Forgiveness is the Best Medicine

Forgivness is the Best Medicine

Resentment is an emotional cancer.  It forms deep inside and eats you alive with overwhelming anger and disgust.  It can arise from anything, like being cut off in traffic, not being invited to a special event, or being passed over for that raise and promotion you deserve.  It typically stems from frustration over being slighted and consumes you to your very core.  If you’re not careful, it can also affect your physical well-being.  High blood pressure, blocked digestion and psychological issues are all too common for people who wallow in resentment.  Finally, resentment is, by far, one of the biggest triggers for substance and alcohol use and abuse.  For all these reasons, and many more, it’s vital to use your ability to ‘forgive’ as a secret weapon, your medicine against resentment.

It may not feel like it, but forgiveness is a choice.  It is a gift we grant ourselves to free us of unwanted, painful feelings.  I’ve always loved the analogy of ‘you can’t take poison to kill someone else’, because it really sums up the entire issue in a nutshell.  While you sit around harboring resentment, taking the poison, the person who ticked you off, the object of your resentment, is walking around unaware, unaffected and without a care in the world.  From a point of utility, resentment has to be one of the most useless emotions.  Forgiveness as its counterpart, on the other hand, makes all the sense in the world.  With a simple change of your mind-set, the pain can be gone in an instant, replaced by a sudden, serene rush of relief and calm.

The key question then is how do I accomplish forgiveness?  In some instances it’s relatively easy; a co-worker forgets your birthday for the first time because of a family emergency.  It’s simple to let that one go.  But, what happens when it’s something serious done by a person who you care about deeply and they’re not even willing to say “I’m sorry”?  That’s when it’s toughest to forgive but when it’s also most necessary.  “How dare they? I would never do that to them,” are probably two of the most common and dangerous thoughts that follow next.  It comes so naturally, almost as automatic as breathing.  Yet, it’s now that you need to get a handle on the situation for your own benefit.  I suggest you keep the following exercise handy for those times when you are totally irked and feel a nice lethal dose of resentment boiling up inside.  It’s time to FORGIVE, for your sake, so let’s learn how to do that.

Does the other person even know they offended you?
  We frequently assume the other person knows they slighted us.  However, perhaps it’s all just a misunderstanding and he or she would have acted differently had he or she only known.  It’s all about communication.  You need to find out whether you’re making a mountain out of a molehill.

Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. 
So, you’ve now had the conversation but the other person makes it clear they acted for a reason and if they had to do the situation all over again, it would turn out the exact same way.  For example, if you get passed over for a promotion, there could be any number of reasons for that.  Perhaps the other person had been around longer or they’re grooming you for another position, or perhaps your co-worker was simply better qualified.  Whatever the reason, you need to be open-minded and do a self-check to determine if your ego is getting in the way of your rational thinking.

Learn the art of letting things go.
You’ve had the conversation, or you’re positive a conversation will be futile, and there’s no good reason why you were slighted.  The other person is just a complete jerk who doesn’t care.  This is the time when a nice big, juicy helping of revenge can seem awfully appetizing – but where does that get you?  Do you really need to be involved in an ever-escalating blood feud with someone until it eventually goes nuclear?  Patience and forgiveness are the better part of valor.  Not for them, for YOU.  You have much better, more productive things to do with your time.  Karma will eventually catch up with someone who is rude and hurtful, it always does.

Get some exercise. 
There’s nothing better than a long walk, a workout routine at the gym or even simple calisthenics to get your blood flowing, endorphins running and put you in a stable frame of mind.  You’ll make better long term decisions when you are ‘out of the moment’ having blown off steam.

Pity the other person.
  There’s a scene in the movie “Waterboy” where Henry Winkler (formerly known as the “Fonz” from Happy Days, for us older folks) is frozen by fear as he looks at the other team’s intimidating coach.  To overcome that, he begins to imagine the coach as a cute little baby.  No more fear.  This same exercise works using pity.  When you realize just how pathetic the other person is, you set yourself free.

