Forgiveness is a major part of healing. Forgiveness is letting go of your urge to retaliate, to exact revenge. Forgiveness is an unnatural act1. Studies have shown that forgiveness is good for your health, lowering blood pressure and heart rate and reducing pain. It will reduce emotional symptoms such as depression, anger and anxiety. It improves relational and spiritual health
Forgiving others is not about them and what they did; it’s about you and moving on with your life. It does not excuse or belittle what happened. It does not make the other person right or mean you have to let them have the power to hurt you again. Forgiveness buys your freedom.
Forgiveness is a process not a one off event. It takes time. It is not about how you feel or what you emotions say; it is that act of saying, ‘I forgive.’
At some point, in order to heal you will need to ask forgiveness from and speak forgiveness to others including your former partner. However important it is to do this to free yourself so you can move on, ensure your safety at all times. Sometimes the best way is to write a letter that you never post.
Some stepping stones to help you forgive
- Believe that forgiveness buys your freedom.
- Choose and control your thoughts.
- Let go of your right to take revenge.
- Separate the act of saying ‘I forgive’ from how you feel.
- Don’t be defined by events from your past
- Recognise that any emotional pain you feel at this moment is coming from your own thoughts and feelings, not the offence.
- Accept responsibility but don’t punish yourself for your failings.
- Focus on your blessings instead of your wounds.
- Put your energy into moving forward instead of rehashing your pain
- Yancey, P. (1997 ) What’s so amazing about grace, Zondervan Publishing House, USA