It is important to practise goodness towards others who have been unfair to us, starting from childhood, adulthood and beyond

A lot of people find it difficult to forgive someone especially after a big argument or disagreement. Why is that so? Often times we hesitate to forgive because we think it must automatically amount to reconciliation. But forgiveness does not equate reconciliation. These are two separate processes, and one does not always lead to the other.

What Is Forgiveness?

Forgiveness is the release of anger. Upon forgiving, one doesn’t have to return to the same relationship as before or accept the same harmful behaviors from an offender. Carrying the hurt or anger of an offense leads the body to release stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. Eliminating the perpetual flow of those hormones may also explain why forgiveness provides physical health benefits, such as lowering the risk of high blood pressure and heart problems.

How to Forgive Someone Who Has Wronged You

Forgiveness can be challenging, especially when the offending party offers either an insincere apology or nothing at all. However, it’s often the healthiest path forward.

When life hits us hard, there is nothing as effective as forgiveness for healing deep wounds. Forgiveness does not necessarily come easily; but it is possible for many of us to achieve, if we have the right tools and are willing to put in the effort.

Know what Forgiveness is and why it Matters

Forgiveness is about goodness, about extending mercy to those who have harmed us, even if they don’t “deserve” it. It is not about finding excuses for the offending person’s behavior or pretending it didn’t happen.

Working on forgiveness can help us increase our self-esteem and give us a sense of inner strength and safety. It can reverse the lies that we often tell ourselves when someone has hurt us deeply—lies like: I am defeated or I am not worthy. Forgiveness can heal us and allow us to move on in life with meaning and purpose.

Becoming Forgiving Fit

Just as you would start slowly with a new physical exercise routine, it helps if you build up your forgiving heart muscles slowly, incorporating regular “workouts” into your everyday life. You can start becoming more fit by making a commitment to do no harm—in other words, making a conscious effort not to talk disparagingly about those who have hurt you. You don’t have to say good things but if you refrain from talking negatively, it will feed the more forgiving side of your mind and heart.

Try to understand and recognize that every person is unique, special, and irreplaceable. It’s important to cultivate this mindset of valuing our common humanity, so that it becomes harder to discount someone who has harmed you as unworthy.

Sometimes pride and power can weaken your efforts to forgive by making you feel entitled and inflated, so that you hang onto your resentment as a noble cause.

Address your Inner Pain

There are many forms of emotional pain; but the common forms are anxiety, depression, unhealthy anger, lack of trust, self-loathing or low self-esteem, an overall negative worldview, and a lack of confidence in one’s ability to change. All of these harms can be addressed by forgiveness; so it’s important to identify the kind of pain you are suffering from and to acknowledge it. The more hurt you have incurred, the more important it is to forgive, at least for the purpose of experiencing emotional healing.

If you are struggling with forgiveness, that does not mean you are a failure at forgiveness. Forgiveness takes time, patience, and determination. Surround yourself with good and wise people who support you and who have the patience to allow you time to heal in your own way. Also, practice humility—not in the sense of putting yourself down, but in realizing that we are all capable of imperfection and suffering.

Develop a Forgiving Mind

Empathy is connected to forgiveness and therefore, an important step in the healing process.

If you were to examine some of the details in the life of the person who harmed you, what wounds does he or she carry? From there, start to develop empathy for that person. Try to envision the person as an innocent child, needing love and support. Recognizing that we all carry wounds in our hearts can help open the door to forgiveness.

Develop a Forgiving Heart

When we overcome suffering, we gain a more mature understanding of what it means to be humble, courageous, and loving. As such, we may want to create an atmosphere of forgiveness in our homes and workplaces, to help others who have been harmed overcome their suffering, or to protect our communities from a cycle of hatred and violence. All of these choices can lighten the heart and bring joy to one’s life.

Forgiveness can unburden us of those wounds so we have healthier, friendlier, more just interactions with the innocent among us.

As the famous English poet Alexander Pope wrote in his poem “An Essay on Criticism”: To err is human, to forgive divine.

By admin