Forgiveness. Such a big word that packs so much meaning. It is the act or process of forgiving or being forgiven. To forgive is to stop feeling angry or resentful toward someone for an offense, flaw, or mistake. Forgiveness can sometimes be one of the hardest things to do, depending on what the other person has done to offend you.
I have been mulling over this forgiveness issue for a while lately. I have often forgiven people for things they have done (even when they didn’t realize they did anything wrong). But how do you know when you have truly forgiven someone?
- Time – one thing for sure, forgiveness takes time. There have been a few times where I said I have forgiven people, but honestly I hadn’t yet. I needed more time to feel, to work through whatever the issue was, and to move forward on my own time. Time is important.
- When you can talk about what happened as a point of reference and not a point of pain – When talking about the issue no longer causes you hurt, you have reached forgiveness.
- When revenge becomes a non-issue – If you reach the point of no longer trying to get back at someone for what they did to you, I would say you have reached forgiveness with them.
- When the lesson has been learned – sometimes when things happen, we don’t sit in the pain. We brush everything under the rug and go on with life. Then the same situation happens again and again, over and over. In this type of situation, learning through forgiveness allows for new boundaries to be set up. Boundaries, I have recently learned, are a very healthy thing to have. (Don’t worry, I have another blog on boundaries coming!)
- Helping your offender – If something arised and the person that has hurt you needed help and you were able to help them and feel okay about it, you have probably reached forgiveness.
Not only is forgiveness good for you emotionally, but there are some health benefits to forgiveness as well. Some of these include; less anxiety and stress, improved mental health, lower blood pressure, and improved heart health.
Some hold on to grudges for ages, but think about what all you are missing out on. If you are so tied up being angry with someone else, you are missing out on all the good that is going on around you. I get it, you are probably saying, “Casey, you have no idea what they did to me”, but I bet I can relate in a small way. I have been through the abusive relationships, the liars, the cheaters, the people who take advantage, and raising a child on my own. I also understand that we as humans make mistakes, I know I have made my fair share. I have chosen the route of forgiveness, whether people have apologized or not.
Life to too short to constantly be hindered by something that happened in the past. Take the time to learn to forgive. It may take time, but I bet your heart will feel much lighter and happier. Choose Happiness. Choose Forgiveness.
Share some love, we could all use a little more love.