As a counselor and a life coach, I find myself using the word “forgiveness” often.
When clients come to me for help; they are usually stuck, angry or confused on how to move forward. My response is to “let go and forgive.” There are times when it is not our fault that things happen to us, but it is our fault when we hold on to things that we cannot change. Forgiveness is defined as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness. Many clients feel justified, in holding on to the resentment, and hurt, cause by past actions from their friends and love ones. They don’t recognize the affect or the damage caused by not forgiving.
I‘ve counseled clients who struggled with past hurts from childhood, from relationships, from being overlooked at work, there are hundreds of reason why. My question is always the same. What are the benefits gained from holding on to the hatred, the anger, the resentment and not forgiving others? So many clients give me a strange look when the question is asked! But I know, and I hope you understand that we, as humans are always looking for the benefit in all that we do. The question is whether the benefit is healthy or unhealthy? The answer my friends is that it is certainly not. It is not healthy to hold on to past hurts, it is not healthy not to forgive others; the results of not forgiving doesn’t affect the perpetrator, it affects you!
The willingness and ability to forgive is a major factor in shaping who we are. According to an article posted by the Mayo Clinic, forgiveness brings with it plenty of health benefits, including improved relationships, decreased anxiety and stress, lower blood pressure, a lowered risk of depression and a stronger immune and
heart healthy. Letting go of negative emotions can often have a remarkable impact on the body.
I encourage you to think on this:
Forgiveness is a process, not an event
Forgiveness starts with a mental decision
Forgiveness is letting go of the past hurts and thoughts
Forgiveness is for You not the perpetrator
“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned."