A lot of people ask why is it important to forgive. Truth is, there are a lot of reasons. You cannot underestimate the importance of forgiveness in life. . In a moment, we will answer the question of exactly why is it important to forgive, but first, let’s take a look at exactly what forgiveness is.
What is the importance of forgiveness in life?
Forgiveness is a process of change, facilitated by empathy, whereby a person let’s go of anger and negative thoughts, accepts the events that triggered their anger / sadness, recognises the human weakness that caused the event and shifts their way of thinking from one of revenge to one of good will or acceptance.
To answer why is it important to forgive it’s first necessary to define forgiveness. There is so much misconception about forgiveness that it’s important to recognise what forgiveness is not.
- Forgiveness is not denial (to forgive we must face the reality of the events)
- Forgiveness is not (to forgive is not to accept wrong behaviour as right but to accept that wrong behaviour stems from human weakness)
- Forgiveness is not to pardon
- Forgiveness is not forgetting
- Forgiveness is not to reconcile (to reconcile is to have both people make amends, forgiveness is to accept a person’s error in one’s mind).
Why Is it Important to Forgive? — Health Benefits of Forgiveness
The answer to why is it important to forgive is not jut about letting the other person off the hook. The first place you should look when asking why is it important to forgive, is to yourself. Forgiveness is important to your health in thee ways:
- Forgiveness lowers heart rate and blood pressure as well as stress.
- Forgiveness restores positive thoughts and feelings
- Forgiveness improves immune system response
And then there are these 7 reasons why to err is human and to forgive is divine.
When NOT to Forgive
While there are clearly many benefits to forgiveness, there are still some times when you should be cautious of forgiveness. These are:
- Do not forgive when still feeling angry towards the other person
- Do not forgive when there is a high degree of self blame
- Do not forgive before necessary changes have occurred to prevent repeated offense
- Do not forgive whilst feeling obligated to
- Do not forgive before you have recognised the human weakness that led the perpetrator to cause the offense.
Forgiveness is a virtue, but don’t mortgage your health on it; make sure that you avoid the points above!
How to forgive
- Recognise your own transgressions, errors you yourself have made. This will help you to remember that people are human when you are wronged and therefore will help you to accept negative behaviour from others.
- Realise that forgiveness is healthy for youyourself and make a committed decision to develop the strength of your forgiveness.
- Use the definition of forgiveness written above in order to correct any misconception you might have on exactly what forgiveness is.
- When you are wronged, distance yourself from the wrong doer for as long as is necessary to feel calm, then remember that the wrong doer is human and prone to weaknesses. This will help develop your empathy.
- Research and use some forgiveness meditations, most notably those of Thich Naht Hahn.
Now you know the importance of forgiveness in life you know why you need to forgive and forget. Why not do it now.
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