Forgiveness isn't about condoning the way you've been treated, or being a doormat. It's taking charge of the situation. When you opt for forgiveness over revenge, you emerge from a painful situation even stronger than you were before. Here's why.
You take control
There's a reason why they say forgiveness is a gift you give yourself – when you forgive someone, you free yourself up from the frustration, anger and anxiety someone caused you. You stop letting that person have power over you. Reclaim your energy so you can use it for healing, for your next project, for whatever you want. Moving on with your life shows strength and maturity. If "looking good is the best revenge", feeling good is an even more genuine form.
You move forward
To keep up a grudge is to stay stuck in the thinking patterns that keep you chained to your past. Depression and emptiness live in the past. Repeating a story to yourself in your head is like having an internal tantrum. The frustration that results from it has no where to go, so it just keeps circulating. Forgiveness lets you quit the resentment, self pity, or rage that suck away at your energy like parasites. Let the story go, and focus on the present.
You admit your hurt
In order to forgive someone, you have to admit you're hurting in the first place. This is why forgiveness isn't easy. It requires exploring your pain and vulnerability. What's beneficial about that? Keeping emotions suppressed is like putting a bandage over a wound before cleaning it out. Don't cover up a wound when there's crap still in it. The whole thing ends up uglier, and never heals properly.
It improves your health
Levels of immunoglobulin A, an antibody that fights infections, were shown to be lower in people who dwelled on grief for longer periods of time. Compassion, on the other hand, boosted it. Keeping up a grudge means a weaker immune system, more headaches, less sleep. Stress causes health problems all across the board. Forgiveness lets you take control of your stress levels.
It builds strength
Learning how to detach yourself from situations that caused you pain is a valuable skill. It builds self reliance, independence, and emotional intelligence.