A lot of times we hear people speak about forgiveness and most people do agree that forgiveness is good yet again it is so difficult and sometimes even more painful to forgive the wrong that has been done to us. However one cannot experience emotional peace without it.
What is not forgiveness?
Most people find it hard to forgive because they think forgiveness means you are condoning someone’s behaviour, accepting or forgetting what they have done to you or what has happened. Forgiveness is the acknowledgement of what has happened, and how much it has hurt you. But then making a conscious decision to let go of any feelings of vengeance or resentment towards the person/people who you perceive to have done you wrong or hurt you. It is letting go of the desire to get back at or harm the person you will be holding ill feelings or grudges towards.
Effects of failing to forgive
Failure to forgive is more harmful to you than to those you are not forgiving. Inability to forgive turns our hurt feelings into long term agony and suffering. Sometimes those who would have wronged us may not even be aware of the pain that we may be suffering. Therefore we remain in that prison of pain. Your hurt can even turn into anger and rumination which can lead you to anxiety and depression. Dwelling on resentment and grudges can cause you health problems such as high blood pressure and heart diseases. It also lowers the immune system and makes you vulnerable to all types of illnesses.
Who benefits most from forgiveness?
The person who benefits the most from forgiveness is you. It frees your mental space for positive things that you have control over. Forgiveness can help you rebuild relationships that are stronger and also your ability to resolve conflict increases. Therefore ultimately, forgiveness gives you peace of mind.
How to try and forgive
- Consider that we are all human and make mistakes
- Try and put yourself in the shoes of those who have wronged you
- Try journaling your emotions and how you can move forward
- Reflect on the lessons and not just on the pain
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