Some people find forgiveness easier than others and these individuals are generally all around happier and healthier, according to research! Forgiveness can lower your risk of heart attack, improve cholesterol levels, reduce blood pressure and alleviate feelings of depression, stress and anxiety.
Forgiveness does not mean allowing a person who has transgressed back into your life. It is the intentional and voluntary process by which someone undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as vengefulness, with an increased ability to wish the offender well.
Unfortunately some view forgiveness as a weakness although it’s the opposite, requiring strength, vulnerability and humility. Forgiving someone takes away the power that the person has over you enabling you to move on.
Resents form when we do not forgive, leading to continuous negative emotions. We’ve all heard the old saying, “resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” The person you are holding a grudge over may not even know you are feeling hurt, it may not even affect them. Meaning holding onto this ill-will is only hurting yourself!
Often times the meaning of forgiveness is misconstrued. It does not mean reconciliation with a person, it does not condone or excuse what they did and it most definitely does not mean forgetting. Often times to really forgive we have to delve into the hurt which cannot be done if it is simply forgotten.
The good news is forgiveness can be taught. If someone came to mind while reading this article I challenge you to write a letter of forgiveness in order to take the power from that person and reclaim it for yourself.
Write a letter of forgiveness to someone you not been able to forgive and they still cause you to hurt every time you think of them. Start by telling them how they hurt you and why. Conclude with a sincere statement of forgiveness by recognizing they were either sick or doing the best they could at that time.
How did these letters make you feel?
There is no need to necessarily send the letter especially if reconciliation is not something you seek. The letter is for you to get it all out there and move on!
Written by GUADS staff member, Jennie