As a human being, it's not weird to find it hard to forgive someone.
It can be said that humans instinctively avoid getting hurt, and forgiving someone that has hurt us is certainly a painful path to walk on.
While following our instincts prove to be beneficial most of the time, there are moments where one of our instincts keeps us stuck in a memory that doesn't allow us to move on from other people's wrongdoings, and when one of those situations happens, it might be a good decision to start the process of healing and giving forgiveness.
The various perception of forgiveness
Some people might refuse to forgive as they feel that it's condoning someone's bad action. However, forgiveness is not the same as saying that what someone did is okay. It should be seen as the process of knowing how a certain action was wrong and has caused harm, then recognizing the need to move and release all the burden and negativity that comes along with it.
Forgiveness is also not saying that your pain is gone or that you can just forget what happened. One misconception that has been going around is that forgetting is an inherent part of forgiving, but it is not.
There are many ways to describe forgiveness, each differs on who you ask, but I'm going to go with this: forgiveness is a decision to let go of resentment and stop letting past events control your life.
Not just about moving on from past incidents or misdeeds by others, forgiveness is also a means to help yourself to become healthier, both physically and mentally.
As stated previously, forgiveness is a decision that takes a lot of time and strength to process. When someone decides to forgive, they choose to no longer suffer and gain freedom, one where their future will no longer be defined nor controlled by what happened in the past.
By forgiving, they chose not to dwell in grudge and hopelessness and took the path towards a healthier and better self.
Unforgiving drawbacks of not forgiving
When you choose not to forgive, the burden of either guilt or wrath inside yourself will slowly eat away your happiness and your physical health. These negative thoughts will burden your nervous and cardiovascular systems, which in turn can cause stress-related physical responses such as damaging your vital organs.
Another thing to remember is it's not rare for someone to make a vague judgment and act subjectively when they're upset, often to the detriment of oneself. This brings us to the next point: forgiveness provides someone with a new perspective and allows that person to act rationally.
Quoting an expert psychotherapist, holding a grudge, or living in a chronic state of tension, so to say, will hurt your immune system. It increases inflammation and catalyzes the production of cortisol, the stress hormone; thus slowly disabling your body's repair mechanisms. On the other hand, forgiveness will help your immune system to function more efficiently, producing good hormones like serotonin and oxytocin by engaging the parasympathetic nervous system.
When you decide that you are ready to go on the journey to forgiveness, you're going to need some preparations, in this case being traits that you should shart having. These traits consist of honesty, sincerity, and openness.
As discussed previously, when trying to give forgiveness, you will first need to acknowledge that you are hurt. When that happens, you need to be honest with yourself on how it feels to be mistreated. By doing so, you can slowly begin to acknowledge it as a part of your past and start moving forward.
Being sincere, in this case, is to be aware that anything that you give, forgiveness included, will not necessarily be reciprocated. Don't expect too much from other people, and always remember to love yourself.
As for the openness trait, you are ready to get new experiences and learn from your mistakes. Come to terms with our weakness as a human and prepare to move forward in a way which will help us to become a better person.
Other tips that might prepare you to start forgiving are practicing stress management and directing your mindset to only positive thoughts. Though if you feel that facing it alone is too tough, joining a support group or seeing a counselor will surely do you a favor.
Ultimately, forgiveness is different for every person. Some people might find it easy to forgive themselves and very hard to forgive others. Some are readily forgiving others while being harsh on themselves. Some are just simply not forgiving of anything. It's important to note that the healthiest people are the ones who can feel pain, express their anger, allow themselves to grieve, and finally move on to the rest of their lives.
So how about it, ready to start forgiving yet?
This is a repost of my own article on another platform.
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