The Power of Forgiveness

Forgiving someone who hurt you deeply can be one of the hardest things to do. But holding a grudge may be bad for your health. Letting go of resentment and the desires for revenge has several health benefits. For cancer patients, forgiveness means they can focus inhaling instead of the negativity of past wrongs.

What does it mean to forgive?

  • Forgiveness is a decision to let go of resentment, desire for revenge and ill-will towards the person who wronged you.
  • Forgiveness is a natural resolution of the grief process.
  • Forgiveness is a choice we make for our own well being. It does not depend on an apology from the person who wronged you.
  • Forgiveness brings peace that helps you go on with your life.

Forgiveness is not the same as reconciliation.

  • Reconciliation is the coming together of two people in mutual respect. It requires both parties working together.
  • Forgiveness is entirely up to you.
  • It’s possible to forgive without res-establishing or continuing the relationship.

Forgiveness is not forgetting.

  • Forgetting a wrong might lead you to deny or suppress feelings about it.

Forgiveness is not condoning or excusing.

  • Forgiveness does not minimise, justify or excuse the wrong that was done.

What are the negative effects of holding a grudge?

Being hurt by someone you love and trust might make you feel angry, sad or confused. Holding a grudge affects our cardiovascular and nervous system. Researchers found that people had increases in their heart rates, blood pressure and muscle tension when they thought about being wronged. They also felt less in control. Forgiveness can reverse the effects of holding a grudge. Dwelling on hurtful events or situations may lead to :

  • Resentment
  • Sense of Injustice
  • Hostility
  • Bitterness
  • Vengeance

What are the health benefits of forgiveness?

According to research, people who forgive are most likely to have :

  • Fewer episodes of depression
  • High self esteem
  • More friends
  • Healthier relationships
  • Longer marriages
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Less anxiety, stress and hostility
  • Closer relationships
  • Fewer stress related health issues
  • Better immune system function
  • Lower rates of heart disease
  • Lower risk of alcohol and substance abuse
  • Greater spiritual and psychological well being

Those who forgive are more likely to be happy, serene, empathetic, hopeful and agreeable. Forgiveness can even lead to feelings of understanding, empathy and compassion for the one who hurt you.

How to forgive?

Forgiveness is a process of change. By letting go of the grudges, you’ll no longer define your life by how you’ve been hurt.

  • Consider the value of forgiveness and its importance in your life.
  • Reflect on the facts of the situation, how you’ve reacted and how this combination has affected your life, health and well being.
  • When you’re ready, choose to forgive the person who’s wronged you.
  • Step out of your role as victim.
  • Release the control and power the hurtful person or situation had in your life.

Reference : https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bp4JvNqIQAA7K7G?format=jpg&name=large

27 Comments Add yours

  1. maylynno says:

    True, forgiveness is a powerful remedy. But it takes courage and will. Maybe it takes freedom and a sense of a higher responsibility towards oneself and the whole world. Unfortunately, people prefer resentment because it is easier to ruminate over the past and reminisce pain than getting over it. Thank you for sharing this interesting post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      I agree when you say that it’s difficult to forgive. We forget that whenever we are in such a situation we should realise that there are 2 sides of a conflict. If it’s difficult to forgive the other person, forgive yourself and make peace. Forgiveness clears the cobwebs so that you can see the good again. When you forgive you will be able to see all the positive qualities in the person who hurt you—qualities that you loved once—and allows you to accept him or her fully, warts and all, and have a chance at a long-lasting, healthy relationship.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      Glad you liked it. Forgiveness lets us regain our personal power. Our anger, regret, hatred, or resentment towards someone means that we are giving up our power to that person. Envision a chain around your neck, held by the one who wronged you. Until you can forgive, you won’t break that chain and the person will still have an unhealthy hold on you.

      Like

  2. Thank you so much, Garima for posting this post about forgiveness, it really has been helpful to me and to many others too.
    ❤👩‍🦰❤🦊❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      Thank you Carolyn for inspiring me to write about forgiveness. I dedicate this post to you.

