The human being is social, adaptable, willing to forgive and continue the relationship with the one who made him suffer at some point. Many people believe that we need to forgive, forgiveness is a characteristic of our specie. At the same time, most react in the opposite direction, having difficulty in overcoming resentment, grudge, actually punishing it self to isolation.
What does it mean to forgive?
1. Forgiveness is good, it’s healthy to forgive, refusal to forgive creates a great discomfort. Forgiveness can be a panacea mentally and physically, a balsam for the soul, an effective drug that can be administered in depression, anxiety, exacerbated aggression, cardiovascular disease, cancer and immunodeficiency. It is said that forgiveness can “fix” a broken heart, a relationship that no longer works and gives you a good feeling. Forgiveness is a remedy for pain.
There are people who believe that forgiveness can not heal resentment, shame, pain and anger but only you. Only you can reconcilewith yourself and can accept what happens either you forgive or not. You can do all this through yourself even when the other one does not apologize.
2. Forgiveness is the only moral and spiritual response against injustice. We grow learning that forgiveness is the key to a life based on principles, but we see all around us that it is not necessary for a person to apologize to receive compassion and tolerance of others. We are free to forgive only those who assume their mistakes and apologize for the pain caused. Eventually we don’t make a big effort when we forgive, but rather the effort will be on the one who will have to “toil” if he wants to earn his forgiveness.
3. There are only two options – you forgive or you don’t forgive.
So, you have to choose between forgive him, even if he doesn’t deserve it, or not forgive him and feel trapped in hatred. The forgiveness language would need words to express what people feel when they are making peace with someone who does not apologize. Is there a way to get rid of resentment and enjoy the benefits of forgiveness but without the need to forgive the one who hurt us? Something between hatred and forgiveness?
It exists, it is called acceptance.
Acceptance is a responsible reaction to an offense made by another person who can not or will not apologize. Acceptance helps you to:
– Value your health and not fall prey to emotional venom spreaded by hatred
– Be sincere and honest to yourself and to the other
– Keep the relationship with the other without feeling a hollow
– See yourself and the other in an honest, objective and fair way
– Maintain the principles and values of life
– Keep emotional and mental comfort
– Exceed the desire for revenge
You can choose to break a friendship or you can opt further to an imperfect or incomplete friendship . You don’t have to go further wounded nor minimize or condone the received offense. You do not have to love or to agree this person but you can remain authentic in her presence but you can give her a chance to win your forgiveness.
4. It is up to you to forgive!
Much has been written about how we should proceed in order to forgive, but not so much about what should be done to regain the trust of a “wounded/hurt” person . Many of us still want to know wich are the steps to forgive and refuse to see that we may not forgive but only to accept. To be forgiven the other person needs to want and act accordingly.
5. Unconditional forgiveness is a gift. The idea is that you, the injured have to forgive the person who has harmed your soul, even when he does not apologize. Christian or not, each of us grew up with the belief that unconditional forgiveness is a gift. The assumption behind this belief is that if we will forgive the one who hurt us in exchange for his effort to earn forgiveness will mean that we are not moral enough.
Studies have found that people tend to react in three ways:
– Those who conform to religion and believe that forgiveness is a gift, but they’re frustrated and feel cheated.
– Those who believe in this idea that forgiveness is unconditional, but when they meet a real situation refuses to forgive.
– People who reject the idea that they need to offer something in exchange for forgiveness but don’t think the same in situations when they are on the other side.
Whatever the reaction of people when it comes to forgive, they want to maintain integrity that’s why they need something in return, not from the desire for power. There are people who easily forgive unconditionally, as if they feel the need to constantly sacrifice. As I said you can move forward in a relationship with someone who hurt you. You can provide him with your kindness, compassion, your help, you can accept as is, without asking anything in return but when it comes to forgiveness it is necessary for him to pay a price to regain the right to step into your privacy. Forgiveness is not a gift, it must be earned.
6. We all know how to forgive, if we open our hearts forgiveness will flourish!
Often forgiveness is defined as a grand ideal that people can not get, in stead they use this remark “only a man with a big heart can forgive“. So, forgiveness refer to a set of ideas that only cause more confusion.
From: Janis Abrahms Spring “How can I forgive you?”