This week a toddler pushed passed me, knocking my knees and caused me to stumble. I found it funny but the mother wanting to use it as a teaching moment instructed her toddler to apologize to me. It made me think, does he even understand what was happening? That moment helped shape his concept of forgiveness.
What comes to your mind when you think about forgiving someone?
There are many beliefs about forgiveness; it must be earned, it should be deserved, we have to feel it to give it and, the most popular one, we must forgive and forget. In the last twenty years, research on forgiveness therapy has been discovering the healing benefits of it. In 2006, the American Psychological Association defined forgiveness as “a process (or the result of a process) that involves a change in emotion and attitude regarding an offender”.
A different way of viewing forgiveness
Often we view forgiveness as a benefit to the offender. Its not. The benefit of forgiveness belongs to the person offering forgiveness. Therefore, when we withhold our forgiveness it hurts us. Think about it, what will change in someone’s life if you forgive them? Nothing. They might not even remember the offense. What would change in your life if you choose to forgive someone who hurt you?
When we withhold forgiveness, we hurt ourselves as the pain continually weighs us down emotionally, physically, spiritually and mentally. The truth is that forgiveness heals us.
1. Forgiveness restores hope
2. Forgiveness restores your sense of personal power
3. Forgiveness resolves anger
4. Forgiveness relieves depression, anxiety and other mental disorders
5. Forgiveness improves physical health
6. Forgiveness can bring reconciliation
Those six short points describe the benefit of forgiveness but the truth is those points represent so much more because life becomes better after forgiveness. You are worthy of these benefits and experiencing the joy and peace that forgiveness provides.
Forgiveness is a choice. A choice for yourself. I know it can be hard and painful to start to forgive. If you need help in this process, please call today 226-476-3203 and book an appointment, don’t choose to remain in pain.