Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Forgiveness: It's More Than Saying "Sorry"

Rebellion done for it's own sake
does not a true free thinker make.
To go against for it's own sake
you're still controlled by the course that the other man takes
-Nick Hexum

 Regret and anger are often common themes in the lives of people who suffer from anxiety or depression. Another way to take a look at these would be as lack of forgiveness for yourself or lack of forgiveness for someone else. Any way you look at it, holding on to grudges, whether toward yourself or someone else, is not a healthy way to live. Letting go of those grudges and regret will help you to become a stronger and happier person.

The reasons why we withhold our forgiveness:
The main reason why people withhold their forgiveness is because they feel the other person doesn't deserve it. Well, you have to get that out of your head. The forgiveness is not for them. It is for you. Their life will go on with or without your forgiveness, will yours? You have to be willing to let go of the hurt and anger for you, so that you can move on with your life.
Holding that grudge is often an exercise of control. You say to yourself something like "I won't forgive them until they apologize" or until they do something to make amends with you or maybe just stop what it is they are doing that has you so worked up in the first place. You feel that if you give them that forgiveness, you lose all power in the situation. In fact, the exact opposite is true! You aren't controlling them with that grudge. They are controlling you. You actually have no control in this situation. You are allowing their actions to dictate how you move on with your life. (Trying to control the uncontrollable things in life is a MAJOR source of anxiety as well) Once you are able to truly forgive, you will feel better, regardless of the actions of another. THAT is power.

Now, I realize it's not always that easy. Some actions are easier to forgive than others. Forgive and forget is not realistic. You don't need to forget in order to forgive, simply move on. You must remember the things that caused you to be angry or upset (whether towards someone else or yourself) in order to make changes to avoid the same things in the future. Some of the more serious offenses will take time to forgive, but until you let go of depending on someone else to initiate that process, it won't happen and you won't be able to heal.

I have a job interview to prepare for right now so I will continue tomorrow with discussing HOW TO FORGIVE YOURSELF and why it is so important.

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