Let’s be honest: when it comes to forgiveness, we’re not going to pretend it doesn’t f*cking suck sometimes. Even though it’s natural and normal for other people to make us feel bad from time to time, it’s no fun to deal with hurt feelings, resentment, or fallout.
But learning to forgive can actually have several benefits for the person who forgives, and it’s a pretty big part of living a happy and content life. It’s just so damn hard, especially when they’re not sorry about it!
If you’re feeling like we’re feeling, you might be wondering what on earth would motivate a person to forgive, or what those benefits to forgiving might be. So today, we’re giving you all the deets on what can motivate us to forgive!
What Motivates Us to Forgive?
You can repair relationships through forgiveness.
Not forgiving someone you really love and care about can mean the end of a super important relationship. Loving someone doesn’t always make it easier to forgive someone. But it may mean it’s worth trying to.
If you’re in this boat and need some more advice, try listening to the Him & Her episode called Moving Past Trauma, Resolving Conflict, and Repairing Dysfunctional Relationships. It’s super helpful!
You want to emotionally recover.
Like we said, there are a loooooot of negative feelings that can come with holding grudges. Feelings of resentment, anger, grief, sadness, bitterness, and hatred are all totally normal but we’re guessing they’re not super fun to feel all the time.
Forgiveness is a practice of processing those emotions, feeling them out, and having control over what you’re going to do about them. (Kind of sounds like mindfulness, huh?) Processing these feelings can help you emotionally recover from whatever is between you and the person you’re forgiving.
You don’t want that person to hold power over you anymore.
If someone knows their actions have the ability to make or break you, they could totally use that against you. They could make you feel worse or constantly pull you in and push you away, just to screw with your head. (If you’ve ever dealt with a narcissist, you know all about this!)
No one should have that kind of power over you. If you forgive them, move on, and decide what they do doesn’t matter, they’ll stop f*cking with you. It won’t be fun for them anymore.
You’re hoping to relieve your stress.
Whether you can’t hold a grudge or you’d win the grudge-holding Olympics (looking at you, Scorpios!), let’s face it: holding a grudge is crazy stressful. And we alllllll know that stress is not good for you (we’re talking brain fog and bad skin, friends.).
So when you’ve exhausted your stress management techniques and are still coming up tense as hell, maybe it’s time to pull out that book of grudges and cross some names off the list.
It’s important to your values.
Maybe you’re someone who just really believes in forgiveness. Maybe it’s important for religious reasons, Karma, or, you know, good vibes. Whatever your values are, your actions should always align with those beliefs. So, if forgiveness is on the list of values? Better get to work forgiving, guys.
You want to boost your overall well-being.
Studies have found forgiveness to be linked with reduced depression and anxiety symptoms. They also indicate a relationship between forgiveness and physical health think lower blood pressure, improved cholesterol, and better sleep. So, if we’re all trying to be our best selves? Well, babe, it looks like holding onto that grudge is going to hold us back from our goals.
The good news is that forgiveness can improve and change your life for the better, boosting your physical and mental health at the same d*mn time. How dope is that?! For more ways to be your best self, listen to this episode of Real Pod called Change Your Brain, Change Your Life & The 7 Habits of Happiness.
You don’t want to carry hurt and anger into other relationships.
You’ve probably heard the phrase, “hurt people hurt people.” It’s a simple adage, but we know it can be true. It can be tough to break cycles, especially familial cycles that have been going on for generations.
Studies have found that forgiveness is a huge contributor to families breaking generational curses and finally thriving as a unit with positivity and love. There’s more on this in the episode of House Guest called All the good stuff! Boundaries, Processing Emotion, Codependency, & The Mother Wound. Definitely check it out!
Are you ready to forgive and take back your life?
And if you’re not, how can you get there? That might depend on who you’re aiming to forgive. Maybe you need to learn how to forgive someone who hurt you. Maybe you need to learn how to forgive yourself. Or maybe you’re hanging on the other side of the coin, dealing with some guilt, and you feel like you need to be forgiven. It’s hard out here no matter what you’re dealing with, and know that you’re not alone!
Are we in the forgiving mood yet??? I hope so! For more self-help tips, life advice, and podcast recs, check out the Dear Media blog. And . . . if you need that perfect make-up gift for your ex-bestie, browse the Dear Media Shop. We’ve got tons of stuff that’ll definitely help reintroduce good vibes into the relationship!