Written By Areeba Malik
The famous saying goes: “To err is human, to forgive divine.” We tend to remember the undesirable actions of others which affected and made us feel bad.
However, forgiveness becomes the key that unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hatred. Forgiveness is the power that breaks the chains of bitterness and selfishness.
Forgiveness means different things to different people. Generally, however, it involves the decision to let go of the thoughts of revenge. The act that hurt you might be always with you in terms of thoughts and burdens where forgiveness helps to lessen its grip on you and help free you from the control of the person who harmed you.
Forgiveness can even lead to a feeling of understanding, empathy, and compassion for the one who is hurt in any way either verbally or by actions. Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting or excusing the harm done to you.
Forgiveness brings kindness, peace, pleasure, gratitude, and hope and helps to flow on with life. Forgiveness can lead the path to physical and emotional and spiritual well-being.
Forgiveness has been proven to be a more effective way of regulating negative affect and reducing depression.
It helps in reducing anger and resentful emotions, thoughts, and behaviors on both sides and increases the positive thoughts towards the offending person when it comes to relationships with others, or with ourselves it always allows us to move from the past, anger and hurt where we can live in the present and look forward to tomorrow.
The effects of holding grudges can bring anger, and bitterness into every new relationship and new experience.
It makes you depressed or anxious and wraps you in the wrong way so that you cannot enjoy the present. Why is it so easy to hold a grudge? Being hurt by someone particularly someone you love, trust and care can cause anger, disappointment, and chaos. In the book “WHO WILL CRY WHEN YOU DIE?” written by Robin Sharma narrates: “When you bear a grudge against someone, it is almost as if you carry that person around on your back with you. He drains you of your energy, enthusiasm, and peace of mind but the moment you forgive him, you get him off your back and you can move on with the rest of life”.
Some people are naturally more forgiving than others but if you are a grudge holder almost anyone can learn to be more forgiving. Letting go of grudges and bitterness can make a way for improving health and importantly peace of mind. Forgiving can lead to healthier and happier relationships, improves mental health, and also lessens anxiety, stress, and hostility. It maintains blood pressure, makes the immune system strong and improves self-esteem.
Forgiveness is not leniency, excusing, and letting time heal the wound. However, forgiving is active rather than passive, abandoning resentments, and making decisions to forgive as it involves discussion.
It is a process that takes time, deciding to move and not looking back and even not forgiving or approaching more focus on justice than forgiveness accepting what happened knowing that God will punish them.
Hence, being a forgiver is a very hard job where forgiveness becomes a commitment to a personalized process of change that is to move from suffering to forgiveness. To reach a state of forgiveness, we might recognize the value of forgiveness and how it improves our lives. Identify what needs healing and who needs to be forgiven and for what. Acknowledge your emotions about the harm done to you and how they affect your behavior.
Choose to forgive the person who offended you. Move away from the role of victim, and release the control and power the offending person and situation have had in your life. As you let go of grudges, you’ll no longer define your life by how you’ve been hurt. If ever you find yourself stuck in forgiving, try to see the situation from the person’s point of view.
Ask yourself why someone would behave in such a way perhaps you would have reacted similarly if you have faced the same situation. Talk to a person you’ve found compassionate, wise, impartial loved one or a friend, and remember that forgiveness is a process. Forgiveness doesn’t mean getting another person to change his or her actions, behaviors, or words. It means how it can change your life by bringing up peace, happiness, and healing.
We all have made mistakes. In fact, they are a part of life but guilt over past mistakes can become paralyzing. Sometimes we need self-forgiveness when we have made some unforgettable mistakes with ourselves or we had some wrong discussions and the guilt remains with us forever in life. We can’t undo or redo what has been done and not done; we are allowed to forgive ourselves.
However, we can remove the focus from past mistakes we can learn from past experiences, and can start accepting what has happened, using guilt as the gateway to positive behavior change.
And if we are the one who needs forgiveness from others the first step is to honestly assess and acknowledge the wrong we have done and how they have affected others. We can speak up about sincere sorrow or regret and ask for forgiveness.
However, we can’t force anyone to forgive us. Others also need their own time to move to forgiveness.
To conclude, it is very important to forgive ourselves and others. It’s important to react in the right way to someone else’s mistake and not to avoid forgiveness in life. Thus, forgive and forget!