The Healing Power of Forgiveness

Forgiveness is oftentimes misunderstood and difficult to put into action. For some, when another offends or betrays them, moving beyond the anger and the need to get even can feel impossible.
Forgiveness is a conscious choice to let go of all anger, pain, bitterness, and negative feelings associated with a particular individual or incident. It allows for human imperfection by recognizing that it is impossible for any of us to journey through life without ever hurting or offending another. Even those who are kind, thoughtful, and polite have moments of poor judgment when they unintentionally inflict pain and suffering on others. Forgiveness allows us to move beyond the incident rather than remain tethered to it for eternity.

“Forgiveness replaces judgment and anger with understanding and compassion.”*

Imagine for a moment suffering a painful injury such as a broken bone. With the proper medical treatment, the wound will heal, the pain will cease, and the bone actually becomes stronger at the site of the fracture. One can recall in vivid detail the incident but they no longer suffer any residual pain. They have experienced a complete healing. So it is with forgiveness but on an emotional and spiritual level. One remembers what occurred but no longer feels the emotions. What remains in its place is an acceptance of what has happened and a sense of peace. One can forgive without forgetting.

So why, then, do some refuse to forgive? They mistakenly believe that to do so negates the seriousness of the incident (it doesn’t) or that it gives license for the offender to repeat the wrongdoing (one can set boundaries). For others, holding on to the anger gives them a sense of power and control over the other party (“I’ll never forgive you for what you did to me!”), inflicting guilt and shame on them. Some use this as a form of manipulation. I once heard it said that to not forgive is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. You only hurt yourself.

Imagine what it would feel like to actually forgive someone who you are holding a grudge against? Imagine being comfortable with what has transpired (even though you may not be happy about it), taking back control of your happiness, and restoring inner peace and serenity? In truth, forgiveness is the path to inner peace. Be at peace. You have suffered enough.

“To forgive is to allow for human imperfection without thoughts of judgment or retaliation.”**

For more, read “I’ll Never Ever Forgive Again!” @
*The Great Truth by Janet Pfeiffer
** by Janet Pfeiffer

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