Everyone falls out with a family member now and again. However, sometimes disagreements turn into long-term grudges with feelings of animosity and anger trumping love and family bonds.
How to forgive and move forward
No matter the reason the problem began, you should forgive family members now before it's too late.
Negativity is unhealthy
Studies show that unforgiving, angry, negative people are often unhealthy throughout their lives and die earlier. According to the Mayo Clinic, they can suffer from high blood pressure, depression, headaches, chronic pain, digestive problems, insomnia, a week immune system and more. Harboring anger and resentment, and holding on to hurt and pain, takes a lot of energy. Your body and your mind have to work harder to accommodate all that negativity, which eventually causes damage to both your mental and physical health. By forgiving family members, letting go of grudges and releasing the past, your mind and body can become free and healthy.
Your children need a positive role model
Children look to their parents first as role models. If you are unforgiving of relatives and others, your children will grow up with feelings of anger and resentment as well, causing difficulties in school, friendships, personal relationships and all aspects of their lives. Even if you want to spend your life bottled down with feelings of anger, frustration, revenge and resentment, you don't want the same thing for your little ones. If you can't let go and forgive family members for your own sake, do it for the sake of your children.
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Forgiveness can build character
Developing a genuine, strong character happens over your lifetime. You develop character by dealing with difficult things, and overcoming them. If you've ever talked with people you admire with strong character and integrity, they will tell you the importance of forgiveness and letting go of ill feelings. You can't begin to build a positive, strong character if you can't move on from negative aspects in your life.
There are two sides to every story
If you have had a falling out with a family member, chances are you believe what happened is all (or mostly) the other person's fault. However, there are two sides to every story. If this person treated you badly or did something you believe was morally or legally wrong, chances are he/she was going through something difficult personally. When people act out, it's generally because they are facing challenges that they can't handle. Consider the other side of the story and take steps toward forgiveness.
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Life is too short
Grudges, arguments, resentment and anger can make gatherings difficult for everyone. The stress of family rifts can take a toll not only on you, but the rest of your relatives as well. When it comes down to it, the biggest reason that you should forgive family members is because life is too short. Life is fleeting, and you never know when you are going to lose someone to death. Look at the big picture. Forgive and mend your relationships with family. You don't want to be left with regrets once they are gone.
Life vs. fiction
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