“To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive peace and happiness.” Robert Muller

Often when we are wronged we hold on to the hurt. We own it – it is our hurt and we do everything we can to keep it. In the early stages, we use this as a coping mechanism to protect us from further pain. But as time wears on we tend to hang on to the wrongs with pit-bull tenacity – just a little too long for our own good.

A better course of action is the act of forgiveness. Granting forgiveness to others does not mean that you approve or necessarily condone questionable actions by others. Granting forgiveness to others does not mean that you completely forget about the questionable actions by others.

True forgiveness means that you have moved beyond the action itself and have forgiven the person. Upon your act of forgiveness, you have cleared your mind and no longer harbor bad feelings.

Carrying around a grudge is a tiresome task indeed. Not only do you have to take care of myriad responsibilities in your life, but also there you are nurturing and feeding your grudge. To what end? Holding on is not helping you; it is actually hurting you. Where is the joy in that? Hanging on to feelings of resentment is harmful to you and your health, increases stress, and often has no affect whatsoever on the other person who is off of their merry way. Ridding yourself of resentment enables you to replace those swirling thoughts with positive, constructive thoughts.

Confucius said: “The more you know yourself, the more you forgive yourself.”

What if you were to take all of the time and energy devoted to caring for and nurturing your grudge and replace it with something amazingly enjoyable – something that you love? Just think about that for a moment.

Imagine, even though you are extremely busy, you could be doing something that brings you profound joy such as: reading, walking in nature, expressing love, teaching a child, deepening your faith through prayer, mediation, sleep, enjoying music – - you name it.

So what can forgiveness do for you? Forgiveness can replace that grudge giving you more time for peace – and the best part is you can start right now. No tools, no magic formulas, no waiting, no excuses. Just do it.

Commit to letting go and forgiving. Start by forgiving yourself; that will put you into the proper frame of mind. Then move on to forgive others. Feel the burden of your problems being lifted from your shoulders. That is the power of true forgiveness.

Forgiveness also provides major health benefits for you – it invokes love, releases stress and tension, and re-balances your body chemistry. When you let go of the wrong and forgive the offender, your body will release a waves of negative energy. The act of forgiveness raises your positive energy level and brightens your outlook.

It is a major benefit to you and the offender doesn’t even need to know that you have forgiven them. But you will know it. And remember, forgiveness is an act that is essential to you being forgiven for your offenses. See the light, get the help, and seek the truth.

Three-Step Call to Action:

1.Identify an opportunity to demonstrate true forgiveness.

2. Work out how you will undertake it, in your mind or with the person involved.

3. Forgive them; then assess changes in your feelings over the next few days.

Author's Bio: 

For more on forgiveness, check out the Faith & Forgiveness blogs and audio podcasts at http://www.BouncingBackNow.com

Other featured blogs are: Happiness & Joy, Hope & Help, and Living Your Values.

Donna Marie Thompson, PhD is an author, speaker, and certified empowerment coach focusing on Bouncing Back. She is a featured author in the new, best-selling book "Bouncing Back - Thriving in Changing Times" with Wayne Dyer, John Assaraf, Brian Tracy, and David Riklan.

To help others bounce back, Donna Marie has developed an innovative "5Es to Recovery" personal coaching program to help you overcome obstacles and find the joy in your life NOW.

She also conducts quantitative energy assessments that give you a clear road map showing areas where you are doing well and where you are blocked - often that cross into many areas of your life.

Donna Marie is the host of the "Bouncing Back Now" show on BlogTalkRadio.