Maybe I Shouldn’t Be So Forgiving, But I Don’t Want To Be Any Other Way

When someone screws me over, I don’t dwell on it too much — I forgive the person (assuming they’re actually sorry) and forget it. I’m not a pushover; I’ve simply come to grips with the fact that holding onto a grudge is a lot harder than letting it go and moving on.

  1. If someone else made the mess, you don’t have to clean it up. Yeah, you may get hurt in the process, but it’s a lot easier to forgive someone and move on than it’s gonna be for the other person to deal with their own personal fallout of a mess. Get sweeping, son, and watch the broken glass. It’s sharp AF.
  2. I’ve heard stress can drive people to an early grave. It doesn’t matter whether it’s your husband, mother, brother or BFF — no one should have that kind of power over you. I won’t allow it in my life, that’s for sure. When I forgive, I forgive for me, not to absolve them. Releasing the anger I have against another person for something they’ve done helps me. They have to deal with their own mess on their own time. Stress can drive you to an early grave, and I’ve got too much life in me for that.
  3. Forgiveness is better than revenge. It’s also easier and less of a trap. Oftentimes when we seek revenge, it consumes us, and if you believe in karma or anything else, then you’ll know that the universe is going to have a hand in what’s been done to you — but also what you’re doing, too. Yeah, it might be easier to go ahead and hex the mother or consider slashing tires and all that, but it’s better to just let go and let whatever higher power you believe in take the wheel in most of these kinds of cases. That’s my personal philosophy, anyway.
  4. It really is good for your health. According to a study done at Johns Hopkins University, holding onto grudges affects you physiologically, including but not limited to: a constant fight-or-flight mode, which results in numerous changes in heart rate, blood pressure and immune response. Those changes, then, increase the risk of depression, heart disease and diabetes, among other conditions. Yikes, right? No man or woman is worth compromising my health.
  5. Forgiveness makes for healthier relationships. Grudge-holders often harbor ill will toward those who’ve hurt them in the past and if they’re in relationships with those people to this day, things probably aren’t a walk in the park. Imagine being with someone who just can’t get over anything. Ever. If that’s not unhealthy, I don’t know what is. Resentment is an awful thing to bear or from which to be borne, and the only thing worse than that is being in a relationship with someone who’s got a constant chip on their shoulder about you or someone that’s hurt them before. I refuse to put anyone in that position or to be in that position myself.
  6. It’s also a boost for your self-esteem. Forgiveness shows the caliber of person you are —so long as you mean it! — and has no reflection of the offender whatsoever. If you’re genuinely being good enough to release someone of their own self-imposed burden, you should feel pretty good about that and move on. There’s nothing better than leaving on a high note. I try to do that in every single situation, no matter how badly I’ve been treated. I respect myself enough to move on, but also to make my exit without holding onto anger.
  7. Sometimes forgiveness is walking away. Making your peace, sometimes forgiveness entails walking away from the circumstance that hurt you to begin with. That’s not cowardly—that’s strong AF to know your boundaries and respect them enough for both parties — the one inflicting the hurt and yourself. Learning that you don’t have to forgive and forget — that you can forgive and get out — is one of the more freeing things I’ve learned in life.
  8. Forgiveness gives you a perspective you might not have had if you weren’t hurt. Walking a mile in another person’s shoes and all that is where this one takes its roots. I’m not saying that you have to like or even agree with what this person did to you, but understanding their motivations and thought processes — even if they’re real ones — can help with closure. And comedy, down the road.
  9. You can’t always get what you want—and that’s okay. Sometimes you don’t get those apologies, but knowing that you’re able to accept them — even the ones you never ended up getting — puts you in a healthy place all around. As life gurus The Rolling Stones have said over and over again, “You can’t always get what you want… but if you try sometimes, you might find you get what you need.”
  10. When you master the art of forgiving others, you learn to forgive yourself. And you’re stuck with yourself for the rest of the time you have in this life, so you may as well make peace with everything and everyone around you — yourself included.