Forgiveness is letting go of angry and resentful feelings. It is a key element of happiness, because if you continue to think about the wrong somebody did you, you are fuelling unhappy emotions.
When somebody hurts you badly, it can be extremely difficult to let go of your anger towards them and forgive. A lot of the time it’s difficult because you don’t want to forgive them. In order to protect yourself, you actually want to hold onto your anger.
This is all very understandable, but regrettable too. Because in harbouring these feelings, the person you’re hurting most is yourself. In hanging onto these feelings you’re affecting your own energy, and not to your benefit. Forgive, not for the sake of the person “who done you wrong” but for your own sake.
Every action that anybody takes is, at its unconscious root, motivated either by love or fear. When somebody treats you badly, the unconscious reason for that was their own fear. Bear this in mind, and it may help you to feel compassion rather than anger, and to let go of your resentment. Yes, they hurt you. But in all probability it wasn’t intentional.
Forgiveness does not mean you are obliged to continue to tolerate that person or their behaviour. You can release them from your life if that’s what feels right. But the essential thing is that you do let go of your feelings of anger, betrayal and resentment. It can take time to get there, but if you resolve to move on for your own sake it becomes easier to let go of the angry thoughts when they do come to the fore.
In practicing the art of forgiveness, it is important to remember to forgive yourself too! If there is something you are ashamed about, ask yourself what good do you do anybody by beating yourself up? It will not help you to move forward. In fact it will stunt your ability to grow from whatever “mistake” you made.
Growth is about accepting what happened, identifying what you can learn from it and how you can do better in the future. And then letting it go.
In order to be happy in the present you need to stop beating yourself up for what you did in the past. It’s over and done with, you cannot change that. If there’s a way you can make things somewhat better then do so. Then decide to do better in future and move on.