Got a grudge against your ex? Or maybe thinking about a backstabbing co-worker or neighbor gets your panties in a bunch. In fact, you’re probably thinking about it now… and in another minute or two, your blood will start to boil.
Healthy? Nope. Anger might be a great defense against feeling sadness or fear, but fall into the anger trap and it raises your risks of heart disease, depression, and anxiety. Besides that, living in anger can be just plain exhausting. It takes a lot of work to get mad and stay mad time and again. I mean, yeah, they did what they did and that’s not going to change, but the only thing your anger is going to change is you – and not in a good way.
It’s easy to wallow in anger and bitterness when someone hurts you deeply, but continuous ire leads to sarcasm and cynicism, which at first can make you the center of attention at parties as you relate your incredibly jaw-dropping stories with verbal zingers and poison darts, but ultimately just makes you a cranky old wretch. And, honey, nobody wants that.
So what’s the alternative? Forgiveness! This doesn’t mean stuffing your feelings down and ignoring the hurt, it means GROWING so you can make peace with the situation by processing your emotions, and grabbing the bigger life lessons. Combine this with a few well-set boundaries and it can do wonders for your outlook on life.
Remember, just because you forgive, doesn’t mean you have to forget. Trust, respect, reconciliation – regaining these may never be possible in that particular relationship, but that’s okay. You can still forgive. Forgiveness gives you back control over how you feel. It’s something you do for yourself. Boom! Welcome to the land of lower blood pressure and less risk of depression.
So how do you work your way into this wonderful land of forgiveness? Well, you start by writing an imaginary apology from an imaginary them to you. You’re the only person who knows exactly what you’ve longed to hear, so write it all down. If writing isn’t your thing, then stand in front of a mirror and speak it out loud to yourself. You’ve needed to hear these words. Let it bring up all the feelings you’ve had and address them all. The disappointment, the hurt, the disbelief.
Next, step back and try to look at the other person objectively. Just like you, they’re human. They’re flawed. They make mistakes. Remember times when they were helpful or loving to you. We’ve all got good and bad qualities. You’ve been focusing on this person as the villain, but now it’s time to flip the script and focus instead on yourself as the hero who has learned a valuable life lesson about your own strength and resilience.
Everything you experience in life, both the good and the bad, holds a lesson. Find it and write a letter to the person who hurt you – a letter you never have to send – that tells them your new story of forgiveness, strength, and wisdom. It may end up being a thank you letter since our toughest experiences usually gift us with our greatest growth. For more help to calm your mind and soul, check out my blog Transform Yourself, Transform Your Life.
Overall forgiveness, like gratitude, is something you practice every day. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” With that in mind, make it a point to forgive all the small annoyances of each and every day before you go to bed. Want to know more about how I do this? Call me. I have resources and tools that can help! And if you’re ready to buy or sell your home with no trouble at all, contact me. I’m the realtor for you!
I am Stephen Burchard, The Desert Bowtie Realtor, taking the (k)nots out of real estate.