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The Language of Foregiveness

Article By: seskdale
Religion and spirituality



Forgiveness is often viewed in terms of forgiving others for transgressions that have negatively impacted or affected you in one way or another. Using the language of forgiveness properly allows people to find a new window for healing. When we learn how to forgive a great deal of pressure can be released and allow us to feel much more calm and happy, this can positively impact our health and our relationships.


Submitted:Oct 11, 2008    Reads: 841    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   


What is Forgiveness?

Forgiveness is a difficult term to define as each person attaches his/her own feelings and belief system to the word. In general, however, we can talk about forgiveness as being when someone lets go of hard feelings that result from a perceived or real event that was cause by someone else. Forgiveness is usually most important in our relationships with family and close friends, but few seem to realize that forgiveness is a gift that we must be willing to give others and ourselves.

Who Did We Learn From?

As a child we learn that forgiveness is granted by parents and loved ones when something bad happens or when we do something we shouldn't, but this is only part of the language of forgiveness.

In the beginning we are taught to provide forgiveness when someone offers an apology, but we aren't taught what to do when we are still angry and don't feel like we should have to forgive the person. When this occurs we are merely going through the motions of saying the words "I forgive you".

The issue that results is that forgiving someone in words only does not allow us to escape from resentment and anger. Resentment and anger can cause a very negative effect on our spiritual, mental and eventually our physical health.

Good for the Soul?

Our families and churches might further preach that we should live our lives with the concept of forgiveness being good for the soul. How can it possibly be good for the soul? Does holding on to resentment and anger automatically result in you becoming someone who is more apt to encounter difficulties in living a Christian life?

Everyone has heard the old adage "forgive and forget", but few truly understand that it is possible to forgive someone and forget about the negative impact the individual or the event had on your life. When you truly forgive there is no longer a reason to hold the memory, but should you wish to recall the memory you are able to do so without fearing that old feelings of anger and resentment will arise.

Forgiving Others

Forgiving others can be the result of an individual asking to be forgiven or it can be the result of us wanting to forgive someone to be able to move on with our lives.

Regardless of the reason behind the forgiveness it is important to realize that forgiving others will require you to let go of negative emotions and thoughts related to the individual and the event. Being able to clear the negative feelings is very important to learning more about the language of forgiveness.

The easiest way to understand the relationship and impact is to put it into an everyday situation. When you are driving and someone cuts you off there is an immediate sense of fear, anger and even desire for revenge. When you have those feelings causes your body to respond in kind by releasing chemicals that allow you to respond to the event. When there is no longer a need for these feelings and actions the body dissipates the chemicals and allows you to return to your normal self.

If you see the traffic incident as the occasion in your life where someone has done something to injure you physically, mentally or spiritually (whether intentional or not) you can begin to understand that feelings can be separated from a memory.

The question becomes how does one learn how to forgive and forget?

Sadly there is right way to forgive someone and there does not appear to be any tried and true manner of granting forgiveness. For most people it is something that is done through trial and error and what works in one instance might not work in the next.

What is Forgiveness?

Forgiveness is a difficult term to define as each person attaches his/her own feelings and belief system to the word. In general, however, we can talk about forgiveness as being when someone lets go of hard feelings that result from a perceived or real event that was cause by someone else. Forgiveness is usually most important in our relationships with family and close friends, but few seem to realize that forgiveness is a gift that we must be willing to give others and ourselves.

Who Did We Learn From?

As a child we learn that forgiveness is granted by parents and loved ones when something bad happens or when we do something we shouldn't, but this is only part of the language of forgiveness.

In the beginning we are taught to provide forgiveness when someone offers an apology, but we aren't taught what to do when we are still angry and don't feel like we should have to forgive the person. When this occurs we are merely going through the motions of saying the words "I forgive you".

The issue that results is that forgiving someone in words only does not allow us to escape from resentment and anger. Resentment and anger can cause a very negative effect on our spiritual, mental and eventually our physical health.

Good for the Soul?

Our families and churches might further preach that we should live our lives with the concept of forgiveness being good for the soul. How can it possibly be good for the soul? Does holding on to resentment and anger automatically result in you becoming someone who is more apt to encounter difficulties in living a Christian life?

Everyone has heard the old adage "forgive and forget", but few truly understand that it is possible to forgive someone and forget about the negative impact the individual or the event had on your life. When you truly forgive there is no longer a reason to hold the memory, but should you wish to recall the memory you are able to do so without fearing that old feelings of anger and resentment will arise.

Forgiving Others

Forgiving others can be the result of an individual asking to be forgiven or it can be the result of us wanting to forgive someone to be able to move on with our lives.

