My plan at the beginning of this week was to write about a certain topic that involves the criminal justice system but now, something has changed my mind. I have decided that I should speak out about the importance of forgiveness instead. I believe that it is important to talk about a certain topic that we do or can use in our everyday lives, especially since there is a large portion of individuals walking around in this world without knowing the power of forgiveness.
First off, I would like to address what forgiveness is and what it is not. Psychologists define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of negative resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness or not. Now, that we are aware of forgiveness means, it is also important to know what it does not mean as well. When you forgive an individual, it does not mean that you gloss over or deny the seriousness of an offense against you. Although forgiveness can help repair damaged relationships, it does not obligate you to reconcile with toxic individuals or release them from legal accountability.
Secondly, let's mention the purpose of forgiveness. the most important thing to know when it comes to forgiveness is to know that the act of forgiveness is first and foremost for ourselves. Forgiveness brings peace to the soul and frees him or her from corrosive anger that is held toward the offender. Sometimes, forgiveness can be challenging depending on the type of situation and a person feels empowered by not giving themselves permission not to forgive; but when you forgive, you let go of negative feelings and in this way, it empowers you to recognize the pain you suffered without letting that pain define you, enabling you to heal and move on with your life.
Thirdly, the benefits of forgiveness has been proven by researchers that forgiveness elevates mood, enhances optimism, and guards against anger, stress, anxiety, and depression. Research has shown that carrying the hurt and anger of an official health benefits, such as lowering the risk of high blood pressure and heart problems.
As I approach the ending of this article, another thing I want to address is SELF forgiveness. I feel as though so many hurt individuals are suffering from past mistakes and don't seem to know how to move forward with their lives. Self forgiveness is the first step toward a more loving, positive relationship with yourself and therefore with others. The first step to mend a relationship or trust that's been breached is to step fully into your culpability and admit fault. It can be difficult at times to admit when we are wrong but denial is the thing that can lead us into even deeper trouble.
After you take responsibility for what took place, try to realize what the lesson it is that you learned and figure out what steps that you can learn in order to not repeat that same mistake. Self forgiveness operates just the same as if you were to forgive someone else instead. You're allowing yourself to let go of all the negative feelings you are holding onto in order to set yourself free and to live in peace. Holding on to guilt from past mistakes makes you feel as if you are in a prison and will eventually drive you insane so the best way to release yourself from those emotions is to learn to forgive yourself. It's not the end of the world, you are only human and you will continue to make mistakes because making mistakes helps us evolve into better people. Last but not least, learn, grow, and move forward. Mistakes take place in order for us to learn and grow not to burden us.