You have undoubtedly heard or read how good forgiving those that have hurt us is for our emotional and physical well-being. And it’s true: many studies have shown that forgiveness has a very positive effect on our health. However, forgiving others is sometimes very difficult, but the people who preach about and advocate forgiveness often don’t acknowledge that.
If you’re one of the many people who have had a hard time forgiving everyone who has hurt you, I have some good news: You can get the same benefits forgiveness provides without having to forgive all those people.
To explain why forgiving can be so hard and how to heal emotional wounds when it is, I’m going to use the analogy of an automobile accident. Imagine that a driver is proceeding through an intersection. Then another drive runs the red light and crashes into her car, and the first driver suffers some deep cuts, a broken arm, and some internal injuries. In that scenario, it would be absurd for the emergency medical technicians, the emergency room doctors and nurses, or anyone else to tell her to forgive the other driver. And, of course, none of them would do that. They would all do everything they could to take care of her and give her the treatment she needed so that she could recover as rapidly as possible.
And hopefully the injured driver would be doing all she could to work with her medical team so that she healed quickly. Obviously it would be silly of her to give anything less than a 100% effort to her healing process because of any anger she felt toward the other driver.
Once our injured driver had completely healed, her car was satisfactorily repaired, and her life was back to the way it was before the accident, chances are that she wouldn’t dwell on angry thoughts about the other driver. She would probably see that it would be in her best interest to do whatever she could to minimize the chance of her ever being in a similar accident, and then focus on living and enjoying her life.
Getting back to the title of this post, if you are angry at someone, then you have been in the equivalent of a car accident with them. And what’s called for is to get the treatment you need to heal your wounds from that accident.
Many treatments to do that are available. I’ve written about some of them in previous posts and you can learn about many others by doing a search on “healing emotional wounds” in Google.
My best wishes as you heal your wounds. And once they’re healed, chances are very good that your anger at “the other driver” will be gone.
Tom Robinson, who has Crohn’s disease himself, helps people struggling with chronic illnesses feel a lot better and enjoy life a lot more.
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