      Like

  3. This is a powerful message. It needs to go viral.
    You did a good job here👏👏👏Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      Yes it’s indeed an important topic. Forgiveness is for our own growth and happiness. When we hold on to hurt, pain, resentment, and anger it harms us far more than it harms the offender. Forgiveness frees us to live in the present. Reliving the wrong that was done to us keeps us living in the past and missing today’s beauty. Forgiveness allows us to move on without anger or contempt or seeking revenge. As Confucius said about revenge, “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.” This applies as much to the spirit of anger behind the desire for revenge as much as to revenge itself. Even if you do not actively seek revenge, holding on to your anger brings you down.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. CattleCapers says:

    When I chose to forgive a hotel for keeping my money when they were closed, I left it in God’s hands. If I got the money back, great; if not, they were forgiven and I was not going to dwell upon it. I felt a dark, heavy weight immediately lift off of my shoulders, as if the resentment was a physical entity weighing me down. I did get the money back several months later (big relief), but I learned how important it is to my own physical health to let things go as soon as possible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      Forgiveness can neutralize anger and resentment. Dalai Lama suggests that the best way to deal with continually getting angry after being wronged by another person is to see them from a different angle and see that perhaps they still have positive qualities.

      He also suggests that the negative events can be a source of opportunities otherwise not possible, a form of re-framing toward the positive (Lama, 1997).

      Generating universal compassion is another way of dealing with anger that aids in cultivating forgiveness and can be accomplished through reflecting on how we are all connected because we all share in the experience of pain and all wish to overcome suffering.

      Dalai Lama reminds us that cultivating “acceptance of harm and injuries inflicted by others” is a form of patience and tolerance and can be practiced alongside an appreciation of the complexity of human condition and nature of reality (Lama, 1997).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. CattleCapers says:

        Not a follower of his but agree with your comments. Thanks for taking the time to respond.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. GS says:

        Glad you agree. Thank you 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. clcouch123 says:

    It’s hard to forgive when the place inside and outside feels something like a vacuum. That is to say, when there is no interaction, meaning no hope for reconciliation. But you address this one-sided forgiveness reasonably and practically. As you say, “Forgiveness is not the same as reconciliation.” Forgiveness done by one releases unhealthy bonds and returns power to the forgiver. Nothing is condoned, but the chance for freedom is restored.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      Yes forgiveness is good for your body, your relationships, and your place in the world. That’s reason enough to convince virtually anyone to do the work of letting go of anger and working on forgiveness. In the New Testament, Jesus speaks of the importance of Christians forgiving or showing mercy towards others. This is based on the belief that God forgives sins through faith in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ in his death (1 John 2:2) and that, therefore, Christians should forgive others (Ephesians 4:32).

      Like

  6. Guru Gayatri says:

    This is so well written with a strong message! Thank you for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      Forgive each other in order to achieve something greater than the suffering – Peace. Here’s some tips that can help you also: Forgive – because your soul deserves peace. Be the better person – forgiveness encourages the other person to do the same next time someone hurts them – continue positivity in yourself and others.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Belladonna says:

    Forgiveness has helped me grow and expand my thinking. It will definitely free your soul. Great Post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      Forgiveness is such an important tool in our constant growth in life. When we forgive, we let go. When we let go, we create space for more wonderful, positive, new experiences in life. Glad you liked the post Bella.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. gpavants says:

    Garima,

    I wish I could get my mom to read this. Unforgiveness is eating her up. Man, what a simple, yet powerful act.

    Thanks,

    Gary

    On Fri, Jul 10, 2020 at 11:33 AM Be Inspired..!! wrote:

    > GS posted: ” Forgiving someone who hurt you deeply can be one of the > hardest things to do. But holding a grudge may be bad for your health. > Letting go of resentment and the desires for revenge has several health > benefits. For cancer patients, forgiveness means they c” >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      Yes Gary, Forgiveness is for our own growth and happiness. When we hold on to hurt, pain, resentment, and anger it harms us far more than it harms the offender. Forgiveness frees us to live in the present. Our anger, regret, hatred, or resentment towards someone means that we are giving up our power to that person

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Wonderful post 💐💐💐.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      Glad you liked it Prakash. Forgiveness means different things to different people. Generally, however, it involves a decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge. The act that hurt or offended you might always be with you, but forgiveness can lessen its grip on you and help free you from the control of the person who harmed you. Forgiveness can even lead to feelings of understanding, empathy and compassion for the one who hurt you. Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting or excusing the harm done to you or making up with the person who caused the harm. Forgiveness brings a kind of peace that helps you go on with life.

      Like

  10. Manoj Mehra says:

    To forgive someone is good for your peace of mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      Failing to forgive, or unforgiveness, is the practice of engaging in ruminative thoughts of anger, vengeance, hate, and resentment that have unproductive outcomes for the ruminator, such as increased anxiety, depression, elevated blood pressure, vascular resistance, decreased immune response, and worse outcomes.

      Like

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