Regardless of the reason behind the forgiveness it is important to realize that forgiving others will require you to let go of negative emotions and thoughts related to the individual and the event. Being able to clear the negative feelings is very important to learning more about the language of forgiveness.

The easiest way to understand the relationship and impact is to put it into an everyday situation. When you are driving and someone cuts you off there is an immediate sense of fear, anger and even desire for revenge. When you have those feelings causes your body to respond in kind by releasing chemicals that allow you to respond to the event. When there is no longer a need for these feelings and actions the body dissipates the chemicals and allows you to return to your normal self.

If you see the traffic incident as the occasion in your life where someone has done something to injure you physically, mentally or spiritually (whether intentional or not) you can begin to understand that feelings can be separated from a memory.

The question becomes how does one learn how to forgive and forget?

Sadly there is right way to forgive someone and there does not appear to be any tried and true manner of granting forgiveness. For most people it is something that is done through trial and error and what works in one instance might not work in the next.

Forgiving Yourself

The most important thing you can do is to forgive yourself for perceived slights against others or even against yourself. If you can ask others for forgiveness and it is granted you must be ready and willing to forgive yourself. Once you have been forgiven you must let go of all of the anger and negative feelings in order to free yourself from the burden; this is the language of letting go!

Since we are often hardest on ourselves we tend to keep hold of all of the wrongs committed by and against ourselves. Some acts seem to be so horrible that we have trouble freeing ourselves from the burden. When we are not able to separate the memories from the feelings there is an inability to remain positive about ourselves. When this happens it can result in us questioning our self worth and can even result in depression.

When we are unable to forgive it can result in emotional and physical maladies such as depression, anxiety and other illnesses related to muscle stress and tension. The body begins a cycle of changes in the release of chemicals that are used to monitor and run the body systems. When this occurs, we need to recover from the physical problem. This can be particularly difficult if we do not have any idea that negative feelings are powering the problem. Counselling can help to get to the route of the problem, but what is really required is commitment on our part to search our memories for events that we have not yet let go of.

Rebuilding your sense of self worth is critical to being able to heal yourself. Our soul is positively impacted when we can let go of anger, fear, frustration and thoughts of revenge. The mindset becomes more positive and we are able to better deal with the daily fodder than if we were unable to forgive.

Benefits of Forgiveness

Chronic pain, anxiety, depression and blood pressure issues are often tied to personal beliefs and the ability to combat stress. These in turn are tied to your ability to process thoughts and feelings and let go of those thought processes and feelings that no longer serve you.

Learning how to forgive others can be difficult, but it does come with the added benefits of taking away negative feelings that we may have held along with the memory of an event. The person who forgives has an opportunity to free up energy that was once reserved for the painful memory. This energy, in turn, can help to recharge your body. Mental and physical health may be positively affected.

The lessening of negative feelings can positively impact an individual's mental, physical and spiritual health. This can be a great relief for those who experience anxiety disorders or other physical disorders that are impacted by low moods, such as depression.

The article entitled "Forgiveness: How to let go of grudges and bitterness" provides a very detailed list of health benefits that result from forgiving others, including but not limited to stress reduction, lower blood pressure, lower heart rate, reduced anxiety and depression and less chronic pain. To read the full list of benefits click here.

Forgiveness - Language of Letting Go

Remember that forgiveness requires a commitment to let go of the past wrongs and to be willing to combat any negative feelings that may result from memories that may come randomly.

When you learn how to truly forgive others it becomes much easier to transfer that skill to your own life and forgiving yourself. Imagine not having negative thoughts when you see a person who has wronged you - wouldn't that be great? It can happen, but it does take work and commitment.

You may find that you need to remove emotions from memories more than once before you have forgiven the person, yourself or the situation. Letting go impacts how you carry yourself; there is less stress and tension in the muscles and as a result you may look and feel younger than you have in years.

Resources

Is forgiveness something you want to try? Here are a few resources that might be of assistance to you and your journey.

Scientific research into the art of forgiveness is available on the internet. Visit forgiveness.org for more information.

Spirituality also touts the benefits of forgiveness and the Spirituality & Health - the Soul Body Connection has created a self-test that may help you determine whether or not you are successful in forgiving. Click here to read more.

The Forgiveness Forum provides tools that allow people to relate forgiveness to biblical and psychological insights, self-test belief questions, and much more. Click here to visit the forum.

Coping.Org : Tools for Coping with Life's Stressors provides insights into relationships and the matter or forgiveness. The site also examines the connection between beliefs and behaviours and provides some of the steps that can be taken to achieve forgiveness.





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