(Extract from my book) FORGIVENESS EXPLAINED
Psychologists generally define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting, nor does it mean condoning or excusing offenses.
We often think of forgiveness as a kind, magnanimous act—an act of mercy or compassion extended to someone who wronged us. While that can be true, research over the past few decades has revealed enormous personal benefits to forgiveness as well.
THE FREEDOM IN FORGIVENESS
Forgiveness : There is freedom in forgiveness. I have personally experienced this in my life.
J Kehoe “Forgiveness is letting go of “your upset.” You let go of it because it does you no good. Every time you think of the person who has upset you, you get upset. You lose energy. The upset that you feel is in you and does not affect them in the slightest. You are the one suffering from it. In fact you suffer from it again and again, every time you think about it. The smartest way to deal with the upset is to forgive and move on. “But they don’t deserve my forgiveness,” you might say. Perhaps this is true. But whether they do or not is not the issue—YOU deserve it.
You deserve to be free of this annoyance, to not have it upset you and bring you down every single time you think about it. The benefit of forgiveness is for the person forgiving, not for the person being forgiven. When you realise this, it becomes much easier to forgive. In fact it seems almost ludicrous not to forgive.”
I wrote an article not so long ago where I write about “How do we let go”.
Like stress, chronic anger, resentment and even hatred play havoc with our well-being. They remove our peace of mind, make us more susceptible to disease, can mess with our sleep and ultimately decrease our overall happiness levels.
In other words, we’re allowing the person concerned to carry on exerting power over us sometimes years, even decades, after the original event.
And to compound the issue they rarely even know it. I totally understand that forgiveness is not always easy, but the benefits that come with it are so huge that it’s worth cultivating.