In one way or another, we’ve all been hurt, wronged, or betrayed in our lives. Betrayals can be small, or they can be huge, life-changing events, but how we respond to them has the biggest impact on our lives going forward. Holding onto the anger and resentment you feel towards that person can have serious consequences throughout your life, affecting your relationships, mood, and even physical health.
Whether you feel betrayed at work or at home, forgiveness is truly important, and here are a few reasons why.
It helps us move on
It’s not healthy to live in the past, and forgiveness is often the only way to truly move on. Perhaps it’s an ex-partner who betrayed you and you have been unable to forgive them. Even if that person isn’t in your life anymore, the anger you feel toward them will still impact how you think and act, even impacting your current relationships. Forgiving that person, or yourself if it was you that was in the wrong, allows you to move on and be completely present in your life as it is now.
It improves our mental health
Holding onto bitterness and resentment can lead to feelings of aggression, stress, anxiety, low self-esteem, and depression. Letting go of the past and allowing forgiveness can help to rid you of these feelings and conditions, letting you live more peacefully and happily.
And our physical health
This can even have an effect on our physical health. Regret and resentment can keep you awake at night thinking about past events, which impacts our bodies and minds. It can also increase your blood pressure and weaken your immune system, making you more likely to get sick. So, forgiveness can actually make you physically healthier.
It strengthens relationships
If the person you’re trying to forgive is still in your life, whether they’re a work colleague or a family member, for example, then holding onto that resentment will make the relationship extremely strained. Forgiving them will make your relationship much stronger and healthier. Forgiving a past betrayal can also help to strengthen your current and future relationships.
Forgiveness may seem like a way to excuse someone’s behaviour, but it actually benefits you a lot more than them.