Have you heard the saying “forgive and forget”? Well it may not be easy for someone to forgive and forget, but it sure is a lot healthier to choose forgiveness. Choosing to forgive someone is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of bravery and maturity. Choosing to hold a grudge and not forgive someone makes that person weak-minded, righteous, and not very mature in my own opinion. It’s actually unhealthy for the body to hold resentment because when it is held in so long it just puts stress on the mind and body, therefore it can actually cause illness.

I understand there are times in life when people are just so hurt, and so appalled by what someone has done that forgiveness seems unimaginable, but ultimately one can still choose forgiveness and still not like the act or the person. I, personally, haven forgiven old friends for things that happened and although I forgive them, it doesn’t mean I like them and want to be friends with them. I see forgiveness as not having resentment, but I can still not like someone or want to be friends with them because we just aren’t compatible anymore.

So many people walk around so angry and closed minded thinking everything is everyone else’s fault, and what good does that do? No good at all of course. If more people had loving-kindness instilled in them, this world would probably be a better place. Although, not everyone has that mentality, it doesn’t mean we can’t work to make this world a better place one person at a time, but it all has to start with oneself and the decision to change.

If you’re reading this and realize you’re someone who may be holding a grudge, the next time you’re angry just say to yourself “I choose happiness, and I choose forgiveness.” Although you may feel hurt or angry, YOU have a choice on what outlook, attitude, and outcome happens. If it’s yourself you are being hard on, and aren’t forgiving yourself from  something in the past, simply think about it this way, “How is holding onto this issue and not forgiving myself helping me, or benefiting me in life” most likely it’s not helping you at all, so why hold onto it? Often people fall into traps of self pity and it just balls up into an emotional mess that can be ignited by the littlest things. People need to forgive themselves in order to live a healthier and happier life, and by golly if you’re religious… then realize you will be forgiven, but you have to forgive first and your lord or God will forgive you too. He wouldn’t want you going through life suffering guilt. You only live once, so do it happily.

Other ways to practice forgiveness and compassion is to meditate daily. Try guided meditation exercises for loving-kindess or choose to mediate silently and reflect on how you can change what you think and feel. You can try Google, or look on YouTube, for examples on how to meditate.

Everyone can benefit from constant self-improvement, no one is perfect. I find that I need to keep practicing meditation for loving-kindess among other things, just as I need to keep up with healthy eating and exercise. Keep practicing to make loving-kindness a new habit in your life. Choose forgiveness for the sake of the other person, but especially for yourself so you don’t end up causing harm within your body.