Those who value forgiveness lead happier healthier lives. You might say well yeah. But it is not always that easy to put into play in my life. Maybe there is someone who abused or harmed you.
You might have experienced something like that. But forgiveness is maybe the most important step towards healing and moving on. But some people say but I can’t let them off the hook for what they did. But the truth is unless you put them on the hook you cannot let them off. Forgiveness is not forgetting nor is it condoning. There is Karma in this world every action we take has an equal and opposite action. When we do something that hurts another it has to be paid for. That is also the premise for Christ’s coming. It is a natural law that each thing we do will be paid for! You cannot change that for you or for anyone else. Forgiveness is letting go of the need of revenge, and it is releasing the negative thoughts of bitterness and resentment. That is why it helps us to heal and move on.
The awe-inspiring story of Eva Mozes Kor, a Survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp comes to mind, She was experimented on by Dr Josef Mengele while in the camp She suffered not just the atrocities of the camp but the insidious mistreatment of a DR. After almost 50 years after her liberation from the camp she decided to forgive her torturer. She described the experience as “Self empowering , self-healing and self-liberation.” Eva discovered that she, like us, could not change the horrific things that happened to her but she can change how she related to them. We don’t need to compare the atrocities you have had to face with hers. If you want to feel self empowered, liberated and healed. You can be through forgiveness.
Forgiveness is a learned behavior and we can cultivate and execute it with practice. Research is showing astounding benefits for those who learn to forgive.
According to studies by Akhtar & Barlow, here are the benefits of forgiveness?
Forgiveness reduces negative affect
holding a grudge feels terrible. Forgiveness minimizes the effects like depression, anger hostility, stress and distress
Forgiveness promotes positive affect
Forgiveness can do a lot more than make us feel less bad. It can also increase our general levels of happiness, satisfaction, and compassion
Forgiveness provides freedom
People who cannot or do not forgive are often trapped in a storm of negative emotions and, at the extreme, may devote their entire lives to avenging their hurt. Forgiveness can provide freedom from an endless quest for revenge.
Forgiveness heals individuals
When you forgive someone, it is not always necessary to tell them about it. In this way, forgiveness can be solely for the healing and empowerment of the injured person.
Forgiveness can heal relationships
Sometimes the person who has committed the offense is an important or irreplaceable loved one. In cases where the injured individual wants to preserve their relationship, forgiveness may be the path toward this goal.
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