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What is forgiveness?

Forgiveness is a human capacity with enormous benefits, since in most cases it provides relief for the person that forgives It is a way to achieve inner peace and improve our relationships with others, our health and our way of being in the world.

Through the process of forgiveness, the person frees themselves from their feelings of resentment and resentment, consciously accepting them and letting them go . Emotions such as anger, disappointment or sadness appear to us naturally and can even invade us after a conflict, an offense or a misunderstanding. Regardless of whether we consider that the person responsible deserves our forgiveness or not, letting go of our thoughts of revenge and discomfort represents a liberation and helps us break the link with that situation that has hurt us so much.

The conceptualization of forgiveness is closely linked to Christianity, although it is a value that is contemplated in all religions. as something beneficial and advisable. Buddhism, for example, considers it necessary to maintain internal personal balance and eliminate thoughts that endanger our well-being. In Judaism, the Talmud considers cruel the person who is not able to forgive. Islam speaks of Allah's mercy and his ability to forgive. Also in the Christian Old Testament, forgiveness is referred to as a key to coexistence between men, and it is with the figure of Jesus that forgiveness is a testimony that good and love are superior to evil and errors. The Christian tradition uses the Greek term “metanoia” to refer to the change or conversion of the heart of the person who forgives and represents a personal evolution in a deep sense.

However, it is not necessary to be a religious person to acquire the value of forgiveness. It is possible to learn to forgive by understanding the enormous advantages it has from a scientific point of view and for physical and psychological well-being.

But what exactly is forgiveness? Despite knowing its meaning, understanding forgiveness is not an easy task. There are many preconceived ideas, sometimes erroneous, around forgiveness that prevent us from seeing its great virtues. Therefore, we find it interesting to begin our analysis by trying to understand what forgiveness is not:

Forgiving is not forgetting. But it helps to let go of the pain.Kathy Hedberg

  • Forgiveness does not mean forgetting, but changing the color of our memories so that we do not relive the event over and over again with the same emotional intensity.

  • Forgiveness is not changing our beliefs or giving up what we consider right.

  • Forgiving is not giving up our needs or desires. We can forgive while establishing consequences (get away from a person who hurts us, change a habit that does us no good, etc.).

  • Forgiving is not denying our pain. Quite the opposite. Accepting our pain is an essential step to forgive and it is also an essential step to move forward.

  • Forgiving is not justifying negative or inappropriate behavior since it does not mean that you agree with the other's way of acting.

  • Forgiveness is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of courage.

What is forgiveness:

  • Forgiveness is accepting that things have not been as we would like them to be and it helps us let go of feelings of anger, disappointment and sadness.

  • By giving up the wish that the past had been different, forgiving allows us to focus on the future and find reconciliation with what can no longer be done change.

  • Forgiveness is a form of kindness that helps us tear out resentment from our hearts. It allows us to move forward and build a life with peace and happiness.

  • Forgiveness is free and healthy. It does not have any negative consequences, but is an offering that we give to ourselves.

  • Forgiveness is showing compassion and mercy towards our offender. Forgiveness means alsoblessing those who have hurt us. It is loving others and accepting their imperfection.

  • Forgiveness is an opportunity. When we forgive and overcome problems and misunderstandings, our relationships with others can be strengthened. On some occasions, by forgiving the other we can reconcile ourselves with them.

  • Science and spiritual currents show us that when we have felt hurt by the behavior of others, the only sure way to stop suffering is to forgive.

  • When you hold resentment in your heart, it is not the person you don't want to forgive who hurts you. You are yourself

During the recording of the short film “Forgive to live”, a journalist asks a victim of terrorism, (Irene Villa), what forgiveness means to her. Take a few minutes to watch this short video.

It is known that forgiving is not necessarily something we do for the other. It is above all a gift we give to ourselves.

Learning to forgive has benefits that positively impact our physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.

But the importance of forgiveness gives us many other benefits Below, we show you the most important ones:

  • Forgiving strengthens us as it gives us back control of our happiness. When we hold on to resentment, we continue to allow the person or event that has hurt us to have continued power over our emotions. Forgiving is making the decision to feel good.

  • Forgiveness allows us to have more productive and joyful thoughts that are useful for developing creativity and pursuing our goals.

  • People of any age who learn to ask for forgiveness and forgive, will manage to feel better about themselves and will become more sociable people, with a greater capacity to accept and be accepted by others. In one study it was found that children who received an apology and accepted it immediately continued playing and were likely to have pleasant attitudes toward their peers even though they had recently transgressed in some way.

  • Forgiving improves our relationships and strengthens our family. Resentment is a feeling contrary to love. Therefore, love and resentment cannot occupy our hearts at the same time, building walls in our relationships and generating unpleasant feelings towards others. On the contrary, forgiveness helps us create meaningful bonds with the people around us and increases love, empathy and compassion. In this way, it is essential to improve the way we relate to the world.

  • When we forgive, we open the door for others to forgive us. If we show compassion for the mistakes of others, we are more likely to receive the same treatment.

So we already know: cultivating forgiveness allows us to be more positive, heal our bodies, and direct our actions toward our goals.

Like any good habit forgiveness is like a muscle, the younger we learn to practice it, the stronger it will become and become part of our character. Let's make forgiveness a value that characterizes our families and the way we relate to each other.

starting with our example as parents.


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