Greetings Once Again! Forgiveness is not always easy to do.... There may be times while on our journey when our spirit is wounded. As human beings we are very vulnerable to being hurt. When we feel the pain of an unkind action from another person... it is sometimes very difficult to find forgiveness in our heart. The following is an article that learning to forgive is actually a "Gift" to our self. If you are struggling with forgiving someone... Trust the God and allow your Spirit to be free.... Give a gift to yourself! =)
Forgiveness - the Gift You Give Yourself
Forgiveness is Important for Healing Your Mental Health and Emotional State
Michy Lynn, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Sep 30, 2006
"Many people seem to have a misunderstanding about what it really means to forgive someone for a wrong done to them. This article will explore a little bit about what forgiveness is and the reasons why forgiveness is important.
The first thing I want to point out is what is, to me, the most important part about forgiveness - that forgiveness is NOT a gift you give to another, but rather something you do inside of yourself, for yourself. The other person need never know. You can choose to extend forgiveness to the other person, if that is your choice, but it is not necessary in order to forgive inside of yourself and heal the pain you carry for a wrong another has done to you or that has affected you.
Forgiveness doesn't mean reconciliation - nor does it mean you have to allow a behavior that can hurt you to continue to hurt you. Forgiveness is, in essence, the acknowledgment inside of yourself that the person who has wronged you in some way is a fallible human being - and that, like a human being, they made a mistake worthy of your forgiveness.
Now, I believe everyone deserves forgiveness inside of themselves, because to hold on to old wounds defeats you as a person. It closes off a part of your heart and self that you cannot give to anyone else as long as you hang on to the anger and bitterness that remains in you when you do not forgive. However, I do not believe the other party who has wronged you always deserves that forgiveness to be extended to them. And many times, they do not deserve reconciliation.
Forgiveness doesn't come automatically - but the party who wronged you does not have to ask for forgiveness for you to give it. The party who wronged you doesn't even have to admit they made a mistake or did anything that requires forgiving. The party who wronged you doesn't even have to make amends in order for you to forgive them. Remember, forgiveness is not a gift you give to another, but rather something you do inside of yourself - for yourself.
Forgiveness IS a choice - you have to choose to forgive and let go of the pain.
Reconciliation and forgiveness are two separate things - they are not mutually exclusive. Forgiving someone does not mean you have to reconcile with that person. If the other person has wronged you so severely that you simply could not trust to allow this person in your life in any capacity - reconciliation is not possible, but forgiveness is.
Forgiving doesn't mean opening yourself back up to be hurt again.
Forgiving doesn't mean allowing the other person's behavior to continue.
For reconciliation - the other person must admit their wrongdoing and ask for forgiveness, and then they must take action to prevent that wrongdoing from happening again. Reconciliation requires both you to forgive and the other person to take action. Forgiveness on the other hand doesn't even require the other person at all.
You can extend forgiveness to those who are no longer living - but you cannot reconcile with them. You can extend forgiveness to someone who is no longer in your life and never will be again, but you cannot reconcile with them. You can extend forgiveness to someone who hurt you or abused you - but you do not have to allow that person in your life again to hurt or abuse you more.
Forgiveness sets you free. Forgiveness lets you remove the pain you carry inside of you that you feel was done by another's wrongdoing. The other person need not admit the wrongdoing. The other person need not make amends. The other person need not do anything. Forgiveness is something done inside of yourself, to release you from the pain of the wrongdoing.
Forgiveness releases your need for revenge. Vengeance is counterproductive to healing. Revenge is never as sweet as we believe it will be, and vengeance serves no purpose. When anger subsides, the need for vengeance fades, and any action taken in the name of revenge is action you will probably find you need to forgive yourself for - or will have to ask for forgiveness for, at some point.
It is important, however, to understand the difference between justice and vengeance.
To forgive, you must let go of your desire for vengeance. However, forgiveness does not mean letting go of your right for justice.
What is the difference?
Vengeance is wanting to make the other person suffer as much or more than the perceived suffering you have felt because of their actions, simply because of what they did to you, and to find pleasure or amusement in their pain because of the way they wronged you.
I realize that moral accounting is already in effect - and justice, as the universe deals it, will be served.
Forgiveness means letting go of the pain inside of you, while still allowing you to seek justice served morally or legally. Life moves forward without the weight that holding on to a lost cause brings.
Remember, forgiveness is not a gift you give another, but something you do inside of yourself – for yourself. When you look at it this way, forgiveness is possible in any situation, once you are ready to release the pain of the wrongdoing and move on with your life."