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Friday, December 27, 2013

Forgiveness - Do It For Yourself

I've mentioned before that being healthy isn't just about eating right and working out, but it's also being mentally healthy. One of the things that can cause a person to be mentally unhealthy is not being able to forgive another person for their hurtful actions or words. The problem with that, is not only is it unhealthy for the person who can't seem to let go, but it can cause relationships with other friends and family members to deteriorate rapidly. I know this from personal experience, because I too held on to a lot of hatred. I thought I could never forgive the person who hurt me, not realizing over the years I was only hurting myself and others who cared about me.

Today I was talking with a friend and I couldn't help but think back on my own experience in dealing with forgiveness and letting go. If you read my bio, you'll know that I was sexually abused between the ages of 12-16. From the time the abuse stopped, I went almost an additional 15 years being angry at this person. But, the worst part for me, is I kept it to myself and over the years it effected my overall health and relationships with friends/family in a negative way. After many years of staying angry and not letting go, I eventually ended up going through a major depression. Luckily for me, I had someone I ended up being able to talk to and trust that I confided in. I started seeing a counselor and ever since then I've been making decisions based on what's best for me. But, the major factor in me being able to overcome my depression and to be able to be where I'm at today, is that I learned that I needed to forgive this person and move on. And the thing is, I'm not forgiving the person for their benefit, but for mine. Forgiving someone doesn't necessarily you've accepted their actions or words, just you are letting go and moving on with your life.

I know we all have our own stories where we struggle with forgiving someone. And I'm not saying it'll be easy, but if you want to be healthy mentally and have healthy relationships with your friends and family, I encourage you to look at your own personal situation and do what you need to do for yourself to be able to forgive and move on. If you can become healthier mentally, your overall health and wellness will improve drastically.