How forgiveness can help us grow.
As we go through life, we will experience negative things done to us by others. As children, we see the good in everyone and are quick to forgive others. Over time, we experience more and more trauma at the hands of people who claim to love us and so we learn to hold a grudge and use it as a defense mechanism. The only problem with this strategy is that it tends to isolate. We become cold and callous, and have a hard time trusting other people. But all hope is not lost. Through forgiveness, we can attain that childlike selfless love once again.
The definition of forgiveness is: A powerful choice each one of us can make to increase the greater well-being of our relationships. It is a letting go of the past.
What forgiveness is not.
There is quite a bit of confusion regarding what forgiveness is and what it is not. For the sake of argument, we will begin our discussion by defining what forgiveness is not. It is easy to believe that forgiveness is based off the actions that another person takes. For example, many individuals will not forgive until the other person asks for forgiveness. Regardless of the situation, that individual believes that they are right and that no forgiveness should not be offered until the other person admits their wrongdoing. However, this is not a healthy definition of forgiveness. In fact, this is retaliation and resentment to a T.
Forgiveness is also not forgetting. Many of us were raised to believe that you forgive and forget, but these two have nothing to do with one another. There is nothing wrong with remembering the wrongdoing, reflecting on it, and making different decisions based on what has happened. In other words, forgetting is not a necessity to forgiveness. What is necessary is to be able to remember what has happened without feeling any resentment regarding the situation.
Forgiveness of oneself.
If you are like the majority of human beings on this planet, then you have at one time or another done something to harm another person or even yourself. Once this happens, you can become consumed by guilt and carry with you low self-esteem for the rest of your life if you are not careful. But you can forgive yourself by accepting that you cannot change what has happened in the past, and by improving who you are today.
How forgiveness can help us grow
In reality, forgiveness is something we do for ourselves, not something we do for someone else. For this reason, it is not always necessary to vocalize forgiveness. True forgiveness can be done in the heart and in the mind without any need for recognition. Anger and resentment weigh heavy on the heart, mind and soul and can prevent us from accomplishing our goals. Forgiveness on the other hand, can free us from the past and from the burdens that come along with life. It can lift us up and allow us to be happy.
Free yourself from the past, embrace the future, and love yourself once again by forgiveness. There is no limit to whom you can be and what you can accomplish, all you have to do is forgive yourself.
Warren Broad is a Huntsville-based Private Counsellor, Marriage and Family Counsellor, Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist and Recovery Coach. He is the co-author of several books, including the Amazon Best-Seller, “It’s the Landing That Counts” and creator of Recovery In The Now program for addiction. He is a retired volunteer firefighter, and runs a series of group programs for anxiety, depression, marriage, law of attraction, addiction and personal growth.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Web: www.warrenbroad.com, Twitter: https://twitter.com/WB_RecoveryNow, Facebook: www.facebook.com/recoveryinthenow, Phone: 705-787-6228