How To Master The Difficult Art Of Forgiveness When You're An Adult

by Ally Bongard
Simone Becchetti

Mastering the art of forgiveness can be difficult, especially when the issue at hand has done damage that appears at the time to be irreconcilable. Instead of brushing it off and moving forward, many people keep a running tally and hold what we like to call, a grudge.

When choosing between forgiveness and holding a grudge, it is not surprising that many people would prefer to take the easy way out. It's important to realize how unappealing of a quality grudge holding is.

However, I think it's fair to say it truly does depend on the situation. For the most part though, it's still an unappealing quality to possess, especially in your adult years.

As I got older, forgiveness became a lot easier for me to accomplish.

Although forgiveness may not go hand in hand with forgetting, it has been rewarding to know that I no longer have to carry around the burden of feeling upset or pissed off.

While in the past it was very easy for me to keep an emotional tally of every terrible thing someone had done to me, I now find it much easier to let go and move forward. It used to be easy to store all of those issues at the back of my mind so that I could use them against that person in a later, heated disagreement.

But storing up all of those grudges to use as ammo against someone later on really didn't get me anywhere. To be completely honest, it really did no good at all.

Instead, I found myself stuck with a ball of emotional stress that unexpectedly came alongside holding a grudge. It took more energy and mental exhaustion to be mad when instead, I could have forgiven, and moved on. I was also able to recognize how some people were just not meant to be in my life.

I was told by a good friend of mine that you really aren't growing up if you aren't loosing friends. I believe this can be understood in the sense where you have a deeper appreciation of "true" friends when you begin to grow up and mature as an adult.

While having dozens of friends in your younger days was the cool thing, I just don't believe that I now have the time to focus on those who don't bring positive aspects to my life.

While forgiving and moving on is a good place to start, sometimes it is also OK to forgive and just let go completely.

Forgiveness truly does make you feel lighter, as holding a grudge is tremendously HEAVY, especially on the heart. The saddest part is that as a teenager, the vast majority of grudges held are most likely produced by severely insignificant issues that today we can probably say weren't worth a breath for either party.

Today, I personally focus more on spending my time and energy on things in my life that make me feel joyful and excited. The art of moving on has been the best thing I have developed as a human being over the course of my life. The sense of relief that comes with forgiveness is much more fulfilling than the depressing feelings that coincide with holding grudges. Life is too short to worry about the silly things.

In my experience, I found that forgiveness helped me deal with the situation at hand, which is the most important thing. It helped me move on, and become a better person for doing so. Some people are unable to let go of the anger, hurt and resentment that they feel for those who have wronged them for whatever reason.

I'm a testament to the fact that there have been some instances where I wish more than anything I could just drop the issue I've had with someone, but for the life of me, just feel as though I can't.

I know for a fact that it would make my life that much easier if I could just let it go, but unfortunately, some issues just cut too deep.

Forgiving someone doesn't mean you have to keep that them in your life; it just means that you have moved on from the issue. As our favorite "The Hills" character LC would say, "I want to forgive you and I want to forget you."

It's important not to take everything to heart and to understand your own self-worth as a human being.

While you really can't let go of everything, it's more about being able to pick and choose your battles. It is about understanding what is worth fighting over, and what is not. It is about moving past what you can forgive and letting go of what you can't get past.

Feelings of revenge often appear tempting at first, but give your emotions some time to settle down to a comfortable level before making a decision on how to proceed.

Forgiveness can often appear impossible and we consistently ponder around the idea of whether or not to do so. I'm here to tell you that forgiveness is very much so possible.

However, we must remember that just because you forgive someone's wrong doings does not mean that you have excused their bad behavior. It also does not mean that you are required to completely forget about the situation either. By forgiving, you have just found a way to move forward for yourself, with or without that person.

As I get older, I have personally gained the strength, compassion and maturity to be able to distinguish between problems that are worth fighting over and ones that aren't. People wrong you and unfortunately that's how the world goes 'round. But what would we be as human beings if we could not forgive?

People makes mistakes, and everyone is worthy of a little break. At the end of the day, insignificant grudges are a real pain in the butt to keep up with, as they surely do not make us feel better about the circumstances. If you can't forgive your loved ones, who can you forgive?