Forgiveness can be defined as “The mental, and/or spiritual process of ceasing to feel resentment, indignation or anger against another person for a perceived offense, difference or mistake, or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution.” (Wikipedia.com) Forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to accept, approve or condone what someone else did to you, but it does mean that what was done no longer has control over you.

It is the process of releasing these feelings that can set you free – free from the past so that it no longer has control over your thoughts and how you feel. This freedom can then lead to peace, hope, gratitude and joy.

Forgiving ourselves and others allows us to thrive within our families, with our health and in our community.

When forgiveness happens, we naturally let go of the disturbing thoughts and emotions that drain our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. This results in a greater level of health and happiness, not to mention all the benefits that forgiveness brings.

Forgiveness can release us from the past and assist us in overcoming resentment or regrets that we may have.  Forgiveness also allows us to let go of grudges and bitterness and makes way for compassion, kindness and peace.

By not forgiving the other person, you are ONLY HURTING YOURSELF. The other person probably doesn’t even realize you have these bad feelings towards them. They may have even forgotten about the incident that lives fresh in your mind every day.

When we don’t forgive, we continually pay the price by continuing to bring anger and bitterness into every relationship we have. If we continue to dwell on the hurtful events and situations, anger and vengeance take root in our minds. These negative feelings can then crowd out the positive ones, leaving us with nothing but our own bitterness and sense of injustice.

While forgiving may not always be easy, it is always worth it.

How to forgive:

(From the experts at the Mayo Clinic)

Forgiveness is a commitment to a process of change. To begin, you might:

  • Consider the value of forgiveness and its importance in your life at a given time.
  • Reflect on the facts of the situation, how you’ve reacted, and how this combination has affected your life, health and well-being.
  • When you’re ready, actively choose to forgive the person who’s offended you.
  • Move away from your role as victim and release the control and power the offending person and situation have had in your life.

As you let go of grudges, you’ll no longer
define your life by how you’ve been hurt.
You might even find compassion and understanding.

First steps:

Before you can forgive anyone else in your life, you first need to forgive yourself for past mistakes, actions and other things you regret or are still mad at yourself for.

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