Blog #581 Forgiveness

Forgiveness is Miraculous!!

Are you carrying that grudge?  Does it make you feel good to be mad at a person that somehow hurt you?  Is the grudge against a family member? Could it even be a father who physically abused you?  Could it be against a mother who never showed you any love, told you she hated you and wished she hadn’t given you birth?  Pretty heavy stuff!!

This article (by a M.D. with a master’s in mental health) says this (a long quote):

First – the grudge HURTS the person holding the grudge!!

“There are many consequences of unforgiveness including effects on the immune system, muscles and brain function.  As well, being unforgiving affects relationships and separates individuals and families. Psychologists feel that holding grudges restricts our own personal freedom.

Many people withhold forgiveness because they feel it allows them to get retribution – “pay back” – against someone who has hurt or betrayed them.  In fact, the reverse is true. Holding onto anger and unforgiveness only hurts the individual who is holding onto it.”

If you are holding a grudge, you are only hurting yourself.  The other person (even if they know it), has moved on.

The author also says “It’s important to recognize that forgiving is not the same as saying that what happened to you was right or good.  Forgiveness is without judgement.”

The author writes: “Not forgiving keeps you chained to the past.  “In my career working with individuals who have been traumatized, I have been amazed at the miraculous power of forgiveness.  I have seen women who were abused or neglected as children, release their trauma with forgiveness.  A male patient who suffered for decades with severe depression and chronic thoughts of suicide was able to express his anger in therapy towards the person who hurt him and whose abuse almost cost him his life and eventually come to forgive this person.  They both expressed feeling as if a weight was taken off their shoulders. They also felt more free to move forward with their lives rather than being stuck in the past.”

Self-forgiveness is hard: “Possibly one of the most powerful and miraculous forms of forgiveness is SELF-forgiveness.  Being unforgiving to yourself may seem like just a case of having “high standards.’  However, this leads to low self-esteem, self-hatred and self-defeating behaviors such as addictions, overeating, eating disorders, self-harm.”

An old proverb states:- “A person who hates (blocks love), must dig two graves”.

One grave for the person that wronged them; but the second grave is for themself.  It will hurt to say to the person “I forgive you”, but it will get the weight off your shoulders.  Move on – forgive!!!

On a related note, most religions suggest that only God can judge and condemn a person to hell (or whatever passes as hell). Don’t play God and just let God do the judging.  

What do you think?

Do you have somebody to forgive today?  DO IT!!!


Posted by Bruce White

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