There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love.

“The weak can never forgiveForgiveness is the attribute of the strong. Always forgive your enemies – nothing annoys them so much. The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naïve forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget”.

“Forgiveness is the key to action and freedom.”

“There is nobility in compassion, a beauty in empathy, a grace in forgiveness.”

Forgiveness story

Forgiveness is central to Gospel teachings. Forgiveness is love in the highest form. The prayer of  Jesus before  he breathed his last breath is the greatest example of forgiveness   He prayed for the very men  who were taking His life “ Father forgive them for they know not what they do” It actually takes more strength to forgive  than to keep anger and resentment. It is  a  transforming experience which makes us more humble and compassionate. Forgiveness heals our deep wounds. When we hold on to hurt full feelings our relationship is shattered, and we are emotionally hobbled. Anger and bitterness make it difficult to concentrate on anything and it destroys our peace of mind. Forgiveness heals our wounds and allow us and to move on and lead a more meaningful life. Forgiveness is not a sign of weakness; on the other hand it needs more strength to forgive. When you refuse to forgive the other   person the memory of the painful experience keeps on hurting us. Forgiveness does not wait for the other person to apologise. Forgiveness takes time, patience and determination. It restores a damaged relationship and you ate the prime beneficiary of it. Forgiveness means to forget the evil done and never to brood over it again

 What is forgiveness?

 Psychologists define forgiveness as a conscious decision to release feelings of resentment towards a person or group who have offended you,

 Why is it important to forgive?.

 Forgiveness is important for our peace of mind and happiness It releases us from anger, resentment, and a vengeful attitude.

  Almost every day of our life we come across some kind of bad experiences when we interact with people. It is unavoidable. When we are offended, two options are left before us, either to ignore the incident or harbour vengeance and anger against the person, who caused the hurt. Everybody makes mistakes intentionally or unintentionally. Forgiveness is restoring and rebuilding broken links. Here I am going to write about the benefits and rewards of letting go of a painful past

 How do we react when we are offended?

 Regardless of where and with whom we live, parents, spouse, children, and friends’ friction are inevitable. Sometimes we ignore the person, behave with bitterness and pride, stop communicating with them, abruptly end a relationship, yell at them, talk behind their back, and always think about ways to give back the hurt and humiliation in the same coin. The feeling of hostility and grief may arise within us. Our heart becomes bitter and resentful leading to destructive attitude and actions which will lead to regret later. Offenses not forgiven lead to the coldness of heart and coldness lead to a hardened heart.  A hardened heart becomes a corrupt heart which shows we are not emotionally mature.

  How to gain emotional maturity?

 First of all, we should not allow our hearts to get hardened. We should deal with our emotions maturely and constructively. Remaining offended for long shows our emotional immaturity and it becomes a stumbling block to attain spiritual blessings. Most of the offended people hide behind their pain and keep themselves aloof from society. They abstain from the normal flow of life, experience cooling of relationships with others and the joys of human fellowship. They are depriving themselves of attaining real happiness and are not able to trust others.

 What are the benefits of forgiveness?

 Forgiveness protects us from conditions like anxiety and depression. It significantly reduces blood pressure. Harbouring bitterness leads to the release of stress hormones.  Of course, getting hurt by someone you trust causes anger and frustration. If you dwell on long over resentment and hurtful feelings, it disturbs you mentally and physically. Forgiveness puts an end to the problem once and for all, while a tit for tat worsens the situation. It gives a chance to further indulge in wrongdoings against each other. Forgiveness means undoing wrongs with rights the culture of forgiveness helps in the building up of a better society, where positive values flourish and peace and harmony prevail. To err is human but to forgive is humane.  We have to forget and forgive for our well being, if we brood over the matter we are destroying our peace of mind and concentration, holding on to an offense is like spreading poison in our mind. If we have offended another person we must acknowledge our error, repent and ask for forgiveness and seek to restore our relationship.

How to guard the gate of our heart

 Be careful about what and whom you listen to. Receive only those words which are edifying and bring peace and joy. Do not accept words of fear anxiety and doubt, words that destroy your peace and happiness. We need to regularly monitor our heart. We have to remove the bitterness and unforgiveness harbouring in our mind for a healthy heart. We must make a conscious decision to be empathetic and compassionate Self cantered and selfish people think about their benefit in any bargain. When we are offended we ignore the person, stop communication with the person, we rejoice any misfortune he experiences, We lash out at the person, exaggerate the incident, spout insults, create strife, and plot to take vengeance against our enemy.

Instead talk to the person who has offended you and try to restore the broken relationship through reconciliation, forgiveness, and peace. By doing this you are removing the emotional torture you suffer because of mistrust, anger, confusion, and fear.

By Dr. Susy Mathew