Forgiveness: Why It Is Important
So this time of year people will tell you that the holidays is a time of forgiving. What exactly is forgiving a person and why is it important?
Forgiveness is a word we hear all the time, but what does it really mean? How do we get there? How do we know we have been able to forgive?
Let me try to answer some of these questions. I can tell you why you need to forgive, because living your life being angry and stuck due to ‘something’ or ‘someone’ that happened in the past can cause a person to be miserable. So whether it is the need to look in the mirror and forgive yourself, because you messed up, or forgiving someone who has wronged you or hurt you… it is necessary. No one wants to be miserable.
People often will say that they have ‘forgiven’ but the truth is if they are still thinking about this issue, still getting upset and agitated and even angry about the issue, then you really have not forgiven.
To forgive is to be able to let go, move on, progress beyond the anger and the agitation and to be at peace with whatever it is and whoever is involved. People will say “I have forgiven you, but I have not forgotten.” The memory is still there but the heightened hurt and anger are able to be absent with true genuine forgiveness.
I, like so many people, used to believe I had forgiven but I would still become so angry about the event or wrong doing that it could take me back and ruin my day. I guess you could say, I was holding a grudge. Are you guilty of this too? I am now able to remember things that happened and not get hurt because I genuinely have recognized that the lack of forgiveness has done nothing for me but hurt me and cause me to be distracted from the important things that are going on in my life.
Maybe it’s time you learn to genuinely forgive and learn that you don’t have to live in misery, that just because wrong has happened in your life, blame and anger are not benefiting you. I guess George H. W. Bush per Alan Simpson can still teach us something: “Hatred corrodes the container it is carried in.”
Forgive, release the anger, the blame and the hate before it ruins you.
CARRIE NICKLES, LPC, IS A FORMER COUNSELOR WITH OZARK GUIDANCE AND IS SEEING PATIENTS TUESDAYS AND THURSDAYS AT PRAIRIE GROVE HEALTH AND WELLNESS CENTER. CONTACT HER AT CARRIE.NICK[email protected]