Thursday, September 29, 2011
FORGIVENESS; A Healthy Choice
Forgiveness is a decision to "let go" of resentment and even thoughts of revenge. Forgiveness can even lessen it's grip on you and help you focus on other parts of your life. Forgiveness doesn't mean that you have to accept what that person did to you. That person still holds the responsibility of his/her actions, and forgiving doesn't minimize or justify the wrong. You can forgive the person without excusing the act. Forgiveness can bring peace to help you go on with life.
The benefits of letting go of grudges and bitterness will make way for compassion, kindness, and peace within your soul. It can lead to better relationships, less stress and hostility, better health. Don't let being wrapped up in the wrong keep you from enjoying the present.
Forgiveness is a commitment to a process of changes. Recognize the value of forgiveness. Reflect on the facts of the situation, how you reacted, how this situation has affected your life, health and well-being. When you're ready, choose to not be the victim and release the control and power of the offending person. As you "let go" of the grudges and resentments, the anxieties, the shock of it all, you'll no longer define your life by how you've been hurt. Choose to forgive!
If you need a visual, I have one to share with you:
I pictured myself holding on to bags of trash, filled and heavy. I was dragging them around where ever I went. Bent over and tired, angry, miserable! I am tired of lugging this heaviness around on my back, shifting positions trying to get comfortable. There is no comfort carrying this load. I see a landfill up ahead and it is FULL of many overfilled thrash bags. I decide this is my chance to be rid of all these burdens. I take a deep breath and choose to THROW those bags as far away from me as I can; first one and then the other. FREEDOM! My load is light now. I can breathe!! I can stand up straight. Then I think, "can I make it without them?" I look for them, but can't find mine! I don't want burdens that belonged to someone else! There are too many! I think, "But they were heavy and I feel different now!" I walk away feeling light on my feet; I can skip, I can run. I AM SET FREE!
And THAT'S what forgiving feels like...
The Lord heals your diseases, redeems your life from the pit, satisfies you with good, shows compassion to his children, and knows your frame. The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
Picture taken by Brenda Stevens of one of her granddaughters. She looks as though she is praying.