FORGIVENESS IS THE KEY
Updated: Oct 19, 2020
I remember in my difficult times, how I had all this built up anger over many different people, and the way that they had treated me. I thought that it was all about them. Yes, they had hurt me, but I was already hurting myself with my low self-esteem and self-love. Yes, I really hated myself. My hurt was so incredibly deep; and I just brought this forward out into the world.
So, when forgiveness was suggested to me, I could not even bear to think about it. As time progressed, and I dealt with many different areas that were causing me grief, one by one, I was getting better and better, each and every day. And then the issue of forgiveness came up again, and I did not think twice about it.
I was now able to find out what this really meant. And yes, I did not really understand it to this degree. I learned that forgiveness is the release of resentment or anger. It doesn’t mean reconciliation. One doesn't have to return to the same relationship or accept the same harmful behaviors from an offender.
Forgiveness is vitally important for the mental health of those who have been victimized. It propels people forward rather than keeping them emotionally engaged in injustice or trauma. Forgiveness has been shown to elevate mood, enhance optimism, and guard against anger, stress, anxiety, and depression.
Forgiveness can be challenging, especially when the offending party offers either an insincere apology or nothing at all. However, it’s often the healthiest path forward.
The first step to forgiveness is to uncover your anger by exploring how you’ve avoided or addressed the emotion. The second is to make the decision to forgive. Begin by acknowledging that ignoring or coping with the offense hasn’t worked, and therefore forgiveness might provide a path forward. Third, cultivate forgiveness by developing compassion for the offender. Reflect on whether the act was due to malicious intent or circumstances in the offender’s life. Lastly, release the harmful emotions and reflect on how you may have grown from the experience and the act of forgiveness itself.
Forgiving another person is one thing, but what happens when we commit the offense ourselves? It’s important to take responsibility for mistakes, but intense guilt and shame aren’t a productive outcome in the long run.
The process of self-forgiveness can be a painful challenge but deeply valuable. The key to this process is owning up to one’s mistakes, understanding why they occurred, and helping to rectify the situation.
So, these are just a few tips on forgiveness, however there are processes that can be used to assist in moving you through the forgiveness process. If you would like to know more about how this can be achieved, in a painless fashion just let me know, I am here to guide you through….