Have you ever noticed that anger, especially righteous indignation, is energizing? When I believe I’ve been hurt, I might even brood over the indignity, refusing to forgive, to amp up that energy. But refusing to forgive actually hurts me more than it does the other person.
Forgiveness is part of recognizing our shared humanity – that we all make mistakes as we experiment and learn. Forgiveness is part of compassion – for myself as well as for others. Forgiving focuses on the person, not the action. And forgiving frees energy.
Try this for a week: Each day notice a situation where you are getting irritated or angry because of someone’s behavior. Ask yourself when you have behaved in a similar way and why you did that. Does that help you have compassion for the other person (while not condoning the behavior)?