Forgiveness is a powerful gift to give to yourself.
Some may ask how?
Forgiving someone, something or even yourself releases you from the source of that pain. It releases you and breaks the chains that bound your mind, emotions, peace, purpose and future.
Unforgiveness binds you to what caused the pain. Holding on to painful thoughts and feelings, for far too long, turn you into an accomplice for continued hurt and harm to yourself.
“Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die”
Give yourself the gift of forgiveness so that healing can begin and value and self-esteem can continue to develop so that life’s dreams and desires can be fulfilled.
How Do You Begin to Forgive?
Many people believe that forgiveness is letting go and moving on from the offense, but true forgiveness includes one more step; and that is offering something good back to the person or situation. For example, work on getting an understanding of what motives were behind what happened, how events played out, why certain things happened the way they did, and then offering compassion or empathy (Keir, 2017). This part of forgiveness is not an easy process, but it is both beneficial and powerful to mental and emotional healing, well-being and improving life satisfaction and quality of life.
As stated before, forgiveness is not for the fainthearted. Actually, it is easier for someone to stay angry than to forgive. Forgiveness takes strength and patience as you work through the process of letting go, but it is well worth it.
What Forgiveness Is Not
- Forgiveness is not saying what happened was okay.
- Forgiveness does not necessarily mean not holding the person who caused hurt or harm legally or ethically accountable for the damage that was done (Keir, 2017).
- Forgiveness is not fairness, justice, or being impartial
- Forgiveness does not necessarily mean reconciliation is wanted or possible.
- Forgiveness does not mean reconciliation is required.
- Forgiveness is not a sign of weakness.
Below is a recording on forgiveness. Keeping it Raw with Red on World Hype Radio is interviewing Christa Spence, MS, OTR of Life Wellness Occupational Therapy on the topic of Forgiveness.
American Occupational Therapy Association. (2014). Occupational therapy practice framework: Domain and process (3rd ed.). American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 68, S1–S48.
Hunter, C. (2014). The negative effects of unforgiveness on mental health. Theravive
Weir, K. (2017). Forgiveness can improve mental and physical health. American Psychological Association, 48(1).
World Hype Radio. (2019). Forgiveness. Live Now on World Hype Radio. [Video].
Worthington, Everett et al. (2016) Forgiveness as a catalyst for psychological, physical, and spiritual resilience in disasters and crises.” Journal of Psychology and Theology, 44(2). 152-65