‘Holding a grudge doesn’t make you strong; it makes you bitter. Forgiving doesn’t make you weak; it sets you free.’
To forgive is hard, but it is effective. It is not at all easy but makes your life easier. Forgiveness is a powerful and healing emotion. It heals you more than the other person because by shedding away the unwanted grudges, you make your life smoother and happier.
Have you sometimes went beyond your comfort zone, and forgiven someone? Or even tried to do so? If yes, then you are certainly a strong person, and if not, read it and decide it.
Forgiveness works for our growth and well-being, rather than the person whom we forgive. By avoiding depletion of our necessary energy, the quality of forgiveness retains our mental peace, maintains our relations, and enhances productivity. Learning to let go makes your life simpler, easier and happier.
Recent researches have shown that forgiving nature has a positive correlation with our well-being, since it alleviates any negative feelings that are related to stress, and therefore plays a crucial role in our psychological health.
Michele Killough, in his doctorate research under Purdue University(1992), formulated the existence of three types of forgiveness. The first type, Detached Forgiveness, involved a reduction in negative affect toward the offender, but no restoration of the relationship. Limited Forgiveness, the second type, consisted of a reduction in negative affect towards the offender and partial restoration of and decreased emotional investment in the relationship. The third type, Full Forgiveness, was similar to the traditional concept of forgiveness and included a total cessation of negative affect towards the offender and full restoration and growth of the relationship.
McCullough (2000), however, stated that the variables that affect people’s capability to forgive include cognitive and emotional processes life empathy, perspective-taking, rumination and suppression; relationship qualities such as closeness, commitment, and satisfaction; and situational factors such as an apology. It is found that people forgive apologetic offenders because apology creates a feeling of empathy, which makes it easier to forgive. The more people ruminate (i.e. troubled by thoughts, images of the offense) or suppress the feelings about an offense, the more difficult it becomes to forgive the offender. Relational factors like closeness, commitment, seemed to play an easier role in forgiving a person. People likely to forgive easier in relational terms.
Now, the question is from where and how to start;
- Try to know the actual meaning of forgiveness: Forgiveness is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of ultimate maturity, inner strength, sign of a healthy mind. People afraid that forgiving shows a defeated self, but no, it is the victory of your inner self. It reflects your self-love and priority against unwanted negativity.
- Avoid being judgmental: Yes, avoid being judgemental about the situation or the person that hurt you. Because sometimes there remain many hidden turmoils of emotions that the second person undergoes to behave the way he or she did to hurt you. One should be in empathy with such a person because they are more wounded internally and are in pain.
- Understand the situation: Sometimes readdressing the whole situation in a different angle helps you to forgive easily. Who hurt you and why, how far was that logical? And not forgiving is logical as well. Many at times, we actually are to blame, but the ego inside us doesn’t allow us to be humble enough to self-admit the fact. Therefore try to re-evaluate the whole scenario gives you a better understanding.
- Realize the importance of forgiveness: Reconsider in your mind, who the person is you need to forgive? Is your person very close to your heart? What is the relationship with the person? What is/was the role of the person in your life? Did you have good memories with the person before the situation? Is your anger, hatred is more important than the relationship you have with the person? Does your anger justify the good times spent together? Answering these questions to yourself will help you to make a wiser decision in forgiving others. Sometimes in unsolved wounds, we have to be mature and resilient enough to consider it as the life’s lessons to make a wiser use.
With all the wishes of positivity!!
This is my 6th blog for letter ‘F’, for the ongoing #blogchatterchallengeA2Z.
Killough .M (1992), ‘A New theory of Forgiveness’Ph.D dissertation, Purdue University, Proquest Publishing
McCollough.M ( 2000), Journal of Social And Clinical Psychology, Spring; Psychology Module, Pg 43