Power of forgiveness
Forgiveness is an amazing gift to renew and strengthen the spirit when relationships get strained.

By: Spirit - Spiritual Care - 12/6/2017

Forgiveness is an amazing gift to renew and strengthen the spirit when relationships get strained.  Even though forgiveness has a positive effect, it is sometimes "easier said than done." At times, what someone says, does, or doesn't do can injure and damage your relationship.  When you get offended and hurt, it's normal to experience strong emotions.  Anger, regret, guilt, and blame can run deep and weigh down your heart and soul when you hold onto them.  Sometimes forgiveness can be relatively quick, but other times it's a lengthy process that can take years. 

Forgiveness is often linked to forgetting.  However, if you could forget, there would be no need to forgive.  Forgiveness is grace for the times when you can't forget.  It is mercy in spite of negative or traumatic memories.  What makes it hard is that the person you need to forgive might not seem to deserve it.  Forgiveness doesn't mean that the person who caused the harm is off the hook and not responsible for consequences—or even legal action, when it applies. 

Forgiveness is about giving up the desire to get back at, or even with, someone.  Forgiveness overcomes and rises above vengeance, resentment, and bitterness.  Even though forgiveness can lead to reconciliation and heal relationships, it doesn't mean that you have to trust, respect, or let toxic people into your life to cause further damage.  Letting go of destructive feelings creates peace of mind, freedom, and restores the spirit. 

The following graphs illustrate the difference forgiveness can make on our physiology and spirit from an individual expressing anger and resentment related to an event where someone caused a significant amount of damage to others.  The graph shows total power in the nervous system and how the power is being used.  The pink portion of the graph reflects a response consistent with the production of stress hormones and the rapid depletion of body resources.


This graph shows a shift of resources from pink to blue.  This represents balance in the nervous system as well as a significant increase in energy. Rather than maintaining anger about what happened, the individual activated concern for the victims and began instead to focus on care and healing for them.  The nervous system changed from a stress-dominate state to an increased state of recovery.  The heart rate dropped, recovery was strengthened, and power in the body increased by almost four-fold.  This demonstrates that forgiveness can help you let go of destructive feelings and engage what restores both your body and your soul. 


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