Forgiving: Living The Good Life

Forgiving means to pardon, to waive any negative feeling or desire for punishment. Forgiveness is an active process in which you make a conscious decision to waive any negative feeling or desire for punishment whether the person deserves it or not. Forgiveness is a choice, you are choosing to offer compassion and empathy to the offender. It has a calming effect on stress levels, thereby leading to improved health.

Anger and hurtfulness, on the other hand, is a strong feeling of displeasure, hostility or antagonism towards someone or something, usually combined with an urge to harm puts an individual under much stress and also results in numerous changes in heart rate, blood pressure, and immune response. These changes, in turn, increase the risk of depression, heart disease, and diabetes, among several other conditions

People who hang onto grudges are more likely to experience severe depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Hanging onto negative thoughts and emotions do only harm yourself and attracting even more negative thought and negative energy. Not being forgiven especially by a close relationship partner could increase perpetrators’ psychological tension and have negative effects on their health as well.

The choice of living a good life is yours (forgiveness is a choice). We must be willing to bear with each other and forgive one another if we have a grievance against someone. We don’t need perfect friends. Instead, healthy relationships happen between people who bear with each other, who are gracious about each other’s faults. Healthy relationships are built by people who are quick to forgive one another as soon as a grievance arises. It may be necessary to muster the courage to tell the other person we are hurt and to talk through the situation so it’s less likely to happen again. But even in confrontation, loving friends talk peacefully as we let go of any desire for punishment.

Instead of retaliating in anger, we go to the other person in humility and calm strength. And often there’s no need even for that because with minor offences we can forgive without pointing out the other person’s faults.

According to Karen Swartz, M.D., director of the mood disorders adult consultation clinic at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, the act of forgiveness can reap huge rewards for health, lowering the risk of heart attack, improving cholesterol levels and sleep and pain, blood pressure and levels of anxiety, depression, and stress. Researches point to an increase in the forgiveness-health connection as you age. Forgiveness predicts healthy physiological functioning, including lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure. It is also suggestive that forgiveness, particularly in close relationships, leads to reduced psychological tension; this reduction in psychological tension promotes physical well-being.

Anger makes you smaller while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you were. The act of forgiveness is a necessary and truly transformational process. You must be willing to forgive any person and any situation that has caused you pain and release them. By hanging onto negative thought and emotions you do only harm yourself and attracting even more negative thought. It is said that when you are unwilling to forgive someone is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to get sick, so just bless the person or the situation and wish them well, let them go and be willing to forgive yourself as well if need be.

God is ready to forgive. This most challenging attribute of true love permeates His existence. God is actually leaning forward in anticipated readiness to forgive (Psalms 86:5). There’s no greater example of this readiness than the recorded utterance of a dying man nailed to a beam of wood ( Luke 23:34). Because we have been forgiven, we must ourselves be forgiving. What we have received we must in turn share as God’s human instruments (Acts 20:35).

True forgiveness will cleanse you and set you free. It is an incredible and powerful process that will immediately shift you from the place of pain and anger to a place of love. If you haven’t forgiven yourself of something, how can you forgive others? Dear friends, nothing is more important than feeling good. Learn to forgive and live a happy healthy good life.

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