Psychologists generally define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.
Just as important as defining what forgiveness is, though, is understanding what forgiveness is not. Experts who study or teach forgiveness make clear that when you forgive, you do not gloss over or deny the seriousness of an offense against you. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting, nor does it mean condoning or excusing offenses. Though forgiveness can help repair a damaged relationship, it doesn’t obligate you to reconcile with the person who harmed you, or release them from legal accountability.
Instead, forgiveness brings the forgiver peace of mind and frees him or her from corrosive anger. While there is some debate over whether true forgiveness requires positive feelings toward the offender, experts agree that it at least involves letting go of deeply held negative feelings. In that way, it empowers you to recognize the pain you suffered without letting that pain define you, enabling you to heal and move on with your life.
The three types of forgiveness are:
1. Exoneration : the action of officially absolving someone from blame or vindication.
2. Forbearance : Patient self-control; restraint and tolerance.
3. Release: This is to allow or enable to escape from confinement or set free.
When forgiveness is seeing from the above perspective, it is therefore expected of anyone who forgives to do it in such a way that is total and perfect.
Forgiveness encourages compassion. You are able to relate to others as part of the human experience. You feel for others as you do for yourself. Emotionally and psychologically unencumbered, you can begin to put the past behind you.
Effects of Forgiveness:
Forgiveness can lead to :
a Healthier relationships.
b. Improved mental health.
c Less anxiety, stress and hostility.
d Fewer symptoms of depression.
e. Lower blood pressure.
f A stronger immune system.
g. Improved heart health.
h Improved self-esteem.
Finally, forgiveness qualifies you to receive mercy and pardon from God in time of Need because it is believed the measure which you give to others shall be meted out to you.
Forgive and be free!