To Forgive is Divine
“To err is human, to forgive is divine.”
We all know this popular adage, but what does it really mean? Well, as humans, we all make mistakes – whether or not we want to admit to them is another thing entirely! However, when it comes to forgiveness, many of us would rather hold on to our hurts, our resentments and our anger than forgive the one who has done us wrong. It usually takes a “bigger” person to forgive, someone who realizes that holding on to all those negative emotions only hurts them in the long run – instead of the person who committed the wrongdoing!
Usually, we tend to think of forgiveness as benefiting only the one who is guilty of the wrongdoing. Viewed in this way, forgiveness is a “divine” act on the part of the one who forgives; the one who is forgiven is relieved of any guilt and can go on with their lives, free from remorse. But what about the forgiver? Does he/she benefit at all?
A life that is consumed by bitterness and resentment is hardly a life worth living. When anger and resentment consume you, this only leads to depression and a life of misery, where you feel victimized and powerless.
Forgiveness frees you – it frees you to live without the weight of that anger and resentment. Forgiveness of others, and ourselves, for the wrongdoings we have caused ourselves or suffered because of another’s actions, has tremendous physical and psychological effects. Forgiveness of ourselves and others leads to increased feelings of self worth and decreased psychological stress. This allows you to live a more satisfied and fulfilling life because you have moved beyond the negative feelings that keep you stuck in the muck and the mire and control your thinking and behavior.
Forgiveness is really a gift that you give to yourself. It has very little to do with the person who has hurt you. In fact, holding on to that hurt is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die! Doesn’t make any sense, does it? Letting go of the hurt helps to build your self esteem because it demonstrates your willingness to move out of the “victim” role and take your own personal power back.
Remember – forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to accept the behavior of another nor does it mean you have to forget. It means granting yourself the permission to be happy and to move on – because that is what is best for you!