Pray for the other person.
It is an extension if number 5 in some ways, but nonetheless important in its own right.  Whether you understand it as reaching out to your Higher Power or just speaking something into existence, it will have a powerful impact on you, and that’s the point.  You’ll find it much easier to forgive and put it behind you.

Finally, and most importantly, you need to consider forgiving yourself.  Your issue of resentment may not have to do with someone else, but rather frustration over something you’ve done or how you acted.  You can’t change the past (Hakkunah Matatah for all you “Lion King” fans).  Then again, even when resentment stems from the actions of another, it often involves a certain amount of self-hatred over the incident – you blame yourself for being the victim.  This can cause us to lash out at people who had nothing to do with the issue or crawl into a shell.  Either way, it’s self-destructive.  Nothing has ever been resolved by hating yourself.  We are all human, we make mistakes.  Get over it, forgive yourself and move on, for everyone’s sake.

One cannot live his or her life carrying heavy emotional baggage from place-to-place.  Resentment of yourself or others is nothing more than a way to sabotage your life.  I remember a saying, “Give a man a fish and you’ve fed him for a day; teach a man how to fish and you’ve fed him for life”.  So, I ask you to take the lessons from this article to heart and you too will have the tools to be fed for life.

Previous articleRehab Professional of the Month: Alan Goodstat
Next articleTOUGH LOVE
InRecovery Magazine is the number one resource for Addicts and their Families.


  1. You’re absolutely correct. I enjoyed reading through this and I will certainly come back for more as quick as possible. Our website is on the subject of garageband for ios, you could take a peek if you’re still interested in that.

  2. Hey there, you are absolutely correct. I constantly read through your site content closely. I am also curious about best bluetooth headphones for running, you could discuss this from time to time. I will be back soon.

  3. Hey I am so glad I found your webpage, I really found you by accident, while I was looking on Askjeeve for something else, Regardless I am here now and would just like to say thank you for a marvelous post and a all round exciting blog (I also love the theme/design), I donít have time to go through it all at the moment but I have bookmarked it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read more, Please do keep up the awesome work.

  4. I was discussing with a friend of mine around this info and even regarding kik online too. I think you made a lot of great points on this page, we are excited to read more information from you.

  5. I actually arrived right here via some other website about free instagram followers and considered I should consider this. I love the things I see thus now I”m following you. Looking forward to finding out about your site all over again.

  6. It was amazing to read this article and I think you’re totally correct. Inform me in the event that you’re interested in injury attorney, this is my main expertise. I hope to hear from you soon, cheers!

  7. Hello there can you inform me which blog platform you are working with? I’m seeking to do my personal website on pokemon go online in the near future yet I am having trouble making a choice.

  8. I am seriously enjoying the theme of your weblog. Do you encounter any kind of web browser interface situations? A number of my website visitors have complained regarding my movies to watch blog not working effectively in Internet Explorer though seems wonderful in Chrome. Have you got any kind of suggestions to help fix this issue?

  9. I just came over here via a different web page about canon printer and scanner and thought I may as well check this out. I enjoy the things I see thus I am just following you. Looking towards looking at the blog all over again.

  10. My family and I absolutely adore your site and find a majority of your blog posts to be exactly I’m interested in. Would you offer people to create information for you? I would not mind writing an article relating to where to buy bitcoin or perhaps on many of the subjects you’re writing about here. Awesome site!

  11. Hi there, I’m truly thrilled I found this site, I basically encountered you by accident, while I was searching on Yahoo for free games. Anyhow I’m here right now and would just like to say thank you for a tremendous posting and the all around enjoyable website (I too enjoy the design), I do not have the time to browse it entirely at the moment though I have bookmarked it and moreover included the RSS feeds, so when I have sufficient time I will be back to read a lot more. Make sure you do maintain the great job.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here