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Forgiveness: the ultimate New Year's resolution?

As we pen our last post of 2019, our thoughts turn to the beginning of a new year and the ‘baggage’ we have to shed to start afresh. The most popular New Year’s resolutions may focus on the physical improvement of yourself or your life, but focusing on your mental health is more important. Forgiving ourselves and others is something many of us fail to do, but it can work wonders for rebalancing how you feel within yourself.

Forgiveness is a beautiful thing, and it’s good for you. It may be hard to do but forgiveness is necessary, especially if you want to end the year and start a new one positively. Living a life that’s full of abundance and joy is only possible with forgiveness, and here we explore why.

The past should be the past

We’re all guilty of holding onto the past, and doing so keeps you and your progress stuck right there, in the past. Without forgiveness, you’re connected to the past in a negative way, whether that be through its people, emotions, triggers, times, or places. Holding onto negative feelings or experiences means you’re committing yourself to carrying a heavy burden. A burden that will only get heavier the longer you hold onto it.

By learning how to forgive and sometimes forget, you are in the best possible place to let go of the situation and the negativity it brings.

It’s not just about forgiving others

Forgiving yourself is important, whether you’ve done something wrong or acted negatively in certain situations. Here Positive Psychology reveals the value of self-forgiveness:

“Self-forgiveness is an important aspect of one’s ability to forgive others, in the same way as self-compassion is crucial to one’s predisposition to be compassionate toward other human beings. Being kind to yourself and forgiving of your own shortcomings can give us much needed perspective on suffering and imperfections of others. It allows us to connect to others on the level of common humanity and can often be a humbling experience when evaluating what motivates other people’s behavior.”

As American poet and civil rights activist Dr. Maya Angelou once said “When you know better, you do better,” and this is a powerful sentiment to live by as you move into the new year. Progress positively by pinpointing something you need to forgive yourself for, and move on. Remember you didn’t know better at the time but now you do, and there’s no shame admitting that to yourself.

The power of self-love

Self-love and compassion go hand-in-hand with self-forgiveness. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt by admitting that you did your best with the knowledge and feelings you had at the time, and unburden yourself. The past is the past for a reason, so use the start of 2020 to rebalance your life, and free, love and accept yourself in the process.

I wish you all a very Happy New Year and may you feel strong and vibrant as we all head into 2020.

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