The Ins and Outs of Forgiveness

What it Forgiveness?
Forgiveness is a choice that you can make at any time. It is a choice to take back your power to dictate your future. It is a choice to find inner peace and free yourself from past hurts. It is a choice to put yourself and your health and wellbeing first.

Lewis B. Smedes in his book The Art of Forgiving gives 6 statements of what forgiveness is NOT:

  • Forgiving someone who did us wrong does not mean that we tolerate the wrong he did
  • Forgiving does not mean that we want to forget what happened
  • Forgiveness does not mean that we excuse the person who did it
  • Forgiving does not mean that we take the edge off the evil of what was done to us.
  • Forgiving does not mean that we surrender our right to justice.
  • Forgiving does not mean that we invite someone who hurt us once to hurt us again.

So…forgiveness does not condone a person and their actions; rather it frees you from that person and their actions so that you can take back your power, move forward with your life and find peace.

So…why forgive?
There have been many studies conducted into forgiveness and the benefits of forgiving. The following have been found to be the benefits of forgiveness:

  • Healthier relationships
  • Greater spiritual and psychological well-being
  • Less anxiety, stress and hostility
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Fewer symptoms of depression
  • Stronger immune system
  • Improved heart health
  • Higher self-esteem

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