Have you ever struggled with forgiveness? It could be in a relationship or based on an experience that left you bitter. It could be the person who cut you off in traffic or mistreated you. You name it; the list could go on and on.
Forgiveness is vital to our well-being and a valuable life skill that can make a huge difference in how you live a fulfilling and productive life. This article will discuss the healing and the power of forgiveness.
We will review the following key points:
- What does it mean to forgive?
- Life lessons about forgiveness
- The effect of unforgiveness on our health
- The benefits of forgiveness
- A life focused on love
I am very glad that you are here. Let’s get started with the discussion!
What does it mean to forgive?
Thanks to the Oxford Dictionary, forgiveness means to “stop feeling anger or resentment toward someone for an offense, flaw, or mistake.”
Simply put, it expresses letting go or releasing someone who has hurt or angered you.
Life lessons about forgiveness
A great example of forgiveness was the life of Nelson Mandela. Mandela, a South African apartheid activist, spent 27 years in prison for protesting against an oppressive regime.
During those years of confinement to prison, he learned the value of forgiving others.
As quoted by Mandela, “Forgiveness liberates the soul; it removes fear.”
The experience of Mandela provides a glimpse of how we can also use his life lessons to teach us about forgiveness.
When we do not forgive others, we imprison ourselves. However, forgiving others frees us from the bondage that holds us back from living the life God intended for us to live.
The effect of unforgiveness on our health
Imagine the cells of your body storing all the anger and hate you collect over time and never releasing it.
As you age, accumulating a build-up of anger and hatred can become toxic to your body. If unreleased, it can begin to spill over into your health. This affects our emotions, bodies, and relationships.
Now, I am not a medical expert. However, it has been said that unforgiveness can cause illness, including cancer.
A quote from Un-Pharma.com, “Unforgiveness is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die.”
But what happens is the opposite; unforgiveness is released into our bodies and minds with outward effects as an illness.
I recall reading somewhere that a man kept getting cancer throughout his body, and the doctor discussed with him that this was the effect of his inability to forgive someone. The doctor explained that his cancer could be cured if he could forgive the person.
However, the man replied that if he forgave them, he would let the person off the hook and make it seem they had won. Therefore, he could not forgive them and continued to experience cancer until he died.
The benefits of forgiveness
So how does forgiveness benefit you?
Forgiveness is not for the other person; it is for you. When you forgive, you are expressing an act of love for yourself.
Look at Jesus dying on the cross; he asks God in Luke 23:34, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”
When Jesus asked to forgive those who had abused and beaten him, he expressed the greatest love for all humanity and demonstrated how to love ourselves and others.
Likewise, when we act to forgive others, it is not saying that we do not forget the offense that occurred or even that we condone what has taken place; instead, we are letting go of the past and not allowing ourselves to become imprisoned by it.
By forgiving, we express love for ourselves and decide to move forward and live without looking back.
A life focused on love
The ultimate lesson of forgiveness is learning to love others even when they do things we disagree with.
This may not always feel easy; however, think of this from a different perspective.
You are here on earth to learn lessons to help you grow. The people who come into your life, directly or indirectly, are just part of the curriculum to assist you in understanding the lessons and passing the class.
If you fail the lesson or class, you will likely have to repeat it. However, learning to change your focus to loving and forgiving others will help you grow and advance in life.
So, let your focus be motivated by love. Love yourself, love those who mistreat you, and learn to forgive.
This article is about healing yourself to become a better person. We reviewed the meaning of forgiveness, lessons learned, the effects of unforgiveness on your health, the benefits of forgiveness, and changing your focus to love.
In this article, I wanted to inspire you to forgive and live a life with purpose and meaning. This is a life lesson we all can learn from. Please leave comments or your own ideas that you have incorporated into your life to forgive and live a life filled with love.
Thank you for visiting!