What is forgiveness??
Is it forgetting what happened? Or just saying “I forgive you” but not meaning it.
I actually wasn’t sure myself what forgiveness was!!!!
I looked it up and here are some things I found, and some of my own thoughts.
Q. What is the definition of forgiveness?
A. Forgiveness, at a minimum, is a decision to let go of the desire for revenge and ill-will toward the person who wronged you. It may also include feelings of goodwill toward the other person. Forgiveness is also a natural resolution of the grief process, which is the necessary acknowledgment of pain and loss. It’s a “a shift in thinking” toward someone who has wronged you, “such that your desire to harm that person has decreased and your desire to do him good (or to benefit your relationship) has increased.”
Q. Why is it hard to forgive? Why, when thinking about forgiving a specific person, we just don’t want to?
A. People often are reluctant to forgive because they somehow feel that if they forgive, then they are excusing the bad behavior. It’s as if we’re saying that by forgiving someone, it justifies what that person did. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Resentment is like drinking poison – and expecting the other person to die. The only one who is made sick is the one harboring the resentment. But of course, this is the reason the Torah forbids holding a grudge, or harboring resentment….as always, laws and rules are there for our own good. Also, it feels like you are powerful when you are angry or holding resentment, such feeling give you a drive, and makes you feel powerful. But it’s not a real feeling….
Q. Okay, so now let’s say it’s not about excusing the behavior, it’s about what that person did wasn’t right, and it had affects that won’t go away. Or the person won’t even say sorry!!!! So why should I forgive?
A. Again, holding in resentment is bad for yourself!!!! Though it may be very tempting to try and hurt the second person back by not forgiving, you are also hurting yourself, and that’s not good at all! Forgiveness is really a choice we make. If we wait for the feeling to fill our hearts, inspiring us to forgive, we could spend our lives waiting. It is a decision – a conscious decision. While we don’t have control over events that occurred in the past, we have some say over what role those events play in our present. You may find that you may not necessarily feel immediately better after you forgive, but as with many things in life, action often precedes motivation. As you read this you may be thinking, “There is no way I am going to forgive _____________.” I understand that you may not be able to imagine how good it might feel, but can you take the leap of faith that it might feel great?
Q. Ok, great, now I have the motivation to forgive, I see how it’s the better choice….but how can I get rid of this resentment???
A. You will see….next post!!!!
Most of this was from an amazing article I read….and parts of it are linked to it, so enjoy!!!
Remember: Your mind is like a magnifying glass. Whatever you focus on will expand. Do you want to focus on resentment, or forgiveness? Which one, do you believe, will ultimately make you feel (and live) better?
Tell me what you think!!!! I love hearing your feedback!