and often results in bloody battles. You can use violence to kill the liar, but you are unable to kill the lie or prove the truth. You can use brutality to kill the hater, but you are unable to kill the hate. Violence only serves to deepen hatred. When violence is met with more violence, it adds darkness to an already starless night. So you must choose love over hatred. Love does not have to compel us to interact with others. We can love them while maintaining a safe distance and sending them our best wishes.

Be aware of negative thinking

We are more prone to negativity than positivity because nature has trained us so. We refer to this phenomenon as the "negativity bias" of the brain because it makes us focus on flaws rather than strengths in others around us. In our biased thoughts, someone who has been harmed can turn into a wicked person, but remember people are capable of being good and evil. Therefore, just because someone did something wrong does not necessarily make them evil. When someone has no redeeming qualities, it can be difficult to forgive them, but forgiving is always beneficial.

People often make us stronger, wiser, and more empathetic when they treat us with negativity. Forgiveness is always a better option.

Now from today onwards, let's forgive others and spread positivity.

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Ha Le Sa

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