What is forgiveness?

There may have been times when someone close to you has caused you an immense emotional wound that might have caused you to probably wish them to be in hell. You might have safe guarded the hurt and pain they had offered you and this might have constantly clogged your life and stopped you from being peaceful. What they did to you might not have been fair and you probably did not deserve to be in the receiving end, especially if you had trusted unconditionally. However, the pain and agony you feel due to the feeling of betrayal or hurt might be eating you from within. Is it perhaps time for forgiveness?

Forgiveness can be said to be deliberate and a conscious progression of experiencing a change in attitude and feelings concerning an offence, due to letting go of negative emotions such as vengefulness and resentment, with an increased ability to wish the offender well. It is also important to understand what forgiveness is not. Here are some things that forgiving someone doesn't mean:

  1. It doesn't mean you are pardoning or excusing the other person's actions nor does it mean that you shouldn't have any more feelings about the situation.

  2. Forgiveness doesn't mean there is nothing further to work out in the relationship nor does it mean that you should forget the incident had ever happened.

  3. Forgiveness isn't something you do for the sake of the other person.

Then what does forgiveness do?

Forgiveness gives the forgiver a peace of mind by setting free the victim from destructive anger. It empowers to recognize the pain suffered without letting that pain define you, thus enabling you to heal and move on with your life. It is for our own growth and happiness because it frees us to live in the present by allowing us to move on without anger, contempt or seeking revenge.

Forgiveness is never for the other person. It is for you. It is said that wanting revenge is like holding fire in your hand while expecting the other person to burn. You have already been hurt and pained! Why would you want the resultant of that experience to torment you any further? Would you want that experience to hold you from enjoying your life to the fullest?

Think about it. If you decide that you want to live life to the fullest, but you are not being able to forgive, its time you considered dealing with your own issues. You need not do that alone. Counselling might help you in understanding as to why you might be holding on to that feeling of hurt and betrayal and it might even assist you in letting go and forgiving. Getting professional help might help you to live your life to the fullest.

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