For many of us, 2013 was an eventful year full of ups and downs. There are memories I made that I’ll remember forever, and others that I wish I could forget. But with a new year upon us and the endless possibilities of new memories ahead, it might be time not only to forget but also to forgive and let go of the grudges you may be holding on to from last year. Here are some ways to do just that.
Look at things from a different perspective. Sometimes people hurt us, but when it’s people we love, it can be even more difficult to forgive them. One way to make this process of forgetting easier is to consider a different perspective on what happened. It can be hard but maybe you should put yourself in their shoes. Are you sure they really meant to hurt you? If you believe they did, instead of focusing on the negatives, you could look at the outcome and how it affected you in a positive way. Maybe the situation taught you a lesson that has helped you. By addressing the beneficial aspects of the situation, it will make it easier to forget about the negatives and move on.
Remember, no one is perfect. When someone hurts you or does something you don’t agree with, it’s easy to instantly develop a negative opinion about them. But sometimes that judgment is made a little to quickly. Step back and think of your relationship with this person, whether they’re a friend, a family member, or a significant other. Think of all the things they’ve done for you and about all the good things in your relationship. Most times, the good will outweigh the bad and you may realize that the grudge your holding isn’t really worth it. Plus, looking back, have you ever done something to hurt or wrong this person? If so, you might want to consider calling it even and just let it go.
Do something constructive. When you’re upset, it may be easy to just sit and dwell on your anger, which allows a grudge to grow. Doing this doesn’t help the situation and can even be unhealthy by keeping your stress level high. If you’re sure the first two options listed won’t work and there is no way to forgive, forget, and fix things with someone, there is another way to take action. Use your anger or negative feelings and channel them into something constructive like working out, writing, taking on a new hobby, or working to meet a goal. Get revenge by bettering yourself. By staying busy, getting out some of that anger, and doing things to improve yourself, you’ll be happy with the outcome and eventually the the grudge won’t seem so important, causing it to get smaller and sometimes even disappear.
People always say forgive and forget, but everyone who has tried knows it is easier said than done. Hopefully these options will help you to let go of the last year’s grudges, keeping them from consuming you, and allowing you to embrace the new year with a positive attitude.