If the person who mistreated you never changed or accepted accountability for their actions, would you be okay with gaining years on your life, and living your last days with that hate or tension in your heart?
This is a question that I often ask those that I work with when I see them being weighed down by pain that they weren’t responsible for holding.
We can go day in and day out wearing the weight of unforgiveness as if it were a layered outfit. It can creep up on us, the weight of unforgiveness, the more tired and heavy we feel. We won’t even see the effects and where it started from until it’s too late. At times it may not seem fair that we must do all the work towards forgiveness- but it is necessary if we want peace. I wanted to shed some light on some of the negative effects of the unwillingness to forgive.
Negative Effects on Your Relationships with Others
When we are unwilling to forgive, we carry around unresolved emotions from one relationship to the next. We can even be more likely to attract people who can easily trigger us and open those old wounds, we never truly healed from.
Negative Effects on Your Relationship with Yourself
When you feel hurt, betrayed, angry, or grief-struck it can be hard to take care of yourself. We can focus our energy on so many things that are outside of who we are, that we leave a blind spot in the self-care and healthy boundaries department.
Negative Effects on Mental & Physical Health
Unwillingness to forgive your own mistakes can lead to an increase in depression symptoms and negative emotions. Perpetually thinking of past hurt increases the risk of anxiety and sleep troubles. We can see anger, low self-esteem, and chronic stress linked to our responses due to issues related to unforgiveness.
Forgiveness doesn’t have a timeline, and it also requires work that you may or may not be ready for. However, it may be worth the thought as you move into your next season of healing.