“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” – Mark Twain
“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
What Does Forgiveness Have to Do With Happiness?
Think about some time in your life when you have held a grudge against another person. Recall how powerful and dark that negative energy was that you kept bottled up inside. You cannot make a conscious effort at choosing to be happy without delivering forgiveness to those who have wronged you. And this means yourself as well.
Often times we are our own worst enemies. But until you can forgive yourself for less than admirable behavior in your past, you will never be truly happy. Remember, you cannot change the past, but you can shape the future by your actions in the present.
And if you have ever forgiven someone, or yourself, for some transgression, you understand how incredibly strong the healing power of forgiveness is. You instantly benefit from a feeling of peacefulness and tranquility when you give forgiveness. And often times, the party or person that you forgive enjoys a powerful revelation spurred by your selfless act.
Forgiveness is About You, Not Them
Forgiveness may be very difficult for some. But understand that in many cases, your offender may not even realize that you have been slighted or hurt. Besides, forgiving someone else is entirely about unblocking your own path to happiness. Notice the terminology at play here. “I forgive you.” You are the one taking action here. And you are the one who will benefit from the release of your bad thoughts and feelings, which disappear when you offer forgiveness.
Holding onto a grudge not only impacts you mentally, it can also be detrimental to your physical health. A study by the Journal of Behavioral Medicine found that higher rates of forgiveness were related to lower blood pressure.
One very powerful way to create happiness in your life is to combine it with gratitude. If someone has wronged you, be grateful to them for the lesson you have learned. Forgive them, while simultaneously thanking them for teaching you such a powerful life lesson.
For an instant dose of joy and happiness, forgive yourself or someone in your life for some wrongdoing today. The peaceful serenity which follows forgiveness is happiness. Remember, forgiveness, like anything else, takes practice and it will get easier in time.
Learning to forgive yourself and others removes stress, which has been proven to cause a multitude of health issues time and again, and is a crucial step in helping to turn negative situations into positive outcomes.