Forgiveness is a gift, not just for you, but for the people you forgive. There’s always a chance that the grace we grant, can return to us. Life is full of surprises! Yet, those who have hurt us, may or may not ever apologize. Nevertheless, holding anger, according to recent research, can cause illness. These scientific findings aren’t surprising, if we think about it.
Can peace flow from anger? Does anger make us happy? Does pro-longed anger enhance mental health? Retaining anger may give us a sense of satisfaction. But, in the end, anger and bitterness won’t produce many good seeds for personal growth.
Have you ever been so angry at someone who hurt you that you couldn’t eat or sleep. Have ever been so angry at someone who hurt you that you couldn’t enjoy life’s simple pleasures? Forgiveness has tremendous health benefits for those who consent to forgive. Recent research reveals, that the rewards for forgiving others include: lowered blood pressure, a stronger immune system and decreased stress levels. In fact, studies suggest that back pain, stomach troubles and headaches may vanish when we forgive.
Forgiving someone, is not always easy but the choice is ours. Even when we believe that forgiveness is the better choice. In my experience as a support group leader for clients with mental illness, I noticed that those with prolonged clinical depression seemed stuck in a vortex of bitterness. Their conversations, complaints and concerns centered around those who had hurt them from the cradle until that day.
Although I sympathized with their dilemma and emotional pain, I tried my best to steer them towards speaking of their accomplishments, goals and triumphs. When someone suffers from a mental illness, self-control is hard to achive, and it becomes difficult to manage emotions like anger.
Forgetting is not an easy task either. Forgetting is not always proper depending on the situation. But forgiving is something we all can do, if we make that decision. After all, no one controls how we feel. Emotions belong to us and there is no one, outside of us, who has power to prevent us from experiencing joy or peace.
My earlier statements may sound simplified but part of my recovery from clinical depression, included accepting responsibility for how I felt. The ” blame game ” was fruitless and I lost years wallowing in anger. Focusing on my present blessings, skills, abilities and accomplishments, set my feet firmly on the road to recovery.
When we forgive, we don’t always forget. When we truly forgive, we may remember. Yet, we forgive with grace. We cast off strife, bitterness and constant meditation on the anger we felt.
Perhaps the hurt was criminal in nature, so forgetting wouldn’t be proper. Yet, the one who forgives, can enjoy peace, joy, enhanced mental health and freedom to enjoy all the future may offer.