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Forgiveness

Monday, February 17, 2014

Forgiveness

“Forgiveness” is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, forgiveness lets go of negative emotions such as revenge, with an increased ability to wish the offender well.

“Forgiveness” is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, forgiveness lets go of negative emotions such as revenge, with an increased ability to wish the offender well.

Many people view the act of forgiveness as an event rather than seeing in terms of being a process. Some view forgiveness as other-oriented, meaning that forgiveness is about the other person or the person who has wronged you.

If forgiveness is about the person who has wronged you, then what happens when/if that person dies? What happens then? According to an article put out by The Mayo clinic, “If you're unforgiving, you might pay the price repeatedly by bringing anger and bitterness into every relationship and new experience. Your life might become so wrapped up in the wrong that you can't enjoy the present. You might become depressed or anxious. You might feel that your life lacks meaning or purpose, or that you're at odds with your spiritual beliefs. You might lose valuable and enriching connectedness with others.”

I often tell my clients that forgiveness will “eat your lunch.” Maybe to get a better handle on what forgiveness really is, is to define it as a process of “giving up the right to do to you, what you have done to me.” You see, forgiveness is about you. You letting go. You giving up past hurts. You deciding to move on with your life and not allow the hurts of the past to imprison you and keep you from the joys of life.

Here are some simple steps to consider in the process of forgiveness:

  • Consider the value of forgiveness and its importance in your life at a given time
  • 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, actively choose to forgive the person who's offended you
  • Move away from your role as 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. You might even find compassion and understanding.

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