Why Is Forgiving Others So Difficult?

Failure to forgive others can create loneliness

Have you seen the benefit of recalling the times we need forgiveness? Were you, like me, silently impressed with our need to have forgiveness? Failure to find forgiveness and to forgive can create sadness and loneliness.  Have you ever seen a happy person who is harboring a grudge?  I haven’t.  Then why do we find so much difficulty in forgiving others?

Reason #1: Why it is difficult to forgive others

Here is the first reason I will propose: It is difficult to forgive others because whenever we are hurt, the hurt is what dominates our feelings and our focus. Hurt stirs feelings of unjust treatment or that we have received an unfair evaluation. It hurts to feel “ripped off,” whether justified or not — another reason for hurt. If hurt is the reason for our difficulty in forgiving someone, the problem of forgiveness boils down to the problem of how do we get rid of our hurt?

Step #1: Getting rid of the hurt

Hurt won’t just go away. Years later it can still be lying in our mind, watching for every opportunity to cause us to be upset again. We have a tendency to focus intensely on personal hurts. The more sensitive we are, the more the hurts command our attention.  And the more attention we give them, the bigger they grow.

Start here in forgiving others

Start here. Evaluate your hurt. Is it doing any good to ruminate over it? Because this rumination makes the memory of it grow, ask: Am I hurting myself by allowing it to occupy space in my mind? The damage it does to us when we don’t forgive is the starting place to find the motivation to get rid of it. Think about the harm that the recalling of the hurt is doing to you, and determine to end its ruinous work for your sake.

A good next step is to learn more about how YOU can forgive more readily.  Each temperament tends to find the ability to forgive in a different way.  You can learn more in this handy little book, Break Free.

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