Forgiveness. According to Merriam-Webster, it is “to cease to feel resentment against (an offender),.” But unfortunately, the act of forgiveness isn’t as simple as its definition. It involves more than the act of forgiveness. When we find ourselves needing to forgive someone else, it is usually tied to feelings of hurt or anger. Allowing ourselves to let go of these emotions is sometimes impossible, but to move forward a necessity.
The hurt or anger that comes from another’s actions can vary in intensity depending on who caused those emotions. The closer you are to someone, the more these emotions affect you. “It can also be the reason you may have more trouble forgiving that person. What feels like a more accurate definition of forgiveness is “a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they deserve your forgiveness.”
I recently found myself in a situation where forgiveness wasn’t an easy thing to even consider. I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to. Sometimes what someone does is so beyond fathomable that even considering forgiving the offending party is far from your mind. For me it was. I was hurt and angry and wasn’t ready to let go of those feelings.
As time went on, I realized the hurt and anger was beginning to take a toll on me. It began overwhelming my thoughts to the point where it was affecting my sleep. I knew I needed to forgive these two people, if not for any other reason than to free my own heart and soul. I was tired of letting them have such control over my thoughts.
Wanting to forgive someone and being able to do it are two very different things. I found many articles with various steps on forgiving others. Sure, these articles contain some valid points, but true forgiveness comes from the heart, and no instruction manual can help. It boils down to making the conscious choice to let go.
Forgiveness Is sometimes about forgiving the wrongdoer to ease his or her guilt, but most of the time it is about freeing yourself from the emotions that overwhelm you. Holding on to such strong emotions can have a debilitating effect on you not just emotionally, but mentally and physically as well.
According to John’s Hopkins Medicine, “Chronic anger puts you into a fight-or-flight mode, which results in numerous changes in heart rate, blood pressure, and immune response. Those changes, then, increase the risk of depression, heart disease, and diabetes, among other conditions.” The act of forgiving someone can calm and reduce stress levels.”
While forgiving someone may seem like the hardest thing in the world at times, it is so important to your well being to do so. What works best for me is thinking about it like this, I am doing it for myself. There is no better feeling than moving on from hurt